Title: Hierarchy of Needs: Sculptor Series Part II
Author: Christa Wojciechowski
Publisher: Christa Wojciechowski
Published: November 15, 2022
Part two of this wildly psychological series on the strength and depths of addiction continues Ona Price’s journey. She returns to the seedy underbelly of the drug scene due to the tragic event that closed book one. Her methadone will soon wear off while confined to the Plaza Hotel with Antoni, Oz, and Dr. Carver if she doesn’t do something fast. As the withdrawal symptoms take over, Ona fears everyone becoming aware of her addiction. She can’t have that and thus sneaks out of the hotel to meet Jojo, who will give her the much-needed dose to tide her over.
A woman who once celebrated Sonia Orlyk’s birthday gliding through her opulent house in a stunning gown soon finds herself hiding out at an apartment in Alphabet City with a group of Puerto Rican drug dealers. She currently shares a residence with four men—Jojo, Fatty, Lobo, Decoy—and Lobo’s mother who prepares the meals. Dazed most days and sleeping until eleven a.m., Ona returns to her toxic schedule.
Now Antoni is combing the streets of Manhattan in search of her.
We get a deeper glimpse into the internal darkness of drug usage from Ona’s and the other characters’ perspectives in book two, which is much more action-packed. Mr. Orlyk is also unhappy about what happened to his wife and intends to exact the most heinous retribution.
However, even though Ona’s circumstances are worse, it is refreshing to observe her in a world apart from the time she spends with Aunt Vee, the methadone clinic, the sculptor, and his estate.
Ona battles her addiction in Oblivion Black from a position of contentment. She believes she is cleaner than she actually is because of the methadone. She is enjoying her job, driving Aunt Vee’s lovely car, and developing feelings for Antoni. She is on the verge of becoming one of the “normies,” or non-drug users, and everything is flowing.
While this might seem like a good thing, it is the challenges we face that develop our character. So, Ona might have been doing well on the surface, but underneath, she was not really facing her addiction.
In Hierarchy of Needs, Ona is forced to confront both her own and other people’s demons when she descends to the bottom and must use all of her might to claw her way to the top. As the stakes rise and the threats multiply, more interesting characters are introduced.
While book two picks off where book one leaves (and it would be better to have read book one), book two is also a journey in itself. And while Ona and Antoni’s romance takes on a lesser role, I liked it because it highlighted the darkness that readers of dark literature may have been hoping for in the first book, which for most of the story, reads like a romance novel.
Once again, the author does a fantastic job illustrating withdrawal and the filthiness of life with addiction. It is poetic the way she weaves Ona’s words together.
“But if I accepted it as my god, if it was a sacrament to give and take of pleasure and pain, doing it would be an offering and getting sick would be sacrifice, and overdose martyrdom. Dealing would be the job of a missionary, to teach the ritual and spread its dichotomic communion. It was a way to worship any god.”
– Ona Price, Hierarchy of Needs
You’ll get chills down your spine and goosebumps on your skin after learning what happens to people who become addicted to the Russian Sleep Experiment.
It. is. wild.
Much of the specifics of book two are predicated on what happened at the end of book one, so I have to leave it here to not spoil it for you. But, if you liked book one, you haven’t seen anything yet. The second book is a wild ride.
(You can read my review for book one here!)
But it’s not over. Christa’s got a part three on the way!
Plot Movement / Strength: 5/5
Entertainment Factor: 5/5
Authenticity / Believable: 4/5
Thought Provoking: 5/5
Overall Rating: 5 / 5 stars
Grab Part 2 from Amazon Here.
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