Thursday, April 11, 2013

Review: Sold! by Etienne (Originally Posted Jan 20, 2013)

Sold!Sold! by Etienne
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

One thing that has made me love this writer all the more is his no holds barred approach to his writing. This is one reason why among all of the LGBT writers around, Etienne tops my list. This is also why many have read his work have become wary of them, not because of his lack in technique, but due to his straightforwardness.

The first time I read Etienne it was the Avondale book Curiosity Satisfied. This made me hunt for the rest of the series until eventually I became addicted to his work. The last books I read were, funnily enough, his Forever series.

Etienne's characters are too real, not the Hollywood stereotypes nor the gay  paranormal/romance novels out there where most of the contents are almost uniformly equal in terms of plot, characterization and sexual activities. A friend I introduced his works to commented that the heat rating was almost zero. And that is, for me, exactly the whole point of Etienne. It is not the acrobatics done within the privacy of the bedroom that matters in a great story, it is the plot, the development of the characters, the realism of the story. His works make you think hours or even days after reading them.

In the case of Winston Martsolf who was captured by gunmen, thrown at the mercy of slavers who then categorically sexually nullify him and then sold off on the auction block, many readers who have no medical background would find the plot scary.

When I was reading this I would consult with my husband (yes, he's a doctor) and I would ask him about the specifics of sexual nullification, and he said that Etienne, as an author, was lacking. I was flabbergasted - Etienne??? Lacking?? And then my husband continued, reality is worse, this author skimmed over the truth. And that is when it hit me: if Etienne's words describing the sexual nullification was a skimmed off version, how much worse could it be? (Note: I won't bother relating the truth as my husband told and showed me as it is too horrifying to know, much else imagine.)

I have seen commentaries on Sold! and understand the hesitation of many readers. I can only imagine what they must have felt when they read the straightforward approach to the surgical techniques described within the novel. However, it is this book, Sold! that finally convinced me that Etienne is a writer who will not hesitate to write the truth of what is not openly discussed: sexual slavery.

Bravo! Etienne. You have, for me, confirmed what I already knew: you are a writer extraordinaire and I look forward to the third installment of your Forever Series: Children of Forever hopefully to be published within 2013.

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