Breaking Jade (Companion Book to Fallocaust Series), Quil Carter
Genre: Gay Romance (Note tags)
Tags: Dystopian, Dark Fantasy, Master/Slave, **Trigger Warning – Rape, Dub-Con, Violence
Length: 782 Pages
Reviewer: Kazza K
Purchase At: amazon.com
…it was the unspoken string of realizations that always came attached to Elish’s veiled truths. The puzzle that was given to you to crack: what Elish says and what Elish means.
**One again, I give rape warnings and violence warnings. View this review as a spoiler**
You know, after I finished Fallocaust, I really did not want to read another long-arsed book. Yet here I am, again, reviewing another long-arsed book in the Fallocaust world. What the hell does that say about me? Obviously I’m a damn masochist. Okay, now that we’ve established that, I’ll say this to Quil Carter, “Fuck you for making this series addictive” because I am now on board for the ride, unless it derails along the journey.
Fifteen year old Jade lives with his boyfriend, Kerres, in Moros – slum-central of Skyfall – a place where walking the streets (and breathing the air) is hazardous to your health.
While Jade technically works for Dek’ko, packing eggs, his primary income is derived from being a thief. He believes he’s hit the jackpot when a servant for Ares and Siris, twin chimeras and royalty, sells Jade a security keycard that will give him access to their mansion while they are away for two weeks. He feels he has the luxury of time to steal from them, fence the goods, collect the cash and upgrade his and Kerres’ lifestyle. Maybe they can get out of Moros and head on over to a better town, like Eros or Nyx. But things hit the fan in a monumental way when he breaks into the twin’s property, they are waiting for him and make a very special game out of brutally beating and raping him and then chasing after him – run, rabbit, run. While he is stumbling through the house, with Ares and Siris in pursuit, he stumbles into a room with a bright light and an open hearth. He curls up in a ball next to the hearth and hopes like hell that he’ll somehow get out alive. In the room he notices a man with long blonde hair and violet eyes sitting in a chair reading. Naked, beaten, and bloodied, Jade asks the man to read to him, which he does. For reasons you learn later, the twins back off and Jade is left with the man reading to him. There is more to it, but I’ll leave it. So, enter Elish Dekker into Jade’s life in spectacularly bizarre fashion. Let’s just say at this stage I did not like Elish. I felt Jade’s immense anger at him.
Elish Dekker is 2IC to Silas Dekker – the King and creator of the Fallocaust and the dystopian society of Skyfall. Elish doesn’t believe in feelings, or being touchy-feely. In fact, he doesn’t seem to be interested in sex. So, when he develops a desire to have a specific cicaro – pet, kept slave – it is grist for the chimera mill. Elish is the Prince to Silas’ King, a first gen. immortal and close King’s Counsel. Once I got into the book, and Elish’s character, I have to say that he is without doubt what made Breaking Jade well worth the read. His character is written very well – he is cold, he is bitingly snarky, he is nasty, he is controlling, he is loving, he is a master in a very brutal master/slave dynamic with Jade. There are no safe words in this book or nice, neat games – Jade wears a shock collar and it is used to bring him to heel. He is belted black and blue, he is locked in a cage and a closet. He is punished. But Elish also takes care of him and provides a lifestyle he could never have in Moros.
For all that Elish says King Silas is unpredictable and an emotional shape-shifter, Elish is the same. He is the Master of Puppets and an incredible manipulator of not only games, but people and their lives in and around Skyfall – with reach even farther afield into the greywastes. His motto is to be stoic, calm and collected no matter what, someone is always watching.
To cut a long story short, Elish takes an interest in the young, feisty and attractive, if not malnourished, Jade. Once this occurs, a lot of things change in Jade’s world. Kerres is arrested when he tries to confront Elish. Jade is taken by Elish to Skyland to be his cicaro, his pet. Kerres eventually becomes disillusioned and joins a local terrorist group, the Crimstones. Jade is (painfully) introduced to the royal chimeras, including King Silas. Jade’s mother is killed at Stadium while he is forced to watch – Stadium is a weekly event that sees ‘criminals’ pitted against Ares and Silas. It is a way of reducing the population as well as a popular and barbaric sport.
Breaking Jade has events prior to and building during the first book, Fallocaust. Jade meets Killian in Tamerlan and Reaver in Aras. Then you briefly see the beginning stages of Killian being followed by Reaver after his parent’s death. Leo and Greyson are given some small page time and the relationship between them all, particularly Elish’s role in Leo and Reaver being in Aras, and the whys of Reaver – and Reaver + Killian – are given some further explanation with another view and twist.
Breaking Jade also looks more closely at the genetic engineering of the chimeras and their different generations and abilities – how some are immortal, and others aren’t, who makes up components of the next gen, who the twenty are. There is also the class structure, and the behaviour of the unbelievably psychopathic king that leads them. It allows the reader to become increasingly enmeshed in the series and the players of the game – and make no mistake, this is a game. Jade is an empath with a kicker, I’ll leave the kicker part up to the readers. As an empath, he can see and interpret auras – know who will be matched the best and what strengths and (potential) weaknesses people have. A perfect skillset to go with his game-playing master-cum-lover.
Niggles: (And I have a few)
Editing. Editing. I understand that typos get through, heck, my reviews are not perfect. If the author reads this review know that I say this in good faith. Get a good line editor and then get a good content editor, someone you know will tell you the truth…then listen to them.
Content – at least twenty percent of this book could have had a red line through it and it would have strengthened the read. One example is the period Jade is sent back to Moros and becomes the Shadow Killer – it could have been reduced greatly. When he ends up in the brothel/drug den, it should have been slashed severely, if not completely.
Line – there are words used in the most bizarre manner, misspelt words, along with general typos. There are missing commas and commas in the wrong places. It is simply not good enough for a commercially published book –
“You set me up to whiteness that.”
…I started getting angry at the injustice of their literally being no justice.
…but without a word Quin stocked past him and pressed the button on the elevator.
This filled me with a fresh flood of distain
…he’s a miserably little cuss….”
Nausea creeped into my stomach…
Unbenounced to Jade Chess usually meant something different between these two
The POV changes were not smooth.
Tense was mixed up.
I don’t like devoting my book reviews to editing, but this is the second book I have read in the series with the significant editing issues. I would love to see it fixed as I am emotionally invested in these characters and in this world.
And please, no more stiff members. Use cock, dick, prick, something-anything… other than stiff member. It is unsexy and unappreciated.
I won’t even go on about the blond chimera, the red-haired boy….
Why do I love this series and yet I can still rant about editing and stiff members?
Quil Carter has quite the imagination and a way of making this world and its inhabitants addictive. I am constantly on edge whilst reading this series. Here, I loved Elish Dekker and I really liked Jade. In Fallocaust, I loved Reaver and Killian. The secondary characters are also fleshed out really well. Luca, the sengil, is gorgeous and the King raises your hackles and makes you so angry, so fearful. I love good characterisations and I truly do love an emotionally fucked-up, psychologically unhealthy love in a fantasy (dystopian) setting – it allows me a lot of loose-moral-latitude that I usually can’t allow myself in a contemporary setting. I think the world building is good and it is a unique gay fantasy/dark romance. And in amongst the neediness and the beatings, the gore and rape, there is a love story. A love story that was over two years in the book, but much longer in the making. Jade worked to find a home and Elish allowed himself to finally feel. I loved that Jade was fiery with Elish, and Elish loved that fire. Loved to fight it and try to break Jade as much as Jade found something good in the fight. I hope I get more on this pair as it is needed. They are a truly matched sado-masochistic pair.
When it came down to it, I was happy being his cicaro outside of his bedroom, and his lover inside it.
Breaking Jade is another long book in this series. It is listed as a companion book but in all honesty if you don’t read it, and in the right order, you will miss out on interesting and vital information.
There are no two ways about it, I am hooked on this world. I honestly did not like Jade’s chapter in Fallocaust, and was not sure what to expect going in here, but I wanted to keep up with the series. Had I missed reading this I would have missed out on the machinations behind Reaver in the greywastes, and the manipulations that went on in Skyfall. I also would have missed out on an interesting and messed up dystopian romance. This series is refreshing and addictive. There are great characters to keep it going. I want more. 4 Stars!
Song for the book – Lux Aeterna (Requiem For a Dream)