Title: Elpída (Elpída: Book Three)
Author: C. Kennedy
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press/Harmony Ink
Length: 350 Pages
Category: Contemporary, Teen Fiction
At a Glance: Elpída is a glorious conclusion to a stunning series that dares to expose the abuse that goes on every moment of every day in our world.
Reviewed By: Sammy
Blurb: ελπίδα. Elpída. Greek. Meaning hope
Hope. v. /ˈhōp/
to want something to happen or be true and
think that it could happen or be true
Child abuse casts a shadow the length of a lifetime.~Herbert Ward
Michael and Christy attended prom, graduated high school, and Michael leads the USATF tryouts. With Oxford University on the horizon, his future looks bright, and he believes life has returned to normal after Christy’s rescue. He couldn’t be more wrong.
Christy has been free from a life of slavery for more than a year and has made remarkable progress due in no small part to the love he found with Michael. But the recent prosecution of a past abuser has shattered the life he so painstakingly built out of nothing but a mountain of horror. He now faces the daunting task of building a new life—yet again.
Twelve-year-old Thimi has been missing since Christy left Greece and, unbeknownst to everyone, has hidden out in a vacant mansion in Glyfada. Learning of Christy’s survival is the only thing that brings him out of hiding. People, open spaces, even the most common of sounds frighten him beyond reason. A mere ghost of a boy, Thimi arrives in the US with no knowledge of the outside world—the only constant in his life a purple marble.
Lost, shattered, and afraid, only hope gives them the strength and courage they need to begin anew.
Review: I read Elpída, by C. Kennedy, in one sitting. It was…riveting…so much so I could not stop and just had to get to the end. Fans of this series will remember Christy and Michael from Omorphi and Tharros. They will also recall the discovery of Thimi, a boy Christy watched out for and cared for during their nightmare of abuse at the hands of the animals who held them captive. Thimi had survived for months, living in ductwork, all the while thinking Christy was dead. Now, Thimi would come to Wellington—the place of healing that had helped Christy over the past year, and would be cared for there with Christy leading the team. But Thimi is so very damaged—even worse than Christy was with every movement, touch, noise and decision sending him into a spiral of absolute terror. Unfortunately, Christy himself is also trying desperately to recover from the trial of his main captor and abuser that has set him back in terms of healing progress. Michael stands by his side, also somewhat lost, as old enemies rear their heads and threaten him and his family. All in all, it is a nightmare that everyone wants desperately to wake from, and it is only with great determination and hope that all of them will survive.
This is a story that picks up directly from its predecessor, Tharros, and continues on with break-neck speed, unending action, and some truly heartbreaking moments. Perhaps the real thrust of this novel is the realization of two truths, one being if you have met an abused person, their journey will not be like any others’—each victim’s experience is uniquely their own. The second truth that is clearly demonstrated through the characters of Christy and Thimi is the scars an abuse victim bear are not only physical but seared into their very souls which have been left tainted and damaged—their psyche battles it every moment, and it is absolutely all consuming.
With infinite care, author Cody Kennedy exposes the heart and minds of those who have been unalterably changed at the hands of their abusers. He draws back the curtain and shows the reader what it takes for an abuse victim to cope with the aftermath of the hell they had been made to endure, and reminds us that the survivors of abuse are perhaps the most fragile and yet strongest individuals we will ever meet. Mr. Kennedy does so by putting to paper another riveting story that includes everything from threats to the lives of his heroes to moments of utter joy such as when a twelve year old boy experiences a ride on a carousel for the very first time. He continues to expand the love Michael, now a college bound student, has for Christy, and allows that relationship to sometimes bend under the weight of the pressure these two experience as Christy grapples with Michael finding out a horrifying secret Christy had hoped he would never have to share.
If your heart does not stutter and mourn as Christy and Thimi struggle to find any self-worth, any sense of value in themselves, then I would venture to say it must be made of steel, for theirs is a story that is both horrific and desperately sad. But the author allows for hope—he banks on it, thrusts it into the darkness that is the world of an abused child, and refuses to let the strength of it diminish. We watch these young men crawl back from the ashes yet again, and marvel at how resilient they are and how much it takes for them to move through each day, determined to live a life that is free of fear.
Elpída is a glorious conclusion to a stunning series that dares to expose the abuse that goes on every moment of every day in our world. This novel stands firm in its resolve to remind those who have been forced to live a life of abuse that they deserve to have a future that is bright and shining and full of love and, yes, full of hope. I highly recommend Elpída to you. It is an outstanding novel.
You can buy Elpída here: