Spoiler Free Summary: Victim with a Capital V by Scott Sigler is the thirteenth story in the Unfettered II Anthology. Lisa is a Victim. Yes, she was once a victim, but then she was trained to become something more, an avenger. She trained her whole life to prepare for the day she came face to face with the man who hurt her. That day has just arrived. What will she do? There are others nearby who are showing a bit too much interest in her as well. What will they do?
Character: I actually like Lisa. She’s not the driven killer most stories make characters like her out to be. In fact, that’s why this story is unique. Here she is faced with her “opportunity for vengeance,” and she doesn’t respond the way most books portray it. There’s a fine line between “weak” or “stereotyped” women and characters who simply have every right to be afraid or sad. I affirm that people may be over sensitive to women being emotional. In Caught, my book, Sal, a man, cries plenty. No one has ever said he was too weak. But Kaitlyn, a teenager, sheds one tear and some people declare her type cast. But, there is a point at which people need to evaluate a female character to see if they’re being too weak. I advise authors to listen carefully to their editors when this is mentioned. Don’t be over defensive, but don’t be quick to make changes either. Just listen carefully.
I think the author does a great job of letting a traumatic event actually be traumatic. This story has nice development. I’d read another story about Lisa if it were out there (time and TBR list permitting).
Exposition: This was probably a little heavy handed in my opinion. I really felt like the story was great. I didn’t need the additional context that was there, but that’s just me. There wasn’t so much exposition that I felt the story came to a screeching halt, but I definitely noticed it.
Worldbuilding: This was standard rouge’s tale. This might be early Earth history or it might be a different planet. I don’t know. Neither changes the plot very much. Now, if it was a different world or setting (and not just historical), I would have been happier with a bit more world building instead of the exposition I got. It’s possible that was the author’s goal, but it fell short.
Dialogue: This was good. It wasn’t the greatest dialogue I’ve ever read, but it might be the second best dialogue in the book (all respect to Dresden and crew). The characters had unique voices, and I appreciated that. The narrator may have helped in this regard, but the words and style were still unique.
Description: This probably could have had a bit more description. I can’t tell you what Lisa looks like, but I have a pretty solid memory of the other men around her. I’d assert that if I felt it needed more, it probably did because I never really want that much description in any story.
Overall: This is one of the better stories in the anthology. I’d definitely read more about Lisa, and I’d probably be willing to read more from the author (again, time and TBR permitting). It’s a great vengeance story with plenty of action and drama.
Thanks for reading