Sunday, September 28, 2014

Carrie's Story, and Safe Word, by Molly Weatherfield

Descriptions from

Carrie's Story:
"I had been Jonathan’s slave for about a year when he told me he wanted to sell me at an auction. I wasn’t in any condition to respond when he told me this…" So begins Carrie’s tale of uncompromising sexual adventure. Imagine the Story of O starring a Berkeley PhD in comparative lit (who moonlights as a bike messenger) with a penchant for irony, self-analysis, and anal sex. Set in San Francisco and the Napa valley, Carrie’s Story takes the reader on a journey into a netherworld of slave auctions, training regimes, and human "ponies" preening for dressage competitions.

Carrie’s Story is S/M smut for people who know how to read. The author is herself obviously well-read. Because the story is told from the POV of a smart, hip, curious, awake young woman, Carrie’s Story stimulates the intellect far more than you’d expect from porn.

Safe Word:
From the author of Carrie’s Story comes the continuing tale of a young woman’s uncompromising sexual adventure. Carrie leaves behind her life with Jonathan, the S/M master who initiated her into a life of slave auctions, training regimes, and human "ponies" preening for dressage competitions. Whisked away to Greece by the demanding gentleman who has chosen her as his own, she learns new, more rigorous methods of sexual pleasure.

Amazon lists these titles as being available in paperback and Kindle format.  I read them both on my Kindle. 

- How kinky?  
Oh, wow, is it ever!  More kinks than you can poke a supple leather crop at. The order of the day is slavery, and it underpins every interaction the female protagonist has with her world.  She does begin by being afraid, or perhaps a better word would be wary - but she soon grows into it, and we see just how perfectly suited to the role she is.  She lives it, she breathes it, she adores it.  Never does she question its sanity or safety - she just knows this is what her life will be, now.  Magnificent.

- How sexy?  
Undeniably.  The writing is, like a good whip, finely crafted and beautifully balanced.  The author is intelligent and well-read, and it shows in the dialogue, but the sex scenes are no less sizzling hot for the intellectual banter and narrative.  Every "bad" word is used here, to brilliant effect, highlighting the smut just as it needs to be seen - white-hot, and just a little bit sleazy. Perfect. 

- How accessible?
I would say, probably not very. This is not an "entry-level" text.  It is hardcore, and deals with consensual slavery and pony-training.  I am not trying to put you off, but perhaps better to try something a little gentler first - or start with this, and dive-bomb into the deep end!

- How inspiring?
 This book has been my good friend for some years now.  It has inspired *many* a fantasy and scene. Very, very inspiring indeed.

- How engaging?  
Oh, incredibly.  The universe the protagonists inhabit, fictional though it may be, is so well fleshed out, so three-dimensional, that I honestly wish I never had to leave.  The characters have history, the scenes have substance, the colours and costumes and sights and sounds are so finely drawn that you can close your eyes and see yourself there (as you will wish you were!).  My main complaint is that together, the books are too short!  I just want to live here ... well, let's just say, any book that can make stubborn, mule-headed me want to try being a luscious pony-trained sex slave like Carrie, must be doing something right!

- How well executed?
Brilliant.  As I have mentioned, the author is amazing at her craft.  The literary references might be beyond some (as they were beyond me), but you don't need to understand them to enjoy the books.  All you need to know is that Carrie is a woman with an intellect, versatile and sharp, and very, very visible, and she submits willingly and courageously to her goal.  She voluntarily gives all she has to slavery itself, and we applaud her for it, through her witty and observant asides that bring out the poignancy of her situation.  Ms Weatherfield (un nom de plume, naturellement) is a master of literary sculpture.

- Negatives? 
Only a very minor point: the universe Ms Weatherfield has created contains characters only ever seen in fiction.  An outrageous bugbear, I know - "A fiction novel containing fictional characters? Preposterous!"  But fictional characters is a very different concept to stereotyped character-types.  Two such character-types come to mind here: the Hardcore Kinkster who Dresses as To The Manor Born, and the Mindreading Dom/me.  I do realise that this book is intended to be filed directly under "Neo-Victoriana", but the bit players who wear such My Fair Lady-esque dresses and hats, the upperclass, stiff-upper-lip ladies-who-lunch, really didn't make me feel that the ladies in question were all that kinkily inclined.  Where is the fetish gear? Where are the everyday corsets?  Where are the tattoos and facial piercings?  Even the offspring of the obscenely rich, when kinkily-minded, tend to dress as neo-punk-cum-rebellious-teenager, even into their thirties. Heck, even when they're not kinky, they dress like that.  It's the 21st century.

And so to the Amazing Mindreading Dom/mes.  A character straight out of every kinkster's dreams, who has never and will never exist, sadly.  A simple flick of the eyes in the direction of one's shoes, and suddenly SuperStrict Domme is commenting, "You're right about these shoes. They are too expensive, even for me," as she grinds her leather toe into slave's cunt.  Really? She knew instinctively what Innocent Waywardly Slave was thinking? She should be on TV!  Or more likely, she was just guessing.  In fiction, a Domme can be just so immensely Dommely that she knows precisely what's going on with all slaves at all times, catching even so much as a flick of the eyelids or momentary crinkle of a dimple, and will punish accordingly later. In reality - sadly it's more likely that eyelid flicks and dimple crinkles are lost by the Dom/me, too busy just being human to notice the most infinitesimal details, and when coming up with statements such as, "You're right in what you were thinking just now," is as likely as not to be utterly wrong - but since the slave cannot correct their Master, Master may forever be convinced they really do know what their slave is thinking. Food for thought.  

(Incidentally, this brings up another thought - in fiction, the eyelid flicks and dimple crinkles may just as likely be due to a lapse in training, or simple curiosity. In reality, it can sometimes just be an effort to get the Dom to notice that slave is being naughty, in order to get punished. Bratting, in other words, in the small ways that slaves can brat. Do real-life slaveowners really notice these things? Do real-life slaves ever get five for looking at Master's face? Please let me know; it just feels all too superhuman for any real-life Dom/me to accomplish with any consistency.) 

- Overall reaction
I. Love. These. Books.  Love them.  Adore them.  One thing I loved about this story is the aspect of absolute consent.  Carrie wants to be a slave, needs to be, must be. She is not drawn here by coercion, by trickery, by a suave and charming man who strips off his charisma the minute they are alone - too often the gateway to an exciting non-consent element in fiction.  Don't get me wrong, I love non-consent in fiction, but Carrie's incredible story doesn't need it to be brilliant.

Why should I not give them five cocks?   Can I really mark books down just for being too brief?  Can I mark them down because MindReading Dom/me makes an appearance once in a while?  Hard to say. I choose not to.


Buy this book if:

  •  You have been reading Subtext/Diary of a Submissive and want to move on to the next level.
  • You have been reading The MarketPlace by Laura Antoniou and want something a little more character-based; a little more sentimental.
  • You enjoy slavery and pony-play narratives, and especially when they are mixed together!
  • You enjoy well-written, intelligent storytelling, and love to immerse yourself in a world with many dimensions; to lose yourself in the plot.  And a wonderfully foulmouthed, sexy-as-hell vocabulary :)

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