Waiting in the Throes - Maddox Grey Sooo. This is pretty fucked up. And memorable, because I won't be forgetting this any time soon. Rating this book is very difficult, since I can't say I liked it, I didn't enjoy it. But it's well done, very well done, and for that, it deserves a higher rating (like 4 stars). The story isn't bad, it's just awful to read.

"Waiting in the Throes" is really hard to put down because as boring it is to read about happy people, when you read about seriously unhappy people you just have to continue reading to see if stuff ever gets better. And by seriously unhappy people I mean people that make you ask yourself why they just don't kill themselves. Really. I just wanted him to please, please kill himself. People constantly use the image of watching a train wreck in slow motion for books that make you miserable. I'd be fine with that. This is like watching puppies and kittens being tortured to death in slow motion. With sound.

As I was reading "Waiting in the Throes" I got this feeling that hey, this is reminding me of something. After a while I got it: classic erotica. I guess the reason the classic erotica people still talk about today is the kind of freaky stuff that makes 90% of people wonder why it is considered erotic and not traditional "get your juices flowing"-erotica is because the mundane variants were too boring to be kept around, and people just produce new stuff all the time anyway. The shocking pieces stick around. This is like a mix between Marquis de Sade (notably [b:Justine|796267|Justine|Marquis de Sade|http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1178444302s/796267.jpg|13268607], but more or less anything he wrote will do) and Pauline Réage ([b:Story of O|40483|Story of O|Pauline Réage|http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1344368703s/40483.jpg|2462307]). Whereas O is in the mansion on her own accord, her situation is somewhat similar to Brennan's (and well, the branding, the hints of that 'this is a fucked up society thing not just two random psycopaths', etc.), and you have the same dynamics as in Marquis de Sade's attempts to show that men are beasts, as stuff goes from crap to bad to awful to bloody horrible to please just kill yourself and spare us, the readers.

And writing something like this must be... an experience. This isn't poorly written smut with some violence thrown in. There's a big difference between a little non-con where someone in addition gets slapped around by a furious guy, and playing goddamned torture games with dice. I don't get the feeling AT ALL that this was written for the sake of someone's dark desires. "Waiting in the Throes" is much more about breaking someone down than about writing innumerable highly uncomfortable scenes where you just can't stop thinking, don't they realize that they are going too far? Why permanently break your toys? One guy is a nuuuurse, shouldn't he be more careful? How much longer is poor Brennan going to survive this stuff? And this is some seriously brave writing. The MM factor reduces the reading crowd. Godawful torture kind of minimizes it.

Kudos to the author for creating seriously creepy creeps that I somehow, somewhere, for a time at least, wanted to like, because I was waiting for them to show some sort of humanity among all the torture and delusional crap they pull. And I do like one of them a little as they play the good cop role. Which, admittedly, never lasts, but still. The creepiness just increases as they talk about small, ordinary things, make scrambled eggs and pancakes and asks their tortured prisoner what he wants for breakfast. Ah. Something of a book, this one. Not for the faint of heart.

And damnit, this is just part one.