CAIN (def.): A stone giant on the brink of exploding.
MADAM KARINA (def.): A woman who demands obedience.
WILSON (def.): The one who will destroy them all.
When Madam Karina discovers Domino in an alleyway, she offers her a position inside her home for entertainers in secluded West Texas. Left with few alternatives and an agenda of her own, Domino accepts. It isn’t long before she is fighting her way up the ranks to gain the madam’s approval. But after suffering weeks of bullying and unearthing the madam’s secrets, Domino decides to leave. It’ll be harder than she thinks, though, because the madam doesn’t like to lose inventory. But then, Madam Karina doesn’t know about the person living inside Domino’s mind. Madam Karina doesn’t know about Wilson.
A truly unique story
Domino is used to living on the streets, fighting to survive alongside a friend. When circumstances take a drastic plunge downward, Domino is left with little choice but to take the strange position the mysterious Madam Karina offers: a place in West Texas for young women with artistic talents. But the place isn’t all it seems, and soon Domino realizes her best (and possibly only) option is to climb up in Madam Karina’s ranks. Escaping may cost Domino her life, but there may be away to get off safely…if she’s willing to risk it.
Victoria Scott’s VIOLET GRENADE is weird and exciting in the best way. The premise of Madam Karina’s house hooked me from the beginning. Every girl in the house has an artistic or otherwise entertaining talent, and I love the descriptions of the singing and Domino’s graffiti art. Domino is a complex character who simply wants a home…even if it means breaking some rules to get one. She can be mean and even ruthless, but she’s also entirely sympathetic and has a surprising charisma.
The tension moves the story along beautifully, even in areas where the action is on the lower side. Much like an oncoming storm, you can tell there’s a darkness in the air. Madam Karina makes a compelling antagonist with clear, believable motivations and a temper that doesn’t hold back.
While I enjoyed this story, I do want to give a disclaimer that I have no experience with schizophrenia, a key part of Domino’s character. I cannot say if the representation is accurate, as I do not have the credentials to give a critique to this.
With high tension and magnificently energetic scenes, VIOLET GRENADE is a unique story that keeps the pages flying.