I really enjoyed this book, but I would like to start off with a warning. This is not a book to be picked up lightly. It’s describes scenes of kidnap, rape, and torture. If you find that overly disturbing, you should pick a different book.
Before I found Colossus, I felt like I was having a hard time finding something to read that grabbed me, and held me tight. I was picking random things to read, and just setting them back down. This book got its hooks into me from the beginning, and didn’t let go until I had finished it the next day.
The writing is intense, like Stephen King at his best. Almost from the beginning, you are on the edge of your seat, wondering what is going on, and what’s going to happen next. Harris does a great job ratcheting up the suspense, and sustaining it. The result was a book I found difficult to set aside.
This book is about four high school seniors who are kidnapped by Avery Rhodes, a man teetering on the edge of insanity, and locked into a house. They are kept separate from each other, forced to entertain Rhodes every whim and sexual appetite for one month. Rhodes is such a looming figure, they nickname him Colossus. The main character, Heather Stokes, who you learn is no stranger to tragedy, does everything she can to protect her classmates. As the time draws to an end, Heather and Rhodes, realize they are in over their heads, and no one may be getting out alive.
Harris’s descriptions of characters and scenes are great. The people and events feel real. You know the strengths and flaws of each character, making the situation more believable. I didn’t expect to feel anything but horror and anger at Avery Rhodes, but there are parts of the story where bits of his past are allowed to seep in, and you start to feel a weird kind pity for him. You start wanting to know more about him, his motivations, and what he does when he’s not on “sabbatical”.
The protagonist, Heather Stokes, is better than the classic heroine. She’s not waiting for anyone to rescue her or her friends, and she’s not going to give in and do whatever Rhodes wants. Heather continually sacrifices herself again and again, constantly fighting, using anything she can, no matter the cost to herself, to keep her friends as safe as she can. One part I particularly like was how Br’er Rabbit was incorporated into the book as a way for the characters to escape, mentally, from their captor, and perhaps as a way for them to figure out their physical escape as well.
So, if you’re looking for a psychological thriller, full of suspense, with great writing and characters, I recommend this book. I’ll definitely be reading more works by Jette Harris.
If you’re interested in learning about Jette Harris, she can be found on Twitter at @JettimusMaximus, and check out her blog jetterfly.wordpress.com. Enquiries about the author can also be made through Moran Press.