On the recommendation of a friend I read the book Judgment, by Denise Hall. Maren Smith writes under the name Denise Hall her stories border harder core.

The Cover

The blurb

“Judgment–the ultimate disciplinary establishment, a forbidding mountain fortress where unfortunate young women are taken and trained to become the perfect submissives for a world-wide market. Abandoned to the whims of Judgment’s ruthless masters, Callie McGuire descends into the depths of this prison, discovering a new capacity for sensuality as she becomes Mischief, the personal plaything of the Mountain Lord.”

The story

OK, so those in need of a warning, are properly warned.

An American girl takes a taxi from the airport and is kidnapped by her taxi driver. She is taken to a remote castle in the mountains, Judgment. She is not the only one. Quite a few girls – sister slaves – are abducted as well. The regime in Judgment is based on hierarchy, the lowest caste are the New-Comers the highest Elite. When a girl is a Elite she seldom says long at Judgment anymore. Her training in obedience and one additional skill (pottery?) is finished and she is ready to be sold to the highest bidder.

The training is based on punishment and reward and those with a strong will, like Mischief, our protectionist, is rewarded with severe punishment.

Better food, pretty hair pieces, soft towels are the rewards for the Elite, the highest in rank. They never did chores, never washed their own laundry or food dishes after meals. Mischief attracts the attention of the alpha male of Judgment, Tane, and he is quite good at breaking her will with harsh punishment and rewards her with just enough gentleness to make us believe he is fond of the girl.

The backstory

The book is two stories one taking place in the present time, one looking back. The present time story is in cursive letters, to separate it from the main story line. It is not my personal favourite writing style and after two chapters it did’t make much sense to me. I skipped all the intro’s in cursive  and read them after I finished the book, and so I read the complete story in chronological order. Although the end of the book the two stories come together, the contemporary pieces were just a distraction, I think.

Stockholm Syndrome

The story has only one purpose: to entertain, to arouse maybe. There is nothing wrong with that, mmm, that is the reason we buy these books. There are many aspects of abduction Denise Hall didn’t even mention. Nothing about worried people outside the castle, nothing about police investigations She creates a fantasy world where pain and fear are the reasons to obey.

The Stockholm Syndrome, people become friend with the captor just to stay alive and eventually can fall in love the the captor, is one of the strong points in the book. Ms. Hall describes that very well.

The first part of the book where Mischief rebels against her captors is the best. The slow acceptance of her fate never made any sense except to come out alive. The real problem in the book is of course the lack of consent. The sexy Thane is nothing but a criminal that should be locked in a castle with bars.

Judgement

If you take in consideration it is just a rape and pain fantasy book, it is an enjoyable read. But I don’t like the non-consent book very much even the book is well written. A man is not a man to hit a girl just because he can. A man is a man to hit a girl because she wants to submit to him. And Mischief in the end never did, not really.

The book is controversial and there is nothing wrong with that. It is not for me to judge whether you should read this or not. If you begin in the book you don’t want to put it down anymore, true. You want to know what happens to Mischief and Thane. Denise Hall is a very skilled writer. But there is too little consent in the book for me to actually enjoy it.

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4 thoughts on “Judgment, the book review

  1. Ok, I'm warned … lol ..
    I have also read other reviews on Goodreads.

    This kind of books are too dark for me. I have made mistakes and have read something similar some time ago and I was not myself for several weeks. I could not really stand it. When I read a book, I'm always so into it that it affects me mentally.
    According to me, the main characters in these books, have at least one or two reliable diagnoses .. I know, “work-related behavior” … lol .. and can not accept, excuse their behavior.
    Thank you, Han, that you point out that there is an agreement in such books, which is oaccept for me too.

    So thanks, but no thanks Han.

    Mona Lisa

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  2. We agree on the conclusion, I think, Mona Lisa. Axis II of DSM IV is probably your diagnosis?
    I read this year another “dark” book, with a big difference this was consensual darkness.
    OK, no dark books for a while.

    Like

  3. You won't be disappointed in the writing, Blondie. It is, like I said, well written. Have fun reading. i hope I didn't give away any spoilers, I tried to avoid them.

    Thanks for your comment, Han.

    Like

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