Thursday, June 04, 2015

Review: The Captain’s Pet (Alien Slave Masters Series book #1) by Samantha Cayto

Title ~ The Captain’s Pet (Alien Slave Masters Series book #1)

Author ~ Samantha Cayto

Publisher ~ Totally Bound

Published ~  2nd June

Genre ~ Science Fiction, M/M Erotic Romance


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When a distant planet’s ownership is in dispute, conquering aliens turn defiant human males into pampered sex slaves.
In a not-too-distant future, a lopsided war has led to aliens invading and occupying an Earth settlement. Wid is a young colonist who has been caught harassing the aliens. He and his friends are rounded up and sent to an alien warship patrolling the disputed space. His fate is to serve as a sex slave for the ship’s imposing captain. Wid, at first, fights against his enslavement, but soon learns that not only does he stand no chance against the much larger and stronger captain, he isn’t sure he even wants to.
Like all Travian males, Kell is bound by duty to defend his people. Having risen to the rank of captain, he nevertheless chafes against the boring and endless patrol of the space invaded by the humans. His misses his family and constantly guards against his scheming first officer. He sees his reward of a human sex slave as more of a nuisance. Yet the pretty, fair-haired human’s exotic allure is hard to resist. He finds far more pleasure in the use of his pet than he would like.
Kept naked and leashed, Wid’s days are filled with boredom, while his nights wrapped in Kell’s arms turn from fear into pleasure. Even as the humans plot their escape, Wid and Kell form a bond and their growing affection cannot be ignored. When tensions boil over among the aliens, Wid and his friends may be Kell and his crew’s only chance for survival.

Reader Advisory: This book contains sex scenes of both non-consensual and dubious consent, as well as scenes of violence, abuse and torture.

Macky’s Review

I didn't think I'd end up loving this book so much, but saying that I am a m/m Sci Fi fan...especially if it's set in deep space, on board ship, and there's an intriguingly different alien race involved. I also love slave fic so putting the two together with a provoking storyline, memorable characters (both human and alien) and some well thought out world and culture building—well, I really shouldn't be surprised at how much The Captains Pet kept me engrossed!

"This book contains sex scenes of both non-consensual and dubious consent, as well as scenes of violence, abuse and torture"

Those are the warnings given and there's no sugar coating it. Rape and abuse are uncompromisingly portrayed from the onset, but these are a race of technically advanced humanoid aliens whose culture, codes of ethics, scruples, morals, standards and ideals are so far in opposition to those of the people they're in conflict with, they just see taking these defiant, inferior beings as 'spoils of war' because of their superiority. Their prisoners are not viewed as equals, ergo they can do with them as they please without compassion, conscience or remorse; so because of that Wid and the rest of the captured boys are given (as a reward) to certain members of the crew of Kell's ship to be kept as sex slaves and pets.

More unfortunately, because of the enmity between the two races, a few of the Travian crew are even more hostile towards humans than others, and their treatment of the slaves is far more brutal and uncivilized than the rest of the crew, who still take their pleasure forcibly from their 'pets' as a matter of rote, but in a detached way, still look after the boys they've acquired. Making sure they're well fed and allowed time together daily with their fellow captives in a community room, provided for the boys on board the ship. A room that contains a pool with restorative properties to help the boys heal quicker from the rough handling they endure nightly from the huge aliens. Nothing ever condones their actions, but in an extremely twisted way, the boys have a more 'comfortable' existence than they ever lead on the ravaged planet they were taken from.

What follows isn't just a story about gratuitous hard limit sex scenes, but one that also focuses on how Wid and the rest of the boys constantly fight for survival. All the time plotting to find ways to escape their predicament and forced confinement, while learning more about the cryptic alien race who actually live in a completely different political and social system than originally thought by their adversaries.

Even though a relationship of sorts develops between Wid and Kell, the Travian Captain; because of their differing cultures and dynamics, the attachment between them never evolves into a formulaic hearts and flowers style romance. Not even when they finally go beyond the non con master/slave situation...a big part of why I loved this so much. To have gone in that direction would just have turned this into another predictable sex driven, slave/capture plot, but this also has a damned good backstory that made it an attention grabbing read that personally I couldn't put down, and in my opinion is a refreshing step up from the usual offerings.

Wid is feisty… a fighter…and the development of his and Kells 'relationship' from being totally non consensual to a tentative bond—which to me, because of Wids nature, never felt like Stockholm Syndrome—is well paced and at times surprisingly exciting. Despite Kell's initial role in the story, I reluctantly found myself slowly growing to like the alien captain and a couple of his crew members. Their unusual culture fascinating to say the least, as more information about Kell's world and its politics were fed into the story.

Did it ever excuse their treatment of Wid and the others? Absolutely not...but it gave more insight into why they acted as they did, and as insight garners more understanding, it became a vice versa situation for Kell, as the more he learned about the young prisoner, the more he also began to view Wid as something other than just a mindless sex pet who satisfied his sexual needs...the twist coming when long term, underlying unrest on the ship between Kell and his aggressively ambitious first mate and his faction, puts the boys in a position of having to make choices that, as a means of long term survival, are the last ones they expect to be acting on!

I loved how Samantha Cayto took such a harsh subject and made it readable, without ever feeling too squirmy. Her writing style is very easy and I've found everything I've read by her a very enjoyable reading experience, but this one in particular did feel like a more stand out read and is definitely my favourite up to now. I know the subject matter won't be for everyone; rape is a hard trigger. However, if like me you're a reader with no particular boundaries, I think you'll really enjoy this darkly compelling Sci Fi tale too. I was fully engaged by this novella, and knowing there are two more to come about sweet, gentle Stuart, and Wid's straight, fiery co conspirator, Joel, and their Travian masters, can't wait to get stuck into their stories!


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1 comment:

  1. I love m/m sci fi and this sounds great..
    Great review also.