King of Dublin by Lisa Henry
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
If dubious consent is not your thing, don't read this book. If violence and insanity are not your thing, don't read this book. If non-consensual sex is not your thing, DO NOT READ THIS BOOK. There is a great story for those who can handle graphic content and enjoy dystopian stories, though. This pushed the very edge of my limits to read. It bugs the crap outta me though, when people who don't like that content drag down a book's rating, when they were warned! So, I'm warning again, like many other reviewers did as well. So if anyone reads it after I've recommended the story, and low-rates or complains, they look like the idiots... because seriously, if you want sunshine, rainbows popping out of twinks tushies, and a 24/7 baby love fest (and there's nothing wrong with that, if you like that stuff) then DON'T READ THIS BOOK!
There are two main characters, Ciaran and Darragh, both have extremely contrasting viewpoints, which is interesting because if they'd met before Ciaran had become an enslaved sex toy to be beaten and abused, they probably had similar tunnel vision views of the world. They're both naive, but have enough wits--and luck--to eventually escape the world they've become trapped in.
But they learn some horrible lessons along the way. I won't spoil the story, but damn! The scenes from Ciaran's POV are especially hard to get through. I needed the breaks of Darragh's simple, yet not stupid, mindset just to get a break.
The authors crafted a powerful story that will be very popular with their readers and fans. It will rub some people the wrong way, especially in certain parts, but I for one commend them for their writing. Especially for something written by two people, the writing is seamless, with clear imagery, and excellent world-building. The one thing I'd like to have better explained was the 'other side' where things weren't quite so bad. I think the contrast would have been more stark about the complete 180 Ciaran was forced to undergo mentally. However, that may be fodder for another story in the world, if this becomes a series.
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