The Tied Man<— I went in to this one blind, and whoa. WHOA my friends!!!! *whooo* That was crazy! In fact, this was almost the first book that I almost DNF’d (did not finish) but would have still reviewed. Not to tell you how bad it was. Heck no. It was great. Sort of. 😉 I guess it depends on which part of my brain and/or my heart, you ask. I was consumed by it at a certain point. So much so that I thought there was no way I could carry on. Yes. I put it down and exclaimed to the world that I was done. Nope. No more of that for me! I was going to be a quitter and I was good with that.
But then… I remembered how much people seemed to LOVE it. The emotional part. This *thing* that had ’em all so riled up. It was LOVED by sooooo many of our fellow readers when it first came out and had been floating on my TBR list for so long… what was I missing?
Jenna: Hi Maryse – I wanted to recommend a book to you that I really enjoyed – it was intense! “The Tied Man” by Tabitha McGowan. It was one of those books for me that I couldn’t go to bed until I was done reading. There are very few books I give 5 stars too, let alone 4 stars…this one, for me, was a 5 star read. Definitely add to your TBR list.
sidenote from Maryse: And so I did. On my TBR list it went… and stayed… for a year. 😉 Yep. I was nervous.
Kristi: Loved the Tied man Jenna!! Very few books make me cringe and cover my eyes. This one did!!! Did you hear there is going to be a book two?? YEP!!!
Rebecca: My favorite guilty pleasure that I read this year was The Tied Man. Great writing, intriguing story, and wonderful characters.
Sharon: The Tied Man took me way out of my comfort zone but I loved the book. Broke my heart over and over again!!!
Britton: The tied man for me too!! It gutted me for many reasons and it was a change to have the female be the rescuer!!!
Aimee: OOH yes! I have been putting off doing a GR review of the Tied Man because I just don’t think I can do it justice. I read it weeks ago and it still haunts me.
Clare: The Tied Man by Tabatha McGowan. Beautifully written, heartbreaking, amazing!
Constance: Just completed reading “The Tied Man” – wow – This is a horror story and a fairytale – This book has strong intelligent characters, humor and horror (some hide behind your fingers – put your book in the freezer moments)!!! GREAT Read!
Constance: Just finished reading The Tied Man. It was a beautifully written book but at times hard to read because it was so disturbing. It’s not for the faint of heart. I hate to say I loved it because parts of it were so twisted but I really did. It was really good but definitely not for everyone.
Tiffany: Wow..So Great..And I wanted to Punch someone in the Face while reading this Book..I LOVED it..Made me soo Angry and Sad..and yet it was Uplifting with the Love thing…Its not a dark read but def an Uplifting read of total absolution and Love..
Darla: Has anyone suggested The Tied Man by Tabitha McGowan to you? Intense. It would be the book baby of Break Her and The Dark Duet. I LOVE dark, twisted and disturbing…but had to trust reviews to finish this one. I’m glad I did. It was powerful.
Tracie: Tied Man is one of my all time fave books. So haunting and so powerful.
Erin: Tied Man was a book I needed a support group for. Some parts hurt so bad. Loved it!
Yikes!! Right? How could I possibly resist this. How could I possibly quit it? I have recommendations upon recommendations for this one over the last year, but they all come with that fateful warning in one way or another. I knew had a feeling this was more than just a “dark-read”. I had a feeling there was something profound waiting for me amongst it’s torturous pain.
I had NO clue what it could possibly be about, so when I finally chose it this week… I went in blind (and that blindness scared me good! I was almost ready to ask for a spoiler…). And you know I’m not a spoiler-girl. I don’t even like to know if a book has an HEA or not, so I can experience the angst and pain in all of it’s glory. Except this one was proving to be a bit too much for me…
QUICK NOTE: Stop here if you like going into books blind and if you’re convinced and want to read this one (with my DARK READ warnings and all). You know I love me some dark reads, and this one was the hardest on me. I had at least two panic attacks while reading this, and one had me pretty much… quitting. Okay, sure, just for the day, but I was SURE I wasn’t going to be able to continue. Just to let you know. I did pick it back up. And for that reason, while I don’t give away any *exact* spoilers in the review, this whole review is about how I felt reading it, how crazy it gets, and the support my fellow readers gave me. ‘Cause now I’m digging into it, below. Okay, here goes:
So we decided to have a group-read. Kept hearing how dark and sad and scary and crazy and intense it was. How we’d need support. And we had each other (and I am SO thankful for that). It was a good albeit a bit of a slowish start, sure… (for a few of us, in fact…). Despite that, the writing was great, the characters, interesting, and the dialogue, just right, I knew I was about to ride the crazy-train eventually, so I was in!
Maryse: I’m reading one from an older TBR list of mine (brought back to my attention for my latest “Books That Made Us Cry” list! “The Tied Man” —> It’s SO good… maybe a tad *slowish* in the start but so well-written, and so unique and so intriguing that I know I’m gonna love it! I’m only a quarter in, so far, but this is gonna be crazy! AND! Considering the old recommendations I received for it when it was first released, I know this one’s gonna rock. My. World. YAY ME!!
side note from Maryse —> HA! Boy was I in for it!!! And I had NO clue… WE had no clue…
Maryse: May I just say… For “The Tied Man” I verrrrry much got a kick out of the rock star/ plane scene. Dialogue and all… *waggles eyebrows* *blush*
Jean: Lol Maryse…..I loved that scene too….. seemed very”doable”…haha!
Maryse: Okay so even though “The Tied Man” is a touch of a slow start for me, it’s so well-written, that I’m into it! I’m so curious as to how they’re gonna get out of this crazy mess.
Bev: Until now have felt disconnected. Some hard things going on but I felt removed from it. But now I’m feeling it. This chapter has me anxious and I’m not sure want to read it.
Jean: Bev, I felt that disconnection at first too. I am at 43% now but had to go to work. What I am struggling with is Lilith’s strength. How has she not broken down by now….no tears, no freakouts?!??! I know I would be a total mental case if I were in her shoes.
Maryse: Oh… The people are so horrible. Wretched! Horrific, depraved, indulgent psychos! Gross. (Not all, mind you. 3 make me want to cry for them)
Maryse: I’m at 50%. Oh and the author’s ability to describe the scenes. Amazing. Like the sounds that nasty gross freak was making while eating. “The snuffling sounds of a rooting truffle-pig.” Ugh. Perfectly described though. I can see each of these gluttonous nasties perfectly, and every scene is laid out clearly (and not irritatingly so). The only thing that irritates is this horrible predicament they’re in.
Maryse: Gah! Seriously u guys. I’ve been sufficiently warned about its darkness, and OMG it’s dark. But I’m dying for relief and it’s so well-written that I can’t stop. In the process, I’m also scared, disgusted, and so sad… And at times I feel like I just can’t anymore. And as much as I like horror movies, I don’t watch (or at least not anymore) “torture flicks” ’cause it’s just too much for me to see that kind of depravity. And now I feel like I’m IN one… Yet, this feels like a BIG story. Not just gratuitous “torture” fluff…
Maryse: Nope. I’m done. I can’t anymore. 53% and I’m out. Brilliantly written, this author is amazing. I just can’t.
Bev: Uh-oh. I’m slightly scared to start chapter 12 . And it goes that much darker? Hmmm.
Jean: Oh no Maryse!!!! I am at 45% and going back to it now on my lunch break. I’m sooooo scared!
Maryse: GAH! I know. I literally closed it down… started marching through the house saying. Nope Noooooppppe. Nope. I can’t do anymore. Husband says …”just finish it…” ’cause I told him how “good it was” and I’m all… “YOU FINISH IT!!!”
Amy: Aw, f%&$ing hell… I’m gonna toss my cookies. And cry. And use some mind bleach. Look familiar, Maryse https://www.reactiongifs.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/nope.gif GAHHHHHHHH!! *pulling hair*
LOL! Yep. That totally happened. a TOTAL public freakout (in front of my husband, in my blog comments and on my Facebook). Oh don’t get me wrong. The writing was brilliant. The story, vivid and cutting. Almost too vivid. Definitely too cutting. Awesome and yet… so disturbing. So sad, and at times bittersweet. At times hopeful. So many times… seemingly hopeless. But where it took me (at least at a certain point) just about drove me out of my head! Yep. I finally found a book that was almost too hardcore… even for me. Dark (just like what we’d expect in “dark” reads). But why was this one too much for me? I think it’s because the author is just that good at making us live it.
Billie: The Tied Man was so haunting and completely drained me emotionally. Let us know if you need support during this one!
Kristi: Maryse, this is one of my favorite books ever. Finn will break your heart and never let you forget him. Can’t wait to hear your thoughts and be a support if needed!
Maryse’s Book Blog: Guys… I don’t think support is gonna cut it.
Tabitha McGowan: Gin?
side note from Maryse —> LOL!!!!! Yeah.. maybe Gin would have worked. 😉
Billie: I know!! We weren’t kidding when we said you will need support! It’s so hard to read, but keep going, it’s such an emotional journey.
Tabitha McGowan: Breathe, grab a blankie and a large gin, and know that at about 76% you’ll have made it through. As unbelievable as it sounds right now, I love Finn too much to leave him in hell forever…
Maryse: Thank you guys. Maybe that’s enough support for me to get back to it. Wow…. I have never had that intense of a reaction to a book before (in terms of loving and absolutely hating it at the same time). I’ve had this feeling before but just not this intense, you know? I thought this might just be my first “DNF (but it’s an awesome book!)” review…
Kristi: I read this book a couple years ago and it has never left me. It’s haunting and intense and so beautifully written. The h is ones of the STRONGEST heroines ever. And, as I mentioned before, Finn will stay with you forever.
Tracie: Oh you have to go on!! You’ve gone this far! Lillith is the baddest heroine in the world and the last 20% will have you on the edge of your seat! Please please finish! You have to see sweet Finn get to the other side.
Okay… that was helping. And after a few hours break, I picked it back up. And put it back down. And picked it back up. LOL! The panic attacks were making me squirrel-y. *whoooooo* PHEW!!!!! Emotionally drained was NO exaggeration. This was a CRAZY-INTENSE (and at times, just plain ol’ crazy) read. I mean, you know. I knew “sort of” what I was getting into. I was warned it was very dark, but so emotional. Intense and heartbreaking. So I had the impression that it wasn’t your er… “typical” dark read. You know which ones i’m talking about. 😉 I went in absolutely blind. I didn’t read the synopsis, I just went off of the feelings I was syphoning from the recommendations. Went in, thinking it would be an exploration of the psyche. But it explored SO much more.
Amy: have to take a break. I’m not picking TTM back up until tonight when I can down a shot first. This one is just…just…ugh…I don’t think even Her Master’s Courtesan disturbed me this much. Maybe it did and I just don’t remember. If you need me, I’ll be rocking in the corner and squeezing my sweet faithful manatee… 😉
Maryse: I’ll be draped around your ankle… catatonically. Actually, the author saw my panic on Facebook and posted: “Breathe, grab a blankie and a large gin, and know that at about 76% you’ll have made it through…” So… take that for what you will. 😉
Maryse: I got by the bad part… YES yessssss I picked it up again. I couldn’t help it. And now I’m in a VERY good part. I’m scared!!! But it’s good.
Jean: Yay Maryse….so proud of you! And Amy’s not even sharing her manatee!
Amy: *pulling Maryse from my ankle and into the blanket cave* Are you joining us, Jean? 😉
Maryse: *Maryse scrambling to re-latch onto Amy’s ankle… being dragged into the blankie cave* Don’t leeeeaaaaave meeeeeeee!!!!!
Amy: LOL!!! You’re so freaked out you didn’t realize I was pulling you *into* the blankie cave with me!! *reaching out of blankie cave for Jean* Oh, believe me, Jean…the manatee is in the cave with us.
Cheryl: Ok I’ve started TTM. *Reaching hand out to Amy…don’t let go…dragging blankie and drink with me.
Michelle: OMG!!!! Am I starting it or not? Maryse (who loved Captive in the Dark and Mud Vein) walked away because it was getting too dark? Do I spend and try to catch up to all of you or not? I don’t want disturbing just to be disturbing! There has to be a purpose. Now…. go to the dark side or not? You guys are ooh-ing and ah-ing but not saying if it’s worth it for others!!!
Maryse: There’s a purpose. It’s just hard to see the light through the tunnel of very verrrrrrrry dark. I’m 60-something percent in and will be picking it back up tonight. Let’s just say I’m glad I took my break, I needed it. But I’m even happier to be back in again…
Fabi: Michelle, personally, I think it’s worth it. I’m only at 25%. I am glad that I’m not reading it alone. It’s one that just MAKES you want to vent, call your friends, and like Amy and Michelle, hide under a blankie. I would recommend it (as a dark read) because the author is extremely talented. Not to be missed.
Amy: Michelle, I’m not finished with TTM yet but I say join us! *sticking ankle out of blankie cave* Maryse is still clinging to the other ankle, and I just pulled Jean and Cheryl in here with us, LOL!! Seriously though, I say read it but have something light and sweet ready for right after. Oh! Fabi is in the cave, too!
Laura: *raises eyebrows* can I just say I told u all so!!! I’m doing this ttm torture for the second time! I’m Scottish btw so if any slang problems just let me know I can learn u all new bad words *giggles* Ok I’m coming to the cave with tissues and vodka u will all need both!! Any other requests?
Jean: I am at 67% with tears in my eyes……”My pulse”…. you guys will know what I mean when you get to it!!! I can’t put this book down now!!!!
Fabi: 28% and hiding in the darkest tiniest corner of Amy’s blankie cave cause I KNOW it’s gonna get worser and worser and my tummy is gonna hate me. Ooohhh I have some wine left. Maybe I should drink before starting back up tonight. No, wait, that will make me even more emotional. Nix that.
Amy: Oh my…75%…*sob* I’m clinging to the author’s comment about the 76% point ’cause what the actual f&$k!!!! I’ll take that wine off your hands, Fabi.
Laura: I can’t do this again chapter 23 is making me cry again and I’m not even on it yet but I just don’t think I can do it but I will support u all through it. . . . Ehem carry on
Fabi: Laura, Laura! LAURA, Lauraaaa, you of all people cannot abandon ship. No, nope, no siree. C’on ladies drag Laura back and pin her down. Spook not fair for you to quit. You’re the only one who knows without a doubt it gets better and is worth the pain.
Maryse: Yep. I’m feeling sick again…
Amy: *passes stuffed manatee to Maryse*
Maryse: *Snuffles into the already damp manatee* He’s so squishy. I’m so devastated….
Bev: This book is making me suspicious of everyone. I’m side eyeing ladies with Labrador sweaters.
Cheryl: Not as far along in TTM and scared. I have all the tough devastating “stuff” to get thru. I don’t mind a soggy manatee… tell me again why we do this to ourselves…
Jean: I don’t know why we do this to ourselves! Whose idea was it to read this one anyway? Need to finish….
Maryse: Cheryl… because we are book-masochists.
Amy: “Whose idea was it to read this one anyway?” <———- *snort* *looking innocent* Yeah, whose idea was it *snort* Um, snuggle anyone? *sheepishly holding out stuffed manatee*
Hehe! I LOVE you guys!!!! ALL of y’all! I had support from both my Facebook crew (that had already read it), and my “group-read” crew. And I NEEDED IT! And obviously we all did… ahhhhh that conversation keeps on going, but just to give y’all an idea if you haven’t read it yet, but want to. Get yourself a “group-read” going with like-minded book-readers that like “this kind of crazy”. 😉
So yeah, there was the 2nd panic attack. 😉 By a certain point in that book, we were ALL huddled in Amy’s “virtual blankie cave”, and freaking out together. Quite a sweet and fun group-read if you… you know. Take away the horrific parts. 😉
Maryse: Okay… y’all that saw my panic attack earlier this afternoon… I said I was done with it (even though I loved the writing), but that my love/hate relationship with this book was too much for my delicate sensibilities. Yes, even I have my “dark limits” and I put that sucker down. Nope. I. Was. Done. But y’all told me to pick it back up, and I got passed it!! That extra-dark part, and I’m SO into it right now. I’m at 65%. Wish me luck, ’cause some of our fellow readers that are reading along are freaking out again (and they are in the 70% area). *gasp* I’m scared again!!!!
Jennifer: For some reason, this made me one-click, but I’m now completely terrified to start it…so, thanks?
Rita: Maryse, I feel what you are feeling. I read this book when it first came out….every feeling and emotion is as if I just read it.That feeling in my stomach….
Jennifer: Even though there are tough parts to read, the story is just too good to walk away from.
Sabrina: Yes…. I put the book down at that point too… I was so sick to my stomach…but I picked it up the next day…& finished… I probably won’t do a reread !! Lol…
Heather: Just one-clicked! Ahhh, scared!!
Tracie: You still have a ways to go…but it’s so fantastic
Erica: Acheron and Styxx by sherrilyn Kenyon were pretty dark- to the point I almost stopped. Worse than those books?
Maryse’s Book Blog: Okay some parts are very much like Acheron, and if you read Outlander, remember the last part of the book? You know. That. Like those. Very much. Darker at times, but about right in the comparison…
Jen: I love dark books … Love them ! This was right at the top of the dark ones to me
Natasha: Oh my god you are finally reading this! There are no words to describe how intensely, shockingly, frightenly wonderful this book is. This book is number one in my list of dark reads and very high in all time favorite books. Yes. It’s a very hard read but soooo worth it!!!!!! Stay with it. Don’t stop.
Melissa: Damn, I just bought it. All this talk sucked me in. I just gotta read this.
Lori: Yes, I read a lot of dark books, but this one felt way up there dark
Brenda: I totally panic attacked with this book too but well worth finishing. This book shook me hard!!!!
Natasha: Yes. It’s dark but the interaction between the hero and heroine is just gorgeous and she has some humor in it as well which gives you a break from the dark stuff.
Salina: This one was tough for me too but I’m so glad I stuck with it. Don’t give up!
Alright guys. I trusted y’all and I didnt give up, and I read it to it’s very end! YAY ME!! But boy oh boy did you have to pick me up off the proverbial floor…
Oh yeah right!! What’s it about? Craziness. That’s what. But in short-form (but more detailed), she’s a hugely famous artist (kind of seems a bit reclusive) that goes to a sort of a… oh I dunno… “resort” type-thing (spa-like for the rich and famous?). Anyway, she’s been commissioned by the female owner to paint HER, so that’s why she goes (but it’s a bit more complicated than that). You’ll see why. And once she gets there, she soon realizes she’s in trouble. BIG trouble. And all hell pretty much breaks loose from thereon out. At least for me. Mind you, there are bits of relief, and sweetness, and a sort of “friendship” between three victims there, but when things get bad, my friends. They get REALLY bad. Like… I mean. Probably one of the, if not THE darkest read I’ve read (that isn’t horror). Er… wait. Is this horror?
So all that to say… YIKES! I don’t even know how to review this. I had a massive love/hate relationship with this story (all the while, knowing that this author is incredibly talented), and I AM happy to have finished it. Would I read it again? Not on your life. 😉
Yep. This one was a tough one to swallow, my friends, and while it did make me feel like crazy… it also made me feel… CRAZY.
4 stars! (5 stars for the intensity, 5 stars for the author’s wonderful writing, and 5 stars for freaking me out like that – good job!! But also… 3 stars for freaking me out like that, too. And making me feel like that. Eeeeep! Also a bit of a slow start for me – and some of us, and a bit of an abrupt ending considering all we had been through, so that reflects the overall star rating).