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The Case Of The Insufferable Slave (2014)

by Gillian St. Kevern(Favorite Author)
3.76 of 5 Votes: 4
M/M Romance Group @ Goodreads
review 1: It’s frankly unbelievable that Gillian St. Kevern hasn’t published before: The Case of the Insufferable Slave is just so well-written. If I were a publisher I’d scoop them up right now, because this writer has a brilliant future ahead of them.The language in is satisfyingly reminiscent of hardboiled detective novels, the world-building is seamless and sensible without being over-explained, the mystery has enough twists-and-turns to be satisfying while also constantly putting the main character in danger. The characters are distinctive, consistent and likable, and to top it all off, the romance is believable and fully-realized.This isn’t just one of the best stories I’ve read from the Don’t Read in the Closet event, this is one of the best stories I’ve read in... more the genre. Insufferable Slave is a hardboiled detective story set in an alternate universe with a sophisticated system of slavery. The slavery angle can be a turn-off straight off the bat, and I respect that. The slavery in the story isn’t racially motivated and is mostly less stigmatized than the modern day prison system. The detective protagonist of the story, for example, is a former labor slave and is mostly treated as an equal now that he is a free man. Other slaves, like the love interest Friday, are raised into a life of service as a combination between maidservant and high-class sex worker. It is possible to buy freedom. Yes, slavery is problematic. But in a fantasy context, I found that this story handled it well.I found all the characters were well-balanced – this isn’t a puppet show of good versus evil. The slaves were shown to have as much intellect and moral fiber as those born free. They didn’t have control over their lives and situations, but it was clear that this was a luck of birth rather than because slaves were in any way ‘lesser humans’ than free people. This isn’t a utopian story of humane equality, but it also isn’t an accidental dubious consent/non-consent fantasy or a thinly veiled racial slur. Mystery/suspense novels aren't my cup of tea, so I'm not much of an authority to talk about the actual detective work in this novel. But I can say that the romance was thoroughly believable. Unconventional, sure. But totally satisfying: friendship and trust and eventually love (or something quite like it) was developed with time, between two three-dimensional characters.The slavery aspects will be too problematic for many people, and I respect that. But Insufferable Slave is a work of fiction which sets up a fantasy world and then follows the rules of that world, and creates a romance within those rules. As a work of fiction, and as a romance, I loved it.I was hooked by the language, but I stayed for the story. And I'm glad I stayed, because this is such a brilliant book!
review 2: Brilliant! Completely engrossing. I was a bit reluctant at the noir tag as I'm not much of a fan but I figured I'd get it started while I finished up my coffee for the morning and then get my day started. Now it several hours later, my day is shot, I've got nothing done and I'm sorry the story is over! Just WOW! Like I said, brilliant. I love the world building, the twist on the war and slavery. The case/mystery kept me engrossed and the developing relationship between the MC's was titlating. The secondary characters were engaging and I hung on every word looking for clues. I am surprised to find this is the authors first published work and am looking forward to reading more in the future. less
Reviews (see all)
Excellent m/m noire in an alternate Southern future with slaves. Sounds weird? Yes, but it works!
I enjoyed the whole PI film noir feel to it, and I enjoyed the characters!
supercool and quite original!
i dont know
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