No One Rides for Free (Absolutely Disgusting Splatter Horror)


I found myself pondering what the best way to start my New Year’s off with, looked in my TBR, and made the decision that a short and sweet Judith Sonnet special would do the trick. Let’s just say, would I class it as “the best way?” I don’t actually know. Books like this make it hard to explain your feelings. Did I enjoy it? No. Did I think the writing, the idea of the story, the feelings I felt whilst reading it, is what made the book good? I think so! No One Rides for Free goes past so many boundaries, and I feel like it’s definitely a book to see how far you are willing to push yourself.  The story starts out with a car journey including mother Jodi, and two children, Ralph and Poppy. When Jodi takes a pitstop for petrol and snacks, she spends a little too long flirting with the attendant and an unwelcome surprise enters the story. When Jodi reaches her car and drives off, her kids are acting out of character, and it’s only when “The Man” makes his vile presence known. Whilst the whole book is rancid, it isn’t until around page 45 when there’s a mid-read warning page (see below before a sample), and honestly rightfully so. I know from previous books written by Judith, she doesn’t do trigger warnings lightly, so I knew that this meant the story was about to go to a place that I wasn’t sure I wanted to continue.


“No! NO! NO!” The Man wailed.  Jodi’s teeth sunk into his flesh. Blood burst into her mouth, filling it and traveling down her throat. She didn’t care about which diseases he may or may not have carried, all she cared about was the fact that she was hurting him.  Jodi yanked her head back and skinned his penis with her teeth. The meat seemed to slough off the muscle, exposing pink and red tendons and spongy material. Then, Jodi was free of The Man, and The Man was freed from his organ.”


But I did, and it was truly 100x more awful than I expected. This read is brutal, sickening, traumatizing. Nothing could make me read it again, but it made me feel so angry, it made me feel disgusted. This is why I continued reading despite how horrific it was. Nothing beats reading a book that makes you feel something, no matter what the feeling is. Judith manages every time to write gruesomely, but add characters that make the reader feel emotions, and sometimes that’s what’s missing from extreme horror books. Although the ending of No One Rides for Free is less than happy, there are survivors, and the small win of that kind of perked me up by a small amount. The pit in my stomach made me feel sad for the characters left, I couldn’t imagine living normally after even enduring a tenth of what happened during this story. The villain, known as just “The Man” is purposely written to anger the reader, and for me he definitely did. A line he says made me need to put it down because of my anger from his obnoxious and arrogant brutality. “I do this because I love being hated.” It goes without saying that the description of brutality and gore is above and beyond the levels most people can stand. This is not anything new for Judith Sonnet. This one just takes it to an even higher level, meaning even a smaller minority can probably finish it. Is it an accomplishment? Maybe. I definitely want a medal and perhaps some therapy on the side.


Judith Sonnet Official Instagram

Written by Arianne, Sovereign Deity of the Damned

Noe One Rides for Free (2022)
Judith Sonnet
Cover Art: Unknown
4 / 5