Stacey is Sassy received a complimentary copy of this story. The copy provided was not the final version and may be subject to edits and changes
Published by KD Publishing on April 15, 2016
Genres: Dark Romance, Paranormal/Fantasy Romance
“Move like the wind, protect your face, keep your eyes on the target, and don’t get dead.”
I am the daughter of a King,but I am no princess.I am loathed by many,but feared by more.To one I was nothing,to another I am everything.I am a pawn in their game,a fighter in their ring.My name is Nada,and this is life in the underworld.
“If your heart still beats and air still fills your lungs, you keep fighting.”
I am the son to good people,But I am not a good person.Blood stains my hands,Murder marks my soul.To one, I am everything,To others, I am nothing.I am a soldier of death,A dark assassin in their prison.My name is Shadow,And this is life in the Underworld.
A standalone Dystopian novel
Due to sexual content, violence and bad language, this book is recommended for readers 18 years +
There are 'flashbacks' of a rape scene that may be triggers for some readers.
When Nothing Is All You’ve Got
When Nothing and Shadow come together…there is HOPE.
WoW!! I’m not sure I can do this book justice with my little old words. When Nothing Is All You’ve Got sure does pack a punch. This book was gritty and dark, but I never felt smothered in its darkness. I did not feel claustrophobic when I was pushed down into the bowels of the earth where there was no light to be found, I was led by a beacon…Nothing. How can a father call his child Nada, specifically to make her know that she is nothing to him? Why would a man make his daughter feel unloved and disrespected? Even in the end I never understood why the King would hate his daughter so much that he would make pain the one constant in her life. Nada has learnt to be strong, tough and emotionally shut off. If she shows happiness, sadness or love in any way, it is used against her. People she loved were killed or forced against her just to make sure she knew her place in life, being owned by Kingsley…King of the Underworld.
I was mad at Nada’s father and what he forced her to be, but I can see that some of the alternatives were a lot worse. The Underworld is not a nice place to be. It is where all criminals are sent when they have committed a crime. The world is a different place in this story and it is run/ruled only seeing black and white and definitely no grey. If you committed a crime, it didn’t matter if there was a valid reason, you still committed a crime. This means that the Underworld is full of the worst time of criminals and others who may have made bad choices but are not really bad people. They try to identify them and segregate them, but when it comes down to it, they are all there together.
The Underworld is run by Kingsley and his soldiers. Kingsley came to his power because he knew how to kill and abuse his way to the top. His soldiers serve him because of the freedoms and luxuries afforded them for their blind obedience. This is not a nice place to live and if you’re a woman…it’s even worse.
Nada is a cage fighter. Her role is to entertain the masses. She is undefeated but works bloody hard to be the best. Kingsley keeps her alive because she wins, which means he wins. Nada’s trainer Dejohn has been the closest person to her and more like a father to her than Kingsley. Dejohn tries his hardest to protect her as much as he can, which is to make her faster, meaner and cold as ice.
Kingsley’s soldiers take advantage of their positions. Nada is treated badly by them because they see first-hand Kingsley’s disdain and rejection. It is not uncommon for Kingsley to have Nada whipped and beaten for infractions of his rules. Nada is used as an example of what can happen to you if you don’t bow down to the King. There is a hands-off rule applied to Nada but that was only put in place after she was attacked and the rule is only put there by Kingsley because her recovery took away time she could have been fighting.
Pretty much Nada’s life SUCKED. She is not afraid of dying and at times would almost welcome the escape. She perseveres and keeps going because she HOPES one day that she can help some of the Innocents who are there through no fault of their own, escape. She protects them as much as she can but eventually gets help from an unlikely source.
Shadow is one of Kingsley’s soldiers. He came to the Underworld not as the worst type of criminal, but in time he realised that he must become one of the worst to survive. Shadow is Kingsley’s right-hand man which gives him a place of power, but also puts him in Nada’s path. He is attracted to her strength and courage, knows he shouldn’t but can’t help but be drawn to her. He has seen her at her worst, helped to save her and saw her become his tough girl.
I found this review extremely hard to write. I can’t explain how much When Nothing Is All You’ve Got moved me. Yes, at times my stomach turned seeing what Nada had to face and live through. There is violence, degradation and abuse. Death is dealt with on a daily basis by the good and the bad. We see Nada keep on keeping on hoping that she will survive and be able to get to a better place and we see Shadow pretty much wake up and try to get back to being the person he was before the Underworld. While at times this story is ugly, it made the beauty stand out more prominently. When you find someone you want to keep, you protect them as much as you can and hope that you’ll survive together.
When Nothing Is All You’ve Got is a love story with all its grisly, gross and disgusting darkness, but eventually the roses petals unfold and Nothing becomes Something.