When Nothing Is All You've Got by Kirsty Dallas
on April 15, 2016
Buy on Amazon
Release Date - early 2016
“Move like the wind, protect your face, keep your eyes on the target, and don’t get dead.”
I am the daughter of a King,but I am no princess.I am loathed by many,but feared by more.To one I was nothing,to another I am everything.I am a pawn in their game,a fighter in their ring.My name is Nada,and this is life in the underworld.
“If your heart still beats and air still fills your lungs, you keep fighting.”
I am the son to good people,But I am not a good person.Blood stains my hands,Murder marks my soul.To one, I am everything,To others, I am nothing.I am a soldier of death,A dark assassin in their prison.My name is Shadow,And this is life in the Underworld.
A standalone Dystopian novel
Due to sexual content, violence and bad language, this book is recommended for readers 18 years +
There are 'flashbacks' of a rape scene that may be triggers for some readers.
I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book.
A thought provoking dark story…
Take a moment to look at the cover of this book. It didn’t catch my attention until I started to write my review. The imagery of the colourful butterfly against the monotone background was all I needed to get my thoughts flowing. I know so many covers incorporate a butterfly into them, but the way it stands out against the unidentifiable girl/woman balancing it on her finger signified the essence of what I took from the story.
Nada is an innocent within the Underworld. From birth, she has been forced to live with charged criminals the above ground people consider unworthy of living in their light-filled world. Born of a meaningless moment of her father’s lust, he has forced her to live a life virtually estranged from him at the same time burdening her with a name and knowledge that she is the forsaken princess of the Underworld. Dejohn is the man delegated to raising her under the guidance of her cruel and heartless father, the King of the Underworld.
Nada’s name means “nothing”, and is meant to define her, humiliate her, yet it has the opposite effect of empowering her. Her father underestimated the power someone yields when they have nothing to lose. Nada constantly stands up to him in subtle and not so subtle ways to remind him of his error in assuming he can control everything in this world. Nada is the epitome of defiance, biding her time in a world where she shouldn’t belong but excels at existing on a frightening level.
Shadow is one of her father’s guards assigned to keep her watch. Nada has learned to not fear Shadow and it’s not until he is given the order to keep a closer eye on her, does their relationship shift from indifference to noticing each other. Trust is a dangerous ideology in their world, it can lead to death or worse, but with nothing to lose, Nada takes more risks than usual.
The landscape, the people, and their situations are as dark as you could imagine. Therefore, when the slightest gesture of kindness is shared, light streams through the cracks of despair providing the hope that sustains their existence. Kindness stems from several sources. What came through loud and clear is that judgment is subjective to the opinions of those metering it out. The victim being a result of the supposed fair and rightful justice served upon them.
Although starkly different in many ways, I had the Beyond Series in mind several times as I read this story. Possibly because of the isolation similarities and of them both being dystopian based stories. The caliber of the darkness was different, as were the relationships. What stood out most in this story is the impact on an innocent victim when they have been judged unfairly based on superficial evidence or prejudice. A dark story highlighting no matter how bad life can be, there’s always hope.
What I struggled with:
- Cruelty inflicted upon others through association
- Back story to sections of the plot, outlined but not expanded on
What I loved:
- That a broken heart can be soothed
- Nurturing makes a difference
- The power of the human spirit to survive, when death is not feared
- Dejohn and his wisdom
- Regan and her creativity
- Nada’s ability to create something out of apparently nothing!
Lily’s Rating: 4 Stars
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