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Good series. Not a lot of the normal vampire lore, more about the characters struggling for their freedom. I love how unshakable Selena's love is for Varick. She loves the good parts, and accepts and forgives the side he believes makes him a monster.
I generally love every book written by this author. Caroline has a way of creating and opening up worlds to people who need an escape. Her stories are well written, characters dynamic and the words can easily keep you engaged for hours. I’m so glad I stumbled upon her. I have read 3 of her other book series so far and each one is unique and again, a fantastic read. I would highly highly recommend as I literally HAVE recommended her books to many people before. If you stumble on this series first, READ IT! You won’t be disappointed. Then go read her other series. Over and over until you’ve read them all so that you can be like me, waiting for her next one. 😂
Selena has escaped from the hellish island of Raskdød, only to find herself stranded in the middle of the North Sea, having run out fuel and supplies. Torn between her head and her heart, she is consumed with regret at having left Varick behind, and can only imagine the new tortures he is undergoing at the hands of the sadistic Helsings for helping her escape.
When Ulvic Hund turns up in his catamaran, Selena accompanies him to the island of Skorpa, a sanctuary he has built for his werewolf pack which Jameson happens to be the Alpha of. Together they concoct a plan to return to Raskdød and rescue Varick and Jameson under the pretence of using Selena as bait.
Upon their arrival, however, their plan begins to unravel when once again, Selena is forced to compete in a twisted more deadlier version of the V Games, this time on the Isle of Lidelse.
Meanwhile, Jameson finds himself at the mercy of the psychotic Ignus and his sadistic experiments. While Jameson is injected with a serum that turns him into a vicious wolf, Varick is being slowly drained and turned into a mindless monster. Jameson can only look on as the last shred of humanity leaves his friend. On a brighter note, he finds himself drawn to the newly turned vampire, Cass, despite her hostility. Before long, the trio are transported to Isle of Lidelse and forced to participate in the V Games. During their inevitable showdown, will Selena and her friends survive unscathed from the threat of the V’s, Lycan’s and the deadly Varick?
Caroline really stepped up her game in the second edge of your seat instalment of the V Games. Darker, grittier and even more unforgiving than its prequel, Fresh From the Grave took the reader on an unforgettable dark and thrilling journey. Not content to merely survive her second round of the V Games, a defiant Selena is determined to bring down the Helsings and their sponsors once and for all. Selena’s development throughout the two books has been phenomenal. We see a braver, fiercer, defiant woman who despite everything has managed to retain her spirit and humanity.
The author’s decision to write from the perspective of Selena, Varick, Jameson, Cass, Ulvic and Mercy, gave the reader better insight into their pasts during flashbacks as well as their thoughts on their current predicament. The irrepressible and incorrigible Jameson (“That’s it, I thought. No one bites my arse unless I say so.”) was a welcome relief in what threatened to be an otherwise dark and gloomy book. Even when things seemed at their worst, his optimism offered hope and light at the end of the tunnel. I loved the dynamic between him and Cass and look forward to seeing their relationship develop as well as reading more about his backstory.
“You look like a firefly, the first light I’ve seen in all this Godforsaken darkness.” (Sigh) Jameson to Cass.
The author has a genuine knack for characterisation and one can’t help rooting for the doomed contestants despite their flaws. The fate of three in particular was heartbreaking to read. I spent the entire book trying to ascertain the identity of Typhon and I must say, I totally did not see THAT coming! Hopefully in the next instalment we’ll learn more about why Selena’s blood is so special.
All in all, the author has paved the way for an intriguing sequel and I got one can’t wait to read it.
I admit, I thought I am starting on another typical vampire erotic romance read.. boy this series is different. The first book just horrified me with the ways those humans and Vs suffered.. the author is very descriptive. It was getting darker and darker.. but the spark between Varick and Selena made me want to continue reading, then other characters were blooming alongside and by the end of the second book, I’m all in, I want to finish the whole series! Just reading these words of Selena made it worthwhile: “ I love you for the spaces that are not the monster and forgive you for the places that are”… may not be exact words, I’m citing from memory. I almost cried there, but people sitting next to me at work at lunch wouldn’t understand)))) this series will make you feel shattered and broken from all the violence, but hopelessly entranced by the MCs’ stories and their fight for survival and hope for better future.
I enjoyed the continuation of this story. I can’t believe some of the twists! They made me gasp and made me need more! I expect nothing less from these authors, who are the best at twists and cliffhangers. I didn’t really enjoy all of the flashbacks. I also didn’t love all the different POVs. They have never been my favorite and I really didn’t enjoy them here. I like Selena, Varick, and Jameson, but other than that, I didn’t care. Same with the flashbacks. I didn’t really care about anyone’s flashbacks, not even Varick’s after a while. The flashbacks took over the story and the progression slowed a lot in this book. It really does follow the same plot as Hunger Games, especially with putting the previous winners back in the games. I still enjoyed the story and am anxious to see what happens with Selena and Varick.
The games are designed to allow the strong to survive and the weak are killed off early. There is strength in numbers and reaming up is an advantage that Selena has used before to her benefit. With the odds stacked against her she will need all the help she can get to survive this time. The relationship between the girls was refreshing to read how the banded together rather than succumbing to the offer of winning at all costs. Revenge can also be a powerful motivation and the hunters get more than bargained for this time around. A surprise twist for Serena at the end has me wondering what is in store for her next.
Peckham has managed to create new obstacles and crazy plans for Selena and her friends to navigate in this book and they've all got kill-switches implanted in their heads forcing them to play along or die. This was definitely one thrill of a sequel. Not only do we get more of the savage games, determined survivors, and wild vampires, but werewolves storm the cast as well.
V Games: Fresh from the Grave is definitely a bloody thriller of a sequel and I can't wait to read the last book in the V Games trilogy (although there are more books that will dive into the lives of other characters that will continue the series). If you're on the hunt for a story teeming with the supernatural but prefer one high on the stakes with a dash of romance to keep 'em there then definitely look into this series because so far it's been one danger of a ride.