Book Review + Playlist: Bang by E.K. Blair

Black Lotus, #1
They say when you take revenge against another you lose a part of your innocence.
But I’m not innocent.
I haven’t been for a very long time.
My innocence was stolen from me. Taken was the life I was supposed to have. The soul I was born with. The ruby heart embedded in a life full of hopes and dreams.


I never even had a choice.
I mourn that life. Mourn the what-ifs.
Until now.
I’m ready to take back what was always meant to be mine.

But every plan has a fatal flaw. Sometimes it’s the heart.

**Due to the dark and explicit nature of this book, it is recommended for mature audiences only as some scenes may be particularly disturbing.**


By the time I was done with Bang, I didn't just have a book-hangover...I had a book-breakdown. I needed retail therapy and day-drinking to calm my nerves. A complete reset. When my head hit my pillow later that night, though, I was still thinking about everything I had just read. So I even made a playlist to help me sulk in all of my feelings! It took me a couple of weeks to compile everything into a coherent review! The writing. This story. These characters...E.K. Blair's words reached straight for my heart, gripped it tight, and just controlled every beat.
The heart is a weapon--a self-inflicting weapon--that if not trained properly, can destroy a person.
Bang is about one woman, the hell she endures, and the warped form of justice that she pursues because of it. The story is also about three specific men in her life, all of them significant players in her dangerous game. Because of this, the warning included in the description of this book should not be taken lightly.

There were parts that made my stomach churn in disgust. I shed tears. I even resorted to putting the book down and taking a couple of deep breaths. When I dove back in, my face poured out even more tears...My head spun with each twist and revelation...Finally, I got to a point where I was holding my breath so hard with every page turn. It. Was. Brutal.
"Nothing is real until you break down the walls and reveal the ugliness...The truest part of a person is always the ugliest."
And although E.K. Blair wrote some intensely erotic scenes, they were equally dark and twisted. There were romantic gestures, but even those left a bittersweet aftertaste. No matter how good something was supposed to feel--because I was always aware of her real goal--an inescapable sense of dread lingered throughout the course of the novel. This woman was both heroine and villainess, victim and predator.
I'm the devil seeped within the cracks of him. What he doesn't know is that it's because of him that I am what I am, and he's fallen into the cobwebs of my lies like a fool. I guess I should love him for that, because when he least suspects it, he's going to give me everything I've been seeking--vengeance.
Remarkably, it was her most disturbing relationship that I was drawn to the most. Not necessarily the most romantic one. One man in particular, at different points in her life, could be called her savior or her cage. With their history and the depth of their connection...even as it contorted into something unhealthy...he's the one I felt the most emotion for. Their part of the story weighed the heaviest for me and dwelled in my mind the longest.   
...a vile human, just like me, and the love we have for each other is infected with a sickness that only we know.
So as I read and discovered more, along with all of the daunting emotions, I also felt sympathy...and even awe. It pained me to know what she went through, but there were moments when I was fascinated by the steel and finesse in her voice. At times, her words were sleek and calculating...showed strength and determination.
"...Why lotus?"
"There's something about a beautiful, nearly flawless flower, emerging from muddled water."
I know that I've given you zero names and no additional plot points, but this is just such an intricately woven tale of deception and transformation. Every detail needs to be experienced purely and at the right pace. It was the hauntingly beautiful writing that kept me captivated from beginning to end! E.K. Blair worked masterfully to hurt you, but keep you coming back. Suspense. Thrill. Devastation. Bang pulled it all off exquisitely! And when book two of the Black Lotus series releases, I will absolutely be diving back in for more!


Some of these songs are from *E.K. Blair's playlist, and some were chosen by me. I love all of these for the lyrics and because they really matched my moods during/after reading Bang!

| *Track 01. "In the Air Tonight" by Kelly Sweet |
"I can feel it coming in the air tonight, oh Lord
And I've been waiting for this moment for all my life, Oh Lord"

| *Track 02. "The Devil Within" by Digital Daggers |
"I will keep quiet, You won’t even know I’m here
You won’t suspect a thing, You won’t see me in the mirror
But I crept into your heart, You can’t make me disappear
I’m learning all your tricks, I can hurt you from inside
 You’ll never know what hit you"

| *Track 03. "Running Up That Hill" by Placebo |
"It doesn't hurt me. You wanna feel how it feels?
You wanna know, know that it doesn't hurt me?
You wanna hear about the deal I'm making?"

| *Track 04. "Open Your Eyes" by Blue Stone |
"When the lights go out
I feel my soul come out
To play again

I've been scared of the dark
Just as scared of the light"

| Track 05. "Drop the Game" by Flume |
"I've been seeing all, I've been seeing your soul
Give me things that I've wanted to know
Tell me things that you've done
Drop the game, it's not enough"

| Track 06. "Lies" by Fyfe |
"Turn back, turn back
Turn round from your daze
And talk to me, Talk to me

 Lies won't live" 

| Track 07. "Fantasy" by MS MR |
"If I could force my heart, my ears, my mind
And eyes to get in line
Maybe I'll find something real
Not a fantasy so divine
Let myself down each time
How could you be what I wanna see?
When my reality
Could never live up, could never live up
To the fantasy" 

| Track 08. "This Life" by Josef Salvat |
"Let me get straight to it, I've bit off more than I could chew
I felt the sting and slap of failure missed my due
Like a hard knife, cutting through a slice
Of ego, of ambition, yeah, put me off my mission 
Hey hey gotta keep the hope up
Gotta keep your eye on the prize
Hey hey gotta keep the highs up,
I'm an optimist of the most dangerous kind
There is more to this life
I must believe there is more to this life" 

| Track 09. "Broken Ones" by Jacquie Lee |
"Cross your heart and say you're never giving up
That you carried on when every door was shut

We wear a smile to hide that we've been hurt before
Keep our disasters in a suitcase by the door
'Cause you know, you know we're only human"

| Track 10. "Pieces" by Andrew Belle |
"You and me got ourselves a problem
I can see this better than I solve 'em

There’s too much smoke to see it
There’s too much broke to feel this
I love you, I love you
And all of your pieces"

| Track 11. "Strings" by MS MR |
"How I worry about you, No one to pull you out of the blue
Anger and sadness get the best of you, Your words choked by a weak tongue
Too sad to be so young
Dependence on despair will get you nowhere

Wish I could erase the pain
To better help you survive another day"

| *Track 12. "With Every Heartbeat" by Robyn (Acoustic) |
"Maybe we could make it all right
We could make it better sometime
Maybe we could make it happen, baby

Just a little, little bit better
Good enough to waste some time
Tell me, would it make you happy, baby"

| Track 13. "Fall in Love" by Phantogram |
"Love, it was enough to recognize
To see, I was the reason you feel sick inside

Fall in me
I'll let you bleed
'Cause you were fallin', I'm sorry
Love, it cut a hole into your eyes
You couldn't see you were the car I crashed
Now you're burning alive"

| *Track 14. "Flawless" by The Neighbourhood |
 "She didn't want him to run, he didn't want her to fear
Nobody said it'd be easy, they knew it was rough

He didn't want her to cry, she didn't want to be sad
She said, "You better not leave me."
This shit'll be fucked for days and weeks and months, but..."

| Track 15. "The Caging" by Charlene Soraia |
"You're like a demon on my back
You cage me
You bring me down
You plague me"

| *Track 16. "Too Close" by Alex G & Madilyn Bailey (Acoustic Cover) |
You know I'm not one to break promises,
I don't want to hurt you but I need to breathe.
At the end of it all, you're still my best friend,
But there's something inside that I need to release.

You've given me more than I can return,
Yet there's also much that you deserve."

| Track 17. "Never Gonna Change" by Broods |
"You’re pushing down on my shoulders, And emptying my lungs
And in a moment I'm older, In a moment you've won

And the stress comes to the surface
But all of the heroes are dead

And I hate that I can't say your name
Without feeling like I'm part of the blame
And it's never gonna feel quite the same"


USA Today bestselling author and International bestselling author, E.K. Blair takes her readers on an emotional roller coaster with her dynamic and intense writing style. Noted for her ability to create fleshed-out characters that will evoke a realm of reactions, you can be assured that her stories will linger with you far beyond the last word.

A former first grade teacher with an imagination that runs wild. Daydreaming and zoning out is how she was often found in high school. Blair tends to drift towards everything dark and moody. Give her a character and she will take pleasure in breaking them down, digging into their core to find what lies underneath.

Aside from writing, E.K. Blair finds pleasure in music, drinking her Starbucks in peace, and spending time with her friends. She’s a thinker, an artist, a wife, a mom, and everything in between.