Cari Silverwood-Exquisite Possession

Cari’s newest book is making me both really happy and really sad. Happy in that it’s a new Cari book, and that’s always a reason to be happy. Sad in that it’s the last book in the Machinery of Desire series, and I really love that series. (And more than just for the fact that there is a character named after me in the 3rd book.)(Never annoy an author, lol.) The world-building that goes on in this series is amazing, and the characters are fascinating, their evolutions make for a great story. Especially JI. So, let’s talk all about Exquisite Possession.

You really do need to have read the rest of the books before you get to this one. You can get away with not reading the rest of the series when you read the others, although I wouldn’t recommend it, but JI’s journey starts in the very first book and moves along through the rest of the series, until we finally get to EP, and JI’s book. You have to have read the entire series to get the full arc of JI’s story. If you haven’t read them yet, there are going to be spoilers in this review. Sorry.

So, JI was a mech. A huge one. A battle mech. Like a multi-story battle mech that would kill all the mekkers’ enemies. But, over the years, he went nearly dormant. Until he was woken up by Emery, as she took the mechlings up to the roof of the landship for them to charge up. She would tell him stories of Shakespeare and all kinds of other things. When she managed to escape, JI went with her. Eventually, his large battle form was destroyed, leaving him in his alternate mech, basically an escape capsule, a mostly man sized mech. Of course, he took his huge brain and tried to cram it all into a tiny brain, and it was driving him insane and slowly killing him. So, after meeting Sawyer and Ari and traveling with them, he learns some interesting things, and takes over a scav called Osta, who was a bigwig. Then he wanders through Ryke and Gio’s story, and learns alllll about fuckspears. Which are totally a thing, BTW. And now, he’s going for his own story.

JI/Osta is trying to find Fern, Sawyer’s sister. Back in the first book, the evil judge raped, tortured, and stabbed her, then threw her out the landship to die. Luckily, there were a lot of sun mad mechlings who had been thrown out at the same time. Even more luckily, one of them had been programmed with medical programs, and that mechling put her back together, as much as possible. The mechling couldn’t fix her hand all the way, but it was able to put staples into her stomach to fix the wound. She has managed to hook up with some grounders, and they have gone to ground in a destroyed city near the ocean where they are waiting for monster season to get some waik crystals.

That’s where JI and Aunt M find her. She’s acting as a sniper to help protect the grounders and uses mechs by linking with them so that she can see through their eyes. She ends up shooting JI, twice, which makes him not so happy. But he does see Fern which makes Mr. Happy oh so very happy. JI is now in a flesh and blood body, and he’s like a 12 year old boy learning how to masturbate for the first time. He has all these ideas, and not necessarily a lot of experience in putting them into practice. But with Fern, he wants to chain her up, fuck her face, tie her down, use some fuckspears, all the dark, filthy, deviant, and devious things you might possibly be able to think of. The nice thing is that Fern is pretty much willing to let him do all those things. She likes them. He knows this because he can pick up echoes of her feelings through his tenuous connection to the mechlings, so he always knows when he has to stop, which makes this story ridiculously filthy. I mean, he’s basically right in her brain, so not only does he get to see her physical reaction to whatever is going on, he also gets to feel what’s going on in her head.

Anyway, it’s never that easy, is it? The evil judge is working deep in the background, and he would love to get his hands back on Fern, and on JI and Aunt M. He has terrible plans that will pretty much mean life on Aerthe will no longer work the way that it does now.

As with the majority of Cari’s books, there are a lot of layers and levels in the story and in each of the characters. I mean, we literally have the Tin Man who now has a heart and who is trying to figure out what it means to be human-ish, and then we have Fern who fell down a hole into another world altogether, where everything is topsy-turvy. Of course, I’m pretty sure that if Lewis Carroll or L. Frank Baum put cocks with spikes or fuckspears in their books, they wouldn’t have been published, and they would probably have been arrested or tossed into Bedlam. But that doesn’t mean that we don’t have a metal man trying to figure out what it means to be human and trying to learn his own code of ethics and morals or a woman who has been tossed through the looking glass and who has to figure out what is happening on this side of the mirror. So, maybe Cari really write the perverted Alice in the Land of Oz? Hmmm… Either way, Fern and JI really do have quite a journey to take to even get to the point where they are now, and it’s not like everything is beer and skittles once they get together.

Of all the books in this particular slaveworld series, this is really the most consensual. I think that there are parts of it that are the hottest as well. I think that more consensual aspect of the story lightens up some of the story, to some extent. But, that doesn’t mean it’s light. Don’t get me wrong, it’s still a Cari Silverwood story, but…

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Oh, I have so many, many things to say down here. But, most of what I want to talk about happens at the very end, so it would totally spoil things, and it would totally spoil things more than I ever choose to do.

I will say, that there were places where I got a whole Dune type feeling, and I’m pretty sure that if you’ve ever read Dune, you would be able to figure out what point I’m talking about.

I do love JI’s entire journey though. It seems like he would have been a side character, but he turns out to be so much more important than he started out in the beginning.

Fuckspears, spikes, and cages, ohhhhh myyyy. I swear to all the fucking gods of fucking that Cari gets right into my head sometimes and knows what buttons to push.

OK, that’s all I have to say about this one. Seriously, go check out the entire Machinery of Desire series, if you haven’t yet, you won’t regret it. Happy reading!

Cari Silverwood-Branded Possession

Cari Silverwood does some amazing world building. If you read any of her series, you are going to find a world that is detailed, intricate, and nuanced. All of these things come together to create worlds that I love to find myself in time and again. Today, we get to visit Aerthe again in Branded Possession, the third book in her Machinery of Desire series. So, background on the Machinery of Desire world.

There are three groups of people who live on Aerthe, the Mekkers, the Scavs, and the Grounders.

The Mekkers are the remnants¬†of invaders from space who attacked Aerthe. Aerthe hates the Mekkers and will chase them off the face of the planet if they stay in any one place for too long. So, they live in ginormous landships and those ships create Swathes. They travel across the face of Aerthe, harvesting and mining as they go. There are several Swathes, including the Royal Swathe, which is the one we’re concerned about today. The Mekkers have lost the knack of creating the technology that they had and what tech they do have is slowly falling apart.

The Scavs are nomads and scavengers. They travel Aerthe, searching through the ruins of ancient cities to find things that they can use. They also raid Grounder villages so that they can take slaves that they may sell to the Mekkers or keep for themselves. There is some trade between the Scavs and Mekkers and the Grounders and Scavs.

The Grounders are the settled people on Aerthe. They have their own villages and try not to bother anyone, doesn’t always work, the Scavs will occasionally raid villages or caravans, but they try. They will trade with Mekkers and Scavs. We really don’t see a lot about Grounders in any of the books.

Humans exist on Aerthe as slaves. They were brought to Aerthe through portals. As they came through the portal, their hair and nails became all polished and shiny, making it impossible to disguise who they are. The Mekkers are right happy to have the humans for a couple of reasons. One is that they are fantastic fucks. The other is that Mekkers need something called Factor H. The best source comes from human blood, so all human slaves (as far as we know), have a collar that has a port that goes down into their bodies so that they can bleed whenever that port is opened. Some people like to take the blood straight from the source, others wait until it’s been processed and the Factor H has been concentrated.

Aerthe is a magical, mystical place. It’s somewhere just south of sentient, but very much north of completely lifeless. It’s very aware and doesn’t like Mekkers because they raided the planet and aren’t natives. But, Aerthe also has its own agenda, and we aren’t all that sure what it’s up to. I’m sure that Cari will clue us in further.

Now that we’ve gotten all the way through that background, let’s get into Branded. Gio is a human. She’s the one who has been opening portals that have been bringing the humans to Aerthe. She’s been trying to reverse engineer the process so that she can send the humans home. On her first try, Gio lost the tips of some of her fingers. But, she persevered and was able to send Sawyer and his Grounder lover back to Earth. She also managed to kill Drette, who was her owner during the Scav attack in the last book. Gio wasn’t able to get away and was taken prisoner and was tortured and then sent to a blood snack room to die. In those rooms, Mekkers go crazy and drain the slaves while fucking them. Gio has tied a tourniquet around her arm to keep the drug that the Mekkers injected her with away from the rest of her system because she sees that it turns the women into very horny, very mindless slaves. Just before she’s going to get taken, in bursts a man in a coat and hood. The mystery man shoots everyone there, cuts off the tourniquet and takes Gio away.

Ryke is the King’s Own Lawgiver. He’s a phantom. There aren’t a whole lot of people who are sure that he exists, and they are mostly the people who have been his “clients” or the people in charge of him. Ryke is only answerable to the King, but he gets the King’s orders through the King’s advisor, Gyle. Ryke is the person who gets the answers from the people who don’t want to give them. He does all kinds of things to get those answers, including using sex. He really, really likes breaking women. He doesn’t generally fuck them, but he uses his fuckspears, which yeah, are exactly what they sound like. So, when his newest client is Gio, and the goal is to find out the secret of making portals, he’s got all kinds of dark, dirty, obscene, filthy, and darkly delightful things to do to her body. And he’s going to start with medicine that will drive her out of her mind with desire and a large fuckspear.

OK, it’s that time. Cari’s world is a slaveworld, which means there’s a lot of noncon/dubcon and discipline going on. And because it’s Cari, there are some really imaginative sex scenes. Really imaginative. They are also very intense. If you are a fan of the lighter side of things, then this is probably not the best book for you. Not only are we getting all that lovely sex going on, we’re also learning a lot more about the Mekkers and Aerthe. We get to learn more about Aerthe’s agenda, but not a whole lot, just enough to figure out that there is one. When it comes to the Mekkers, we get a good look at their society, which isn’t anything we’ve seen in the other books. Mekkers are divided into those who are Above Deck and those who are Underdeckers, which is where Ryke comes from. Ryke has a brother named Badh. Now, if you’ve ever looked at my Goodreads, you’ll notice that Badh is my user name there, and it’s the name on an account I keep for when I end up in FB jail. Cari decided that she needed to use it. I think I made her mad at one point. Well, not really mad, I hope. And so, Ryke’s brother got his name. I’m so glad I could help Cari. This book also had a lot of changes going on, changes which are going to affect all the people on Aerthe and can really upset the status quo. It’s going to be really interesting to see in the next book, Exquisite Possession, which will also be the last book.

I know that I’ve had a whole lot to say about this one and that it’s a lot longer than many of my other reviews, but trust me, I’ve barely touched on the book or even the world.

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The whole religious aspect around Ryke is fascinating. I really enjoyed reading about that. You don’t often get to read books with the beginnings of a religion going on, so that’s fascinating to watch.

It’s also really interesting to watch Ryke’s evolution in general and how it comes to Gio. Gio has her own evolution, but I don’t think her changes are quite as drastic as Ryke’s are. And I don’t know that Ryke’s are an evolution as much as they are a de-evolution, bringing him back to where he was before he went Above. But, there’s the fact that he embraces things that he never really did before, so maybe it’s a combo of both.

I can’t wait to see the next book. I have questions and I need them answered and I know that it isn’t going to happen until the next one comes out. I just hope it’s soon. Of course, it’s not going to happen until after we get monster cock story from Cari, but since I’m excited to read that story, I’ll be happy(ish) to wait.

So, go check out all these stories, you won’t be sorry. If you haven’t read them, I highly recommend a binge read. Happy reading!