Prey by Wendy Rathbone
Themes & Genres: LGBT, Sci-Fi, Gay Romance, abduction, slavery, abuse, aliens
WARNING: Mature Content
When the rescued slaves were first brought on board my ship, I saw only the one. The one they called Arcana. And though I realized the others had all suffered similar fates – fearsome torture and erotic conditioning that had estranged them from whoever they had once been – I focused on the one who met my eyes with what could only be interpreted as a defiantly seductive lure, while the others held their gazes downward, at their feet, at the floor, at the past which had shaped them and undoubtedly doomed them to any sort of normal life.
Not so with Arcana. That one had no shame in whatever had happened to him. In that one blinding moment when we saw one another for the first time, I knew he was as brash as he was beautiful, and I knew without any doubt that he had chosen me – though for what dark agenda, I could not have said.
My heart went cold and silent in my chest. My throat was dry. My breathing faltered and I was forever changed.
What I think of the book:
Slavery is a very touchy subject and it’s difficult to write about. I’m anxious to pick up books on that theme when they are in the Romance genre, because they sometimes misrepresent it in order to tell a love story between a master and a slave, or, like in this case, between a person and an ex-slave. However, while there were a few things in Prey that made me a bit uncomfortable, my overall impression was that the relationship between the master/owner and Arcana wasn’t too romanticised.
Yes, Arcana admits to having feelings for the alien who bought him after Arcana was abducted, but he realizes that those feelings were programmed in him through the training and punishments that the humans went through after they were taken. He also says that he got lucky with his owner and that the other humans might not have had anything close to his experience.
He seems aware of how much he’s changed, what he has turned into and how he could use that to his advantage. That adaptability is something that impressed me.
As for his relationship with Mordecai Paronne – the human Captain of the starship Prince Fair, well… Mordecai likes to be in control. He runs his ship efficiently and they are the first to successfully rescue enslaved humans from the Arlai (aliens). Yet, you can see him unravel and get in a way addicted to Arcana, and you while you read, you can’t help but wonder if Arcana not only realizes his effect on his savior, but actually turns the tables on the Captain and is the one who is truly in control.
Mordecai asks Arcana to write him reports on what he’s been through and the ex-slave does so in the form of very detailed, very explicit letters to the Captain. I found them quite engaging because they not only showed the psychological changes in Arcana, but also introduced us to the alien race. However, I must caution you that these letters might trigger some of you as they talk about abduction, slavery, abuse and violation.
Who would I recommend this book to? I’d recommend Prey to those who don’t want a cutesy romance and are not easily putt of by non-consensual/dubious consent sexual encounters, abuse and slavery.
My rating: (5 out of 5 stars)*
*This doesn’t have to do with the review; it’s just a little trivia about me and my blog: out of the sixty-six reviews I’ve posted, this is the first time I use stars to rate a book.
Would I re-read this book? Yes.
Am I interested in other books by this author? Yes.
Where can you buy the book?
- amazon.com (link takes you straight to the book)
Add Prey to your Goodreads shelf (link takes you straight to the book)
Other books by this author that I’ve already reviewed:
- Ganymede: Abducted by the Gods – The Fantastic Immortals, Book 1 (this book can be read as a standalone | LGBT, Fantasy, Gay Romance, Alternate Myth, gods | Mature Content)
- Zeus: Conquering His Heart – The Fantastic Immortals, Book 2 (this book can be read as a standalone | LGBT, Fantasy, Gay Romance, Alternate Myth, gods | Mature Content)
- The Imposter Prince – The Imposter Series, Book 1 (LGBT, Fantasy, captivity, war | Mature Content)
- The Imposter King – The Imposter Series, Book 2 (LGBT, Fantasy, captivity, war | Mature Content)
- The Slave Palace: Wulf and Locke – Kingdom of Slaves, Book 1 (this book can be read as a standalone | Gay Romance, Fantasy, pleasure slaves | Mature Content)
Want to know a little bit about Wendy? Read the interview she gave me!
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