Review: “Gleam” by Raven Kennedy

Rating: 4 out of 5.

For the sake of reviewing, I typically try to break up series and read books in between, but I could not help myself. I had to know what happened in the third book in The Plated Prisoner Series.

I have to be honest, the first book, “Gild” didn’t do much for me. I almost didn’t give the series a second shot to read “Glint”, but I am so grateful I did. After reading the second installment, I simply had to get my greedy little gremlin hands on “Gleam”. I hoofed it to the Amazon marketplace, and I smashed the ‘download now’ button so many times, it’s a miracle my Kindle didn’t crack in half.

In “Gleam”, Auren is returned to King Midas. Though, this time, she is not going to allow herself to be a helpless captive. She has learned a lot about herself during her time away from him and she is, rightfully, ready to demand the life she deserves. It’s then she learns the true nature of her captor and her captivity. It becomes a fervent hunt for a means to escape, even if she has nowhere to go. Through nefarious means, Midas manages to trick her to stay – long enough to test the strength of her blossoming relationship with Rip and to unveil many horrific truths.

I will admit that “Gleam” was heartrending. There were several parts that were hard to get through. My heart ached for Auren, and I felt overwhelmed with the severity of her plight. There were some parts that I had to put my book down and step away. This book should have an explicit trigger warning, so let me outline the ones I can summon from the top of my head: abuse, mutilation, drugging, grooming, gaslighting. (If I’ve missed any, please let me know. I am happy to edit my post).

It kept me in a state of perpetual dread for a good chunk of the book. If you’re the sort of person who likes to feel nauseous while reading, I do think that this book will be it for you. 

I would have rated “Gleam” five, but there were parts of the book that were noticeably difficult to get through. Editing a manuscript is a lot like making bread. It can be overworked. And I suspect that’s part of what happened. But the pockets were so strained I could feel that the writer wasn’t enjoying what she was writing at the time. Which, in turn, made it difficult for me to enjoy the book fully. It was something that was mentioned in the acknowledgments. She said that it was a hard book to write, and I can certainly believe it. All that to say, I really did enjoy it, and I am very keen to read the fourth book!

You can find Raven Kennedy on her personal websiteFacebookGoodreadsInstagram, and TikTok!

Have you read The Plated Prisoner Series? I’m keen to know your thoughts!

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