Daddy's Curse: A Sex Trafficking True Story of an 8-Year Old Girl

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Reader's Favorite 5-Star Award

''It's remarkable that a book this compact can leave you reeling and overwhelmed with sadness at the atrocities one human being can inflict upon another. And when the victims of those atrocities are children who haven't even hit puberty, as in the case of Yuna in Daddy's Curse: A Harrowing True Story of an Eight Year Old Girl Human Sex Trafficking and Organized Crime Survivor by Luke G. Dahl, that sadness becomes a kind of despair, as the questions of how to stop such atrocities bring no answers.

Yuna is kidnapped, along with a bunch of other children, off the streets of Mongolia and carted away to become a sex slave as part of a human trafficking ring. What Yuna and her slave-mates endure is vile. No amount of stories now emerging as a result of the #MeToo movement comes close to what one will read in Daddy's Curse. And just why is this book titled "Daddy's Curse"? That is the twist at the end of Yuna's story that truly makes your stomach turn.

This book is a very fast read, but an unforgettable one. It's a story where children's trust is forever misplaced and, after a while, it seems it doesn't even matter to the victims anymore, as survival depends on going along with whatever life is doling out to you. Of course, we all know better: it matters, and how! But until these trafficked children are old enough and can somehow find a way to escape their lives, they put up and shut up while they die a little more inside with every rape and atrocity inflicted on their young bodies.

Daddy's Curse is most definitely not a book for those who want to believe all is good in our world. It most definitely isn't. The world needs books like this to raise awareness and hopefully, in doing so, it will prompt people to come forward and work toward finding some solutions to human trafficking. Thank you, Luke G. Dahl, for bringing us another important book on a dreadful social issue.

***Reviewed By Viga Boland for Readers' Favorite

5 stars award

Daddy's Curse 2: A Young Boy Who Has Survived Child Slavery Remembers

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Reader's Favorite 5-Star Award

When I received a request from Luke G. Dahl, author of Daddy's Curse 2 to review his second book on child trafficking in Mongolia, China and Thailand, I didn't hesitate to select it once it became available. I hadn't forgotten how hard his first book, Daddy's Curse, had hit me: he'd kept me glued to that true story, which I read in one sitting. Daddy's Curse 2 affected me the same way: I couldn't stop reading it. If you've read the first book, you might remember Od, whose story is told here. Od was sold by his grandmother when not quite a teen, then kidnapped along with three other very young girls by sex traffickers. In the first book, we followed the story of Yuna, one of the girls. Dahl now picks up the rest of the story of these unfortunate children but centers the tale on Od's experience.

Initially, Od is beaten and sexually used by a wealthy, ruthless man who not only prostitutes the young girls, but is a major distributor of all kinds of drugs. Escape from this perverted magnate is near impossible: the children are constantly under surveillance and corrupt police turn a blind eye. Od lives with and serves his "owner" for several years during which time he sees disobedience punished by death and his fellow female companions becoming accustomed to but hardened by their horrid life. But all the children, including Od, never stop hoping to escape. One beautiful young girl even gives up and hangs herself. When his master takes on a new young boy as his sex toy, Od is kept on as a trusted servant. Once the master takes them all to his other grand accommodations in Bangkok to continue his sex and drug trafficking, a now nearly adult Od's desire to escape and help a couple of the girls do the same becomes overwhelming. To escape, he needs someone to trust but who can he trust?

In these days of the enlightening "MeToo" movement, it's amazing there are still thousands of people who don't believe sexual abuse happens. Yet, young boys and girls are constantly disappearing from the streets of our own North American cities. The true stories Luke G. Dahl shares in Daddy's Curse and Daddy's Curse 2 did indeed take place in faraway lands, but it's highly likely that what these unfortunate children experienced could happen to our children any time, anywhere. Increase your awareness: read both books. They are short in length but long on impact. Daddy's Curse 2 is another engaging but heartbreaking read.

***Reviewed By Viga Boland for Readers' Favorite

Daddys' Curse 3 - The Birth of A Monster

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Reader's Favorite 5-Star Award

If you've read the first two books in this series by Luke. G. Dahl, you will remember the pedophile Bat Erdene, a wealthy child and drug trafficker whom you met, and most likely loathed in Daddy's Curse 2. Well, now, in the final book of the series, Daddy's Curse 3, you will learn how and why Bat Erdene became the monster he was. Will you come away liking him more? Probably not. But you will have a better understanding of how much a father's authority and actions affect a young boy's future thinking and behaviour.

Born into wealth and social status, Erdene was an arrogant, but highly intelligent youngster with a strong sense of entitlement, who loved his mother and revered but feared his father. Bat's father angered easily and was so horribly abusive to his wife. As he grew into adulthood, he was fueled by his father's mantra that if he wanted to succeed in life, he had to make people submit to and obey his will, and severely punish those who disobeyed. As much as he didn't want to be like his father, Bat Erdene became a monster.

Those who have read the first two books will recognize some of the people whom we meet again in Daddy's Curse 3. It's not necessary to have read those books, but curious readers will be tempted to find out what they've missed by not reading them. Do it. Grab copies of both books. While the content is disturbing, often stomach-turning, the style of writing is simple and easy to read. All three books are short, but provocative and unforgettable. Book club members unafraid of discussing the ugly realities faced by too many victims of sexual and other abuse, along with man's never-ending inhumanity to others, will find plenty of material in this series by Luke. G. Dahl. Highly recommended.

Gangs of Stockholm - A Fallen Angel

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Reader's Favorite 5-Star Award

From Luke G. Dahl, author of Daddy’s Curse 1 and 2, comes the first of a new 3-part series centered on the Gangs of Stockholm. Like his other books, this one is also non-fiction, the memoir of a young man, Eric, adopted by a good Swedish family who want only the best for their children, and who, by all accounts, provided a positive environment for Eric and his sister. The Eric we meet when the story opens is a polite, well-behaved teen who one day stands up for a bullied classmate. Unfortunately, the bullies Eric takes on are part of a gang. His Good Samaritan act opens the door to a life Eric never anticipated. His efforts to raise dollars extorted by the high school gang end up involving him with a truly dangerous criminal gang. By the time he is an adult, Eric has become a drug mule, a cocaine user and a murderer sought by Stockholm police.

Gangs of Stockholm: A Fallen Angel is a not-so-nice coming of age story. Throughout Eric’s early descent into crime, he’s so charmingly naive that one almost wants to bop him over the head to wake him up. He’s so focused on being more like the heroes he admires in movies that he cannot see the reality of what he’s getting himself into. In that respect, Eric is similar to so many teens who will identify with his insecurities, rationale and motivations. It is, perhaps, for those teens that Dahl has written this book: if they read it, and I hope they do, they will see how easily a good kid can go bad. Dahl found writing this memoir “nerve-wracking” and “meaningful” and hopes it will “impact someone else’s life in a positive way”. I don’t see how it couldn’t! His style is what I call “sparse”, meaning it’s uncluttered, giving enough detail to keep the plot line clear and characters realistic while the story moves along at a rapid pace. Dahl makes it very easy for teen readers to get into the story and stay interested. I am a fan of Luke G. Dahl’s work. This is the third book of his that I’ve read and reviewed and I look forward to reading the others as he writes them. Well done!

***Reviewed By Viga Boland for Readers' Favorite