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!

Sophie Kisker-Finding Home

Odyssey

1a long wandering or voyage usually marked by many changes of fortune
2an intellectual or spiritual wandering or quest 
Anyone who reads this blog knows how I feel about Sophie Kisker and her work. I’ve reviewed several other of her books. This time, I’m going with the Finding Home series. Sophie has it listed as Finding Home: An Erotic Tale of Love and War. And yeah, it totally is. I wouldn’t take them as 3 separate books, because they aren’t a stand-alones, but more as one book that has been broken into 3 sections, like the Lord of the Rings. Luckily, all three books are out, so you can read them all back to back to back. Protip: Odyssey, the first one, is on sale for $0.99 today 12/17. All three books are available on Kindle Unlimited.
Finding Home takes place in Meridia. It’s a country that is broken up into several provinces. Think Canada or maybe Australia instead. Only, there really is no country-wide government, there is a committee that all the leaders belong too, but nothing like an overarching prime minister or president. Because each province is self-ruled, the laws and treatments of the people can widely vary. The rulers also tend to be hereditary, with the leader choosing one of his children or adopting someone to be an heir. Depending on the leader, you may get someone who is competent and has a competent heir, or you can get a family that runs their province into the ground and their heirs are just as incompetent and maybe tyrannical. While there are several provinces, we are mainly concerned with three of them. In the first book, we are dealing with Edwal and Alaine. In the second and third books, Orre becomes just as important.
Now, there are a lot of politics that go on in these books on top of the sexy, sexy, sex. Sophie doesn’t relate the politics back to the real world in any way, so if you don’t like politics, then you aren’t going to have to deal with the real world politics. The politics are braided in through the story with the sex and the romance. You really can’t have one part without the other. When you read it, you’ll see what I mean.
OK, back to the world of Meridia. Edwal is ruled by  Elias Palm. He is a tyrant and dictator. He has severely restricted the rights of his people. He has had houses of college professors bugged, there are security cameras on every corner, and people are encouraged to inform on each other. Palm is suspicious, paranoid, and an all-around fuckhead. Alaine is one of their neighbors and is run by Daniel Weiss. Weiss is a sane, rational person, who tries to rule his province as well as possible and keeps his people’s needs in mind. So, of course, Palm hates him. Orre is run by Benjamin Aldriss. More on him later.
Odyssey was the first book I read by Sophie. It has some intense points in it and I had a hard time with some of those places. I’ve read other intense books and even books that are arguably more intense, but there’s just something about this one that really, really got to me. Even on rereads, when I know what’s coming, the same points get to me. However, that doesn’t put me off reading the series, and I hope it doesn’t put you off it too.
So, Odyssey. Edwal decides that it’s going to invade Alaine. Mostly because Palm is a motherfucker. So he institutes a draft for every male up to the age of 50, which includes Liz Peltier’s dad. The Alaine military manages to drive the poor men of Edwal back, and they invade Liz’s town since it is closest to the border. As part of the reparations, the leaders of Alaine decide that they are going to take young women hostages for ransom. So women between the ages of 18-40 who aren’t mothers are at risk of being selected. Twenty of the wives and daughters of the most important people in that town are selected to be hostages instead of all the men being arrested. This is a relatively common practice, so no one expects it to take long. Except, no one takes Elias Palm and his nuttiness into consideration.
The women are taken to an army base, where they are actually held for weeks. During that time, Liz steps up as a leader and does what she can to help make the stay easier on everyone. Can I just say that I think Liz is a total badass? She really is, and it shows up throughout the entire series. When Palm refuses to do anything, one woman is selected to stay as a hostage slave in Chairman Weiss’s home. That means sexual slavery. And of course, I bet you can figure out who that woman is. Liz has quite a journey to go through to get through the end of the book and through the end of the series, and some seriously shitty things happen. More about it after the spoiler warning.
In Sanctuary we are still staying in Alaine and the Weiss estate, for the most part, but this is where Orre and Benjamin Aldriss come into play. Aldriss has a daughter named Jenny. In the beginning of the book, Jenny is sitting outside of their house, having come home from college, because she needs some space. While she is sitting there, she watches her whole family be destroyed, along with everyone in the house, and even the house. She knows that she needs to find somewhere safe and everyone thinks that she’s dead. The safest place she can think of is with her father’s friend, Daniel Weiss of Alaine. She manages to get there, and she’s going to have to live as a slave there, because who’s going to think of looking for her there, and she will be protected as much as is possible. But, she can’t just pretend. She has to go through the whole training. That’s when she meets Liz, who is acting as a mentor, and who helps her get through her training. Meanwhile, back in Orre, Palm has decided that he’s going to “help” out Orre and takes over huge swathes of the country. Now on to the next book.
Refining Fire is the third and last book. In metalworking, you refine metals by subjecting them to high heat, back in the day, fire would be used in one way or another. Heating up the metal to a certain point lets all the impurities burn away. When the metal comes out of the fire, it is pure. Certain objects made of metal, like knives and swords, go through heat treatment as part of their manufacturing. The heat treatment allows them to be stronger. Both of these things are important in this book. Michael and Jenny, Liz and Ryan all four have their own issues as people and as couples, and as a group. There are all sorts of shitty things that happen in this book. I know it sounds like I’m not saying a whole lot, but I’m being careful so that I don’t overly spoil it. The main action of the book is for Jenny to be allowed to rule her family’s province and what it’s going to take to get there. There’s also a lot of discussion about what submission means when circumstances change.
Wow, this is a long post. And I know that it seems that I have kind of brushed over the second 2 books, but the thing is, if I talk too much about book 2 or 3 then I am going to spoil the books ahead of it. So, if you want more info about the books, then you need to go read them yourself. Told you, they are all on KU and you can get Odyssey at a steal today. Meanwhile, I’m going to go on and make this long post even longer when I go on to the spoiler section. This is a great series, and it should definitely get more love than it does. The story is really well-written and everything winds together so very well. All the characters, all the themes, all the everything, just braids into a cohesive whole and turns into an epic odyssey.
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OK, in O, the original slave trainer, Master Thomas, abuses Liz, after the assistant trainer, Ryan, did all he could to put her fears at rest because in Edwal, terrible things happen to sex slaves. That really makes it hard for Liz, until Daniel fires Thomas. Ryan takes over, and he changes the way that things were done. He wasn’t about forcing submission but more about guiding a woman to find her submission and be able to give it. It works really well, and you can see from the very beginning of the story that Liz and Ryan are going to end up in some sort of relationship, it’s just hard to figure out how, since they are Master and slave. Ryan is incredibly protective of her, and it shows up when Liz is attacked and actually ends up in court.
In S, Ryan is still training and Liz is really his assistant, as much as possible, because she’s a natural leader. When Jenny comes in, she has a very hard time, since she’s been to the house many times before as a guest, and her mindset is hard to switch from. Liz becomes her mentor. She helps Jenny and if Jenny fucks up, they both get punished. It may seem mean to do it that way, but it works. Michael, who is Weiss’s heir, falls head over heels with Jenny, which makes it hard on both of them, since she’s a slave and he’s her master, plus they are trying to keep her safe. And this is where some serious, serious orgasm control comes in too. Jenny is very orgasmic, so the goal is to keep her from coming without permission. She goes through training for that. Sadly, there’s a point where that gets used against her. The Palms and their followers are massive fuckwads.
In RF, oh man, I cried. Jenny and Liz are both freed and with their loves, but Liz and Ryan are trying to figure out what him being her Master and her being the slave works with her being technically free. That’s the relationship that they want, but there are going to be bumps and bruises. Jenny is busy trying to figure out how to rule her province and how to fight Edwal while trying to get her rights as a leader. At the same time, she’s trying to figure out how to be with Micheal who is now the leader of Alaine and be both a strong woman and leader and a submissive partner to Michael. Really interesting dynamics going on in the book. While they are trying to figure everything out, something happens to Jenny that sidetracks those dynamics, and causes her to have a tremendous loss. It’s at this part that I cried, and is one of the intense parts of the book. It was a rough part to get through.
It really was the book I needed to finish off the entire series. It gave me that emotional satisfaction that I look for in the end of a long series. Yeah, I felt wrung out more than once, but that just makes the happy at the end happier. I got wrung out over the past few days as I’ve read the stories again, and I needed the end and the epilogue to feel better.
I hope I didn’t lose anyone while talking about the series. I hope that Sophie likes what I wrote. I hope no one thinks that I didn’t do justice to these stories and to the characters. Go give these stories some love.

Cari Silverwood-Claimed Possession

Cari Silverwood is becoming a frequent flyer here on In Between the Pages. I spend a lot of time in her books and her worlds. There are a lot of reasons for that. One is that I think Cari is an excellent worldbuilder. It’s easy to get involved in her worlds and characters. And the Machinery of Desire series is no different. I got dragged into the world and it wouldn’t let me go.

Claimed Possession is the second book in this series, and wow. It packs a punch. There are so many things to unpack in this book. I mean, you get the whole human slave in a slave world series, then you get the dark alpha hero/anti-hero and his journey, and then you get the heroine’s journey. I see layers, and I love layers.

OK, so let’s just jump right in here. Here we are, back on Aerthe. Aerthe is an Earth-like planet. There are three groups of people who live on Aerthe, the Mekkers, the Grounders, and the Scavs.

The Mekkers live in huge landships called the Swathe. There are a few swathes, each made up of more than one ship. They never stop moving, harvesting and mining as they move. The Mekkers are not native to Aerthe, and she hates them. Aerthe generates magic, and when the Mekkers stay in one place for too long, Aerthe gets after them. The Mekkers arranged the portal for the humans to be brought through. The portal shines the humans up real pretty when they come through. Their hair and nails are kinda glowy, so it’s quite obvious that they are humans. In the first book, the Mekkers ruled that humans are property.

Grounders and Scavs are both native to Aerthe. Grounders are settled into villages and other communities. Scavs are nomads, formed into groups led by the strongest leader, and they can and will challenge the leader for leadership. The Scavs tend to be pretty wild and will raid Grounder settlements and take/sell slaves. They also go scavenge through old cities that were destroyed in the war between the Mekkers and the people of Aerthe, back in the day.

When Emery, Fern, Sawyer and the other humans were brought through the portal, they were sent to different places. Emery was given to a master in Acquired Possession. (Right now only 99 cents on ‘zon, go grab it) Sawyer was given as a slave to the Grounders. So, let’s catch up with Sawyer.

When the book opens, Sawyer is in a caravan with a bunch of other slaves. He wants to escape, because of course he does. The caravan stops so that everyone can take a rest break. When the slaves are let out, Aribelle, the caravan owner’s niece happens to walk by. Sawyer, being a big of a dicklord, takes a piss at her feet and hits her shoes. He manages to get a key away from a guard so that he can escape, but Ari sees it and tells the guard. Then she orders Sawyer to be castrated. Right after she says that all hell breaks loose. Scavs are attacking. Sawyer drags Ari down and under a wagon and saves her. When the raid is over, Sawyer comes out and tries to get in good with the Scavs and tells them that Ari is his. The Scavs tell him that he will have to wait to talk to their leader.

You all know the routine now. I’m about to put a pretty picture up, and after that you get all the spoilery goodness. Sawyer is a very imperfect hero. He’s got some serious anger problems with more than a little desire for vengeance. That gets taken out on Ari, who both does and doesn’t like it. I think he may have gone a little far sometimes, but I totally get his point of view on it. He does question himself at times, and tries to figure out where morality on Earth and morality on Aerthe should lie and how he can live with both of them. There is some spectacular sex. There are spankings and more. There is a bloody cock. There is also a hard won HEA. This story is a great journey, not just for Sawyer and Ari, but also for JI, a recurring character. Like I said, layers on layers, so awesome. Cari is devious that way.

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If you came down here, then you must not be too worried about any spoilers I may drop from my fingertips.

OMG, the bloody cock scene. I got to read it in Cari’s group before I read the ARC and oh my fucking shit, it was hot. I mean, Ari didn’t like blood, Sawyer rubbed blood on his cock and made her suck it. It’s so wrong, and yet so completely right, and very much hot.

I like that Sawyer starts to realize that he cares for Ari, and that what he wants to do to her has gone past revenge, like it started out, and into he wanted her to be his forever. The fact that he freed Ari and then wooed her was really impressive to me. It let Ari have her own journey from an angry forced slave to a willing and eager submissive who wanted to belong to Sawyer.

And JI? I cannot wait to see what Cari is going to do with him. I liked him when we met him in AP, but he was basically a child, really. In CP, he’s a teenager and then adult. Now he’s a very, very devious, sneaky, and tricksy adult. With a cock.

I wonder, with Gio’s new portal skill, if more humans will be going back through the portal. I kind of hope not because I like Aerthe. I wonder what’s happened to Fern, Sawyer’s sister. Last we knew, in AP, she was stabbed and then thrown off the ship to die. But JI was able to give some of the mechlings medical training, so maybe she lived? I want to know. I need to know. I need to know more about Gio too. Obviously, she was there before Emery, Sawyer, Fern et al, so how did she get there? So many questions, so few answers.

Alrighty, I could go on and on, but then you wouldn’t need to go to Amazon and read this book, and you really need to do that. And grab AP while you’re at it since it’s on special for the next 4 days. Trust me, if you like dark, gritty, and spanky, this will do it for you.

Tomorrow we have a book from Summer Greystone, so keep an eye out for that. Meanwhile, happy reading.