Author: K.M. Szpara
Pub. Date: March 3rd 2020
Genre: Adult Sci-Fi/Dystopia/LGBTQIAP+
Pages: 496 Pages
GOODREADS | BARNES & NOBLES | AMAZON
🖤ARC provided by author in exchange for an honest review🖤
Having heard so much about this Dystopian Sci-Fi & its heavier themes I was driven to request a eGalley from Tor. Thankfully the Book Gods delivered & I found myself flipping through digital pages faster than I have any book in quite some time. We get introduced to this society where the elite have found a way to settle debt & that is through a system of what can only be called sex slavery. Whether you owe mortgage payments, student loans, or bills there is a way to settle your debt & avoid being dragged away by the police. Marriage is down because debt is transferrable, therefore families with shared surnames are rare. We meet our MC Elisha whose parents have incurred enough debt to no longer be able to evade the authorities. His mother has settled some debt when she signed up & completed 10 years as a Docile. She’s never been the same since her time as a Docile because of the drug taken while under contract. Dociline is the invention of one of the MOST elite families & is promoted in order to make Dociles more submissive. Elisha decides he is going to take over the family debt & sign up to be a Docile. He plans on excerising his right to decline Dociline. Elisha had no idea he’d be signing to be Alexander Bishop the III’s Docile, the very man working on the next version of the drug Dociline. Nonetheless they enter a life long contract & Alexander sets out to prove that he can get Elisha to be a well behaved submissive. There are some very dark & heavy themes that play out in this book like consensual non-consent, rape, PTSD, verbal & physical abuse, attempted suicide & torture. This is a Sci-fi with BDSM featuring a male/male partnership of sorts.
Elisha Wilder – We don’t get much time with Elisha before he sets off to be a Docile so it’s pretty hard to form a picture of him other than he was very inexperienced. Elisha is Gay & at the time of signing up to be a Docile has not kissed or had sex with anyone. I had this feeling the entire time that Elisha was in way over his head & I honestly wanted to protect him. Elisha is very naive & experiences so much trauma it legit broke my heart.
Alexander Bishop III – Son to one of the MOST elite families & a Scientist who is always working on the next version of Dociline. Alex has some very big shoes to fill with his father at the helm of huge corporation. He’s a bachelor expected to marry soon if he is to be taken seriously. At the very least, he is to take on a companion or Docile to be seen in social circles with. The pressure is something that drives him to do things that don’t really match up with his authentic self. Regardless, Alex easily becomes my least favorite fictional character.
My experience with Docile at best can be described as a non-stop page turner I could NOT turn away from. Considering our MC has declined Dociline for personal reasons, we then have to see his rapid decline into total submission. This is to say that we see him broken down bit by bit until he’s this empty vessel. Elisha endures so much humiliation, torture & outright rape that it legit hurts your soul. Towards the midway point (as with almost any Dystopian story) we do get introduced to the opposition. By then however, Elisha is so far gone in submission that he’s absolutly petrified at the very notion of accepting help. He isn’t even aware that he needs the help being extended & at that, those offering also have questionable tactics. I truly felt Elisha was utterly alone all throughout & was hoping he’d get to take back his power by the end. Although we do get a version of this, the ending still left me feeling very uncomfortable. Overall, I’d say this book was unlike anything I’ve ever read & I’d probably give any future works a shot. If you’re looking for a compulsive read & are in the right headspace (please check out the content warnings), this is one Sc-Fi that will leave quite the impression.
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