Book Critique - Vengeance Road (Torpedo Ink #2)
For reviews of all books in the series: Go here.
Stars: 3 / 5
Recommendation: Definitely gorier and grittier than the previous series by Christine, yet with strong social elements that will make the reader plow through the plot.
Vengeance Road the second book in the Torpedo Ink Series by Christine Feehan published in January of 2019. The central plot is around Lyov Russak aka Steele - Vice President of Torpedo Ink Motorcycle Club - and Breezy Summers - daughter of a rival Motorcycle Club Swords leader. The plot is set the day after the previous book Judgment Road ends.
Torpedo Ink is the third series in the Sea Haven Novels – first set was The Drake Sisters series and the second set was the Sisters of the Heart series - with stories revolving around the members of Torpedo Ink Motorcycle Club. The club consists of 18 men and women who had survived the most brutal training schools in Russia. They formed a family of sort under the leadership of Victor "Czar" Prakenskii and, finally finding freedom on the road belonging to their club. After years of doing undercover work to hunt the most cruel criminals, they find the town of Sea Haven where they settle and build for the first time a home for themselves, despite the enemies they still have to fight.
Breezy Simmons had left the life of a motorcycle club and turned her life around to be as far away as possibly from anything to do with any of the clubs. But now she had to come back to the Torpedo Ink Club, specifically to Lyov Russak "Steele", the one who had broken her heart and left her for the club, as her past catches up with her.
Steele had led a life of ride or die all his life until Breezy. But he had lost her once with his deliberate motives. Now she is back in his life, even for asking help. And he is ready to use all the skills he has been taught while growing up as an assassin for his country, with a vengeance to tie her to him forever.
As before, the plot is more gorier and grittier than Christine's other series. And yet it shows the dynamics of a Motorcycle Club - two different kinds, one that is depraved and one that is very evolved - including the family dynamics, club politics and the primary agenda for the clubs.
Born in a very degraded club and having experienced the worse life there, Breezy still comes out of it with a shining light. The very light that Steele needs to drive his demons away. Both have suffered extremely in their own way, yet they find a bond with each other, find love and happiness. How Christine manages to bring characters together and weave them into her tapestry is always amazing.
For some reason the opening scene where Steele and Breezy meet again kept coming back to me again and again. I read that scene so many times until I read about the torturous life Steele had left and his darkest secret. Both scenes have been on my mind even days after I finished reading the book.
It is always like that for me when I read books by certain authors, like Christine Feehan, Nalini Singh or Nora Roberts books that she wrote prior to 2009. Every single book of theirs leaves me hanging between the real world and the fictional world these authors spin, and it takes a few weeks for me to get out of that world. I either have to read a completely different author like Mary Higgins Clark or nay be a young adult book by Rick Riordan.
With all of her series’, Christine had some kind of connection between the men and women of the plots – Carpathians chose psychic humans to bond as lifemate, Leopard People chose their mates time and again, Ghoswalkers were paired to each other by the evil scientist Dr. Peter Whitney, Drake Sisters recognized the powers in their other half to take them as husband while the Prankenskii brothers bonded to each of the Sisters of the Heart and one Drake Sister through a connection that burned on their palms. In each of the series there was some kind of psychic element that tied the men and women. With the Torpedo Ink Series still trying to figure out what is that one element that is tying the male to the female in each plot.
Again a very gritty and gorier plot with a lot of f-bombs and open nudity that I would have cringed at, if not for a recent discussion I had with a friend. She was saying that no one should be given rules on how to dress or live. If someone want to show their boobs let them be. I was surprised, but it got me thinking. How society and rules work into someone's private life is sometimes thought provoking. And on flip-side it is so appalling at how depraving people are to one another. It makes a reader shiver and shudder.
Anyways, apart from the gorier, grittier parts and the nudity and all, Christine still has a strong back to her plot and does not leave it just as an erotic plot. Yet, I would tread it cautiously and judge it one book at a time. However for those not-so-faint at heart this would be a good book to take up. So far the second book has been better.
1) Plot Reveals:
a. Steele and Breezy have a son, Zane, whom Breezy gives birth to after Steele throws her out.
b. Twenty-five members from the school that Gavriil Prakenskii had gone to, had survived and want to live a life different than the life they grew up with, want to join the Torpedo Ink Motorcycle Club chapter for the Trinity area.
c. Gavriil and Casimir Prakeskii - Czar's brothers - are now fully patched members of the Club.
d. Breezy is aided by a woman, Delia, when she was on the run for protection and to live under the radar.
2) Sub- Plots:
a. A misunderstanding between Ilya Prakenskii and Viktor Prakenskii is shown in Bound Together (Sisters of the Heart #6). Lev Prakenskii joins with Ilya on this. Will they resolve their differences?
b. Four children - 3 girls (Lucia, Nicia and Siena) and 1 boy (Benito) - who were saved from the human trafficking ring by Arianna and Maxim Prakenskii in Air Bound are adopted by them and living on the farm.
c. More children adopted by Viktor and Blythe in Bound Together – Darby Henessey, Zoe Henessey, Emily Henessey and Kenny.
d. The Club votes to rescue a boy who was being auctioned off online in Judgment Road. But as of this book, it looks like the auction was called off and the Club was still looking for the boy, who might have been moved to Las Vegas. Ice and Storm will head there as soon as they get a confirmation. I was hoping this would be the central plot for Vengeance Road. However we might have to wait a little more for this to boil up.
e. Newer enemies and threats that the Torpedo Ink Club face:
i. The remaining members of the Swords Motorcycle Club that the Torpedo Ink members along with the Prakenskii brothers with their wives and the Drake Sisters had taken down including their leader Evan Shackler-Grastos.
ii. In Bound Together, we saw that all the notes left by Viktor never reached their brothers. Then there are the missing tapes of the tortures the Torepdo Ink members suffered at the hands of Uri Sorbacov and Kostya Sorbacov since they were kids. A lot of plots for the series in my opinion for Christine to write about.
iii. In Judgment Road, the Club comes across a Ghost Club that is threatening all other clubs in meaner ways and methods that the Torpedo Ink members recognize as something from the schools they were trained in. They had destroyed all the schools and the monsters who had survived leaving only those who had truly turned a new leaf like them. Who is this new Ghost Club who knows their methods?
f. The Torpedo Ink Motorcycle Club members tidbits:
i. In Judgment Road, we see that Lucia “Code “ Litvin, the Treasurer of the club, has a friend who is a hacker calling herself “Cat”. A story hidden there for Code perhaps?
ii. Pierce – road captain for Diamondback Motorcycle Club – has eyes on Alena. A story hidden for them too perhaps.
g. Prospects of the Torpedo Ink:
i. Fatei - had been in the same school as Gavriil; Glytch; Hyde
h. Still makes me wonder though how did Christine come up with the number 17 for this series. A question I would like to ask her personally if I meet again.
3) Grammatical / Character / Plot / Geographical / Historical / Mythological Errors:
a. On Pg. 112, Line 8 from bottom, shouldn’t it be "..Anya, Alena and Blythe all three laughed…"?