While I'm taking a bit of a break from the season, I invite you to enjoy a little WTH Holiday mayhem as my dark half, Foster Medina, and his messed up literary diversions break out of their Friday dungeon, filling the season with the bizarre, the twisted, the grotesque, and the kinky. Enjoy!
Silver, but I'm damned glad that I finally found time to give it a read. This is big, intricate, plot-driven science fiction, complete with a diverse cast of well-developed characters, and a whole lot of kinky sex. In terms of sheer eroticism, this may be the most imaginative novel I've ever come across, but what's truly exciting is that Darcy Abriel does it all within the context of a powerful dystopian sci-fi thriller.
Here we have a future city by the name of Quentopolis, a place where cybernetic augmentation has become so commonplace that a 50% threshold has been established between citizen and property. Ruled by the human members of the Politico, it's facing a violent rebellion from the Metallitionist Resistance, who argue that no amount of modification should reduce one to a life of slavery. It's a story of the fight for justice, but it's also a story of the thirst for revenge. Ulterior motives abound (on both sides of the divide), and appearances most certainly are almost always deceiving.
Lel Kesselbaum is not just a high-ranking member of the Politico, he's also part of an erotic, BDSM-driven segment of the nobility known as the Dominatae. Cold, distant, and cruel at first glance, he's a man with some genuine complexity beneath the surface. Watching him develop through the course of the story is utterly fascinating. His rival in the tale, the protagonist to his antagonist, is Entreus, a mechanized Orictian warrior who now leads the Metallitionist Resistance. Mechanically augmented to be the perfect warrior, and trained in the fine arts of killing, he's at odds with his own cause in seeking a peaceful means of driving change from within the system itself.
Connecting these two men is the character of Silver herself - and she is where the story gets really interesting. One of those citizens who crossed the mechanical threshold, she has been further modified by her owner, Kesselbaum, into a creature of impossible beauty - a humanotic, genderfluid sex goddess with a silver-tipped phallus. She has been conditioned to both give and receive pleasure, and trained in the arts of both dominance and submission, making her an effective tool for his political maneuverings. She is still human at heart, however, which complicates matters when she's assigned to master the secrets of Entreus, and finds herself falling in love with his reluctant submission to her Trinex charms.
Alternately violent and erotic, Silver is a story that more than delivers on its promise. There is a stellar sci-fi thriller here, with enough twists and surprises to keep even the most jaded reader entertained, along with a truly inventive erotic romance, with each new sexual innovation topping the one before it. Check your expectations and your inhibitions at the door, because this is a story that will take you to some strangely exciting places. There's a sequel - Haevyn - set in the same world, but with a different cast of characters, so I'll have to put that on the TBR pile.
Paperback, 264 pages
Published November 1st 2011 by Samhain Publishing