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an exceptional fantasy novel, a tale of slavery, despair and hope

Rating: 10 votes, 4.20 average.
Nine years ago I created this account for the explicit purpose of offering encouragement to, and praise for, an exceptional young writer and the opening chapters of exceptionally good novel. The writer is lovelyandsad and the novel is Mindgames. It's a story set in a dystopian future, in the decaying city of Riviera, and is driven by her experiences of two free men, Gabriel and Animal, and two enslaved women, Mariah and Rose. The work is exceptional for a couple reasons. First, while slavery, humiliation and sadism are daily realities of life in Riviera, they are not the story's driver. That is, the story is not simply an excuse to describe Mariah's breasts (the author, female, does succumb to the tendency of male writers to use each chapter as an anatomy lesson) or to revel in Rose's whipping. There's a plot! Second, the writing is consistently good, the dialogues are natural and the setting feels real.

In style, it moves in the direction of Anne Rice's Beauty trilogy. Others have drawn a comparison to Jean Auel (she of Clan of the Cave Bear and about a hundred other novels), but I'm not as familiar with her writing and so I mostly nod.

I'm glad that lovelyandsad persevered, completed, revised and now has published Mindgames. The reviews on Amazon, Goodreads, Biblioholic and elsewhere have been consistently good.

At $2.99 for the Kindle version, it's the best buy of the summer. (Even $26 for the print-on-demand paperback isn't awful, given the book's heft and quality.)

With good words for you all,




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