This is not actually a review of K. M. Szpara’s Docile.
It’s a review of what the novel doesn’t deal with and what people are clearly getting out of it in publishing and fandom spaces.
Docile is a near-future dystopian work of erotic science fiction where people in debt sell themselves into something that’s in-between indentured servitude and the horrors of the historic slavery in the United States. The book revolves around Elisha – who sells himself into debt so that his younger sister won’t be subjected to the traumatizing effects of service – and Alex – the trillionaire who buys Elisha, tries to break him, and then… quelle suprise… falls in love with him.
The novel reminds me of Captive Prince and Ai no Kusabi, two series that deal with male/male relationships and sexual(ized) slavery in one capacity or another within the main story… and the fandom responses to both of those things absolutely reminds me of Docile’s intense early defenders who’ve already shown up to fret about “antis” coming for their slavefic.
(And when the antis in question include Black people and anti-racist allies simply annoyed at yet another white author going “look at this thing that happened to Black people, what if something similar happened to my white main characters”… Yikes.)
I adore Stephanie. ADORE. Stephanie is an up and coming urban fantasy writer who takes trope and genre subversion to a whole other level with her Harrietta Lee series. I’ve reviewed Bloodbath and Deadline before and a constant across both reviews is how much I can’t stop loving Harry’s ridiculous ass. I don’t know if I want to be her bossy friend or gently kiss her face (or both??).
I spent a lot of time reading Bloodbath (Harrietta Lee #2) and wondering how on earth Harry manages to make it from one day to the next. To be fair, I’m pretty sure that she has no idea how she’s managed to survive as long as she has either.
In case y’all somehow missed me talking her up, Stephanie Ahn is currently my favorite urban fantasy writer in the game.
Her first book, Deadline, left me stunned by how amazing it was. My introduction to Harry, a dashing and disgraced witch booted from her community after making a bad call and dabbling in some demonic magic that led to the death of her mentor, really changed the way that I flat out looked at the urban fantasy genre.Read More »
Pretend this review went up uh… yesterday as I lost track of days again… Please and thank you.
Em Ali’s Graham’s Delicacies is a super cute follow-up to her previous book Soft on Soft. This collection is home to a trio of interconnected stories about the various intimate relationships between the people work at the titular bakery.
I got a copy of the collection from the author in exchange for an honest review and the chance to read a book about non-binary cuties, so let’s get started by diving into the stories!Read More »
Note: This short review contains some spoilers for the previous book in the series.
Lies Sleeping, the seventh novel in Ben Aaronovitch’s Rivers of London series, is so good that I stayed up until 3 or 4 in the morning – on a day I had to wake up at 5:30am – to finish it. Aaronovitch’s Rivers of London series is one of my all-time favorite urban fantasy series and the list of things I love about it would take up several single spaced pages in one of my notebooks.Read More »
Alyssa Cole returns with a fun, sexy romance novella in the Reluctant Royals series!
While her boss the prince was busy wooing his betrothed, Likotsi had her own love affair after swiping right on a dating app. But her romance had ended in heartbreak, and now, back in NYC again, she’s determined to rediscover her joy—so of course she runs into the woman who broke her heart.
When Likotsi and Fabiola meet again on a stalled subway train months later, Fab asks for just one cup of tea. Likotsi, hoping to know why she was unceremoniously dumped, agrees. Tea and food soon leads to them exploring the city together, and their past, with Fab slowly revealing why she let Likotsi go, and both of them wondering if they can turn this second chance into a happily ever after.
At this point in my life as a romance reader, I can safely say that I love Alyssa Cole’s writing more than I love naps. If you know anything about me, you’ll how much time I spend sleeping at the most ridiculous parts of the day and how much napping is part of my “routine” Me saying that her writing is better than the naps I take at least once a day? Now, that is a serious claim to make.Read More »
Note: I received a copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
A Wedding One Christmas, a short and sugary sweet Christmas novel set in Caledon, South Africa, was my introduction to romance author Therese Beharrie. Believe me, it’s a read that has officially made me a fan of Beharrie’s work!Read More »
Fantasy writer Rachel Aaron has had one hell of a year in publishing. She’s teamed up with her husband Travis to write Forever Fantasy Online (the first in a trilogy of fantasy novels), published Garrison Girl, an original novel set in the Attack on Titan universe, and opened up the year by releasing the fifth and final book in her amazing Heartstrikers series, Last Dragon Standing.
Her newest release, Minimum Wage Magic, returns to the Heartstrikers series main setting, the Detroit Free Zone (DFZ for short) with a new cast of main characters and a DFZ that is the most stable it’s been in a while. Set twenty years after the original series, this novel revolves around Opal Yong-ae, a freelance mage that works as Cleaner in the city, who fumbles her way into a mystery when she finds the dead body of a mage in one of the apartment she’s supposed to be cleaning.Read More »
I only recently bought Alyssa Cole’s A Duke By Default so I missed out on months of basking in this glorious and delightful novel (because my local library never got around to purchasing it on my request). But I have read this book and it is everything I’d hoped it’d be.
Now, I’m a diehard Alyssa Cole fan. I seriously stan her because she’s a wonderful writer, a fellow Caribbean islander, and she always manages to get me super invested in her characters. She’s another writer that could write a grocery list and have me pleading to read it because it’d be art on scratch paper.
So it can’t be a surprise that I genuinely loved the second book in her Reluctant Royals series, A Duke by Default.Read More »
Note: This review contains descriptions and images of things from this book that include (but are not limited to): Nazis, sexual assault, the whole MRA and negging plots Morrison writes and Paquette illustrates, and all the misogyny that really has no place in a Wonder Woman Book
If you thought that two years would lead Wonder Woman: Earth One creators Grant Morrison and Yanick Paquette to figure out that maybe their approach to a reimagined version of Wonder Woman in the previous volume wasn’t acceptable and was in fact frankly misogynistic, well… you’d be wrong.
I talked about all of the issues in the previous volume two years ago (including a comment where I described Paquette as having a “Greg Land-esque art style, incredibly sexualized”), but there’s literally no sign of growth or an awareness of what feminism actually is in the second volume of DC’s Wonder Woman: Earth One series.Read More »
Black British romance author Talia Hibbert is one of my newest favorite authors in Romancelandia.
Hibbert’s romances – which primarily focus on interracial romances with at least one main character of color finding and falling in love – are set in idyllic small towns that are full of secrets, drama, and unbelievably sweet dudes. I’ve been a fan of Hibbert’s writing from last year, but she really got me invested with her recent-ish release Untouchable. Untouchable, the second in her small-town romance series Ravenswood, is focused on the people that live in one of the most stressful towns this side of an English breakfast, Ravenswood. Ravenswood has shown up in a novel and novella so far, both stories having sweet romances between characters who’ve been hurt and could stand to do some healing with a person squarely in their corner.Read More »
We’re eight (and a half, there’s a novella) books into Craig Schaefer’s Daniel Faust series and I’m still as huge a fan as I was when I cracked open the first book a couple years ago.
Schaefer’s Daniel Faust series is urban fantasy that blends the supernatural with elements that wouldn’t be out of place in heist/gangster movies. Daniel Faust is a con-man, a practitioner, and a pain in the ass to a whole bunch of powerful people in the supernatural and mundane parts of Las Vegas.Read More »
Note: I am going to spoil the HELL out of this novella so if you haven’t read any of the books yet… Go buy them all, pour yourself an increasingly intense series of alcoholic drinks (if that’s your thing), and alternate between Matt’s books and my tipsy reviews.
When we last saw the Sin Du Jour crew in 2017’s Gluttony Bay, shit had officially hit the fan.
I’m talking “we’ve lost people and the bad guys are shaping up to kick everyone’s butts” levels of badness. Of course, I’ve loved Matt Wallace’s Sin du Jour series from the moment that I stress bought the first book right around my twenty-fifth birthday almost three years ago. Envy of Angels changed my life and honestly? So did Taste of Wrath.Read More »
After her live-in nanny bounces without warning, leaving her twin six-year-old daughters alone for several hours, Dr. Sloan Copeland finds herself in desperate need of a new nanny as she works long hours and the girls are set to start school very soon.
A big, bearded, babe of a man, Rafe has been working as a nanny for a while and, after his most recent family heads to Australia, he’s starting to consider whether or not he wants to keep working in childcare. He loves his job and the kids he takes care of (seriously swoonworthy, y’all), but he’s contemplating changing careers… right until he sees Sloan and her cute as heck little girls.Read More »
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