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The Marketplace (Book One of The Marketplace Series) Kindle Edition
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|Length: 320 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
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"Children of Blood and Bone"
Tomi Adeyemi conjures a stunning world of dark magic and danger in her West African-inspired fantasy debut. Learn more
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Basically, The Marketplace is a secret society catering to those who wish to own well-trained slaves and those who wish to be sold as slaves. When we're talking about a slave in this context, we're talking about one with no limits.
I'm ambivalent about this book for a number of reasons. Firstly, if this was reality, the training provided in this book would be utilised by owners who can't be bothered training their own slaves and who want to buy one off the shelf. To me, that takes the dominant's authority away from them - isn't half the pleasure of owning a slave knowing that you've trained them yourself?
Secondly, there is a huge amount of sex in this book. I'm no prude and I don't have a problem with sex, but BDSM is not all about sex. If you want a lot of sex scenes mixed in with punishment, then you'll love this. But to me, it misrepresents what real-life BDSM is about and enforces the "kinky sex" stereotype that a lot of people seem to have about BDSM.
Thirdly, the grammatical and typographical errors throughout are horrendous. I don't know what device was used to type The Marketplace, but repeatedly mis-spelling "circumstance" as "circomestance" could easily have been corrected in most modern word processors. There are other oft-repeated and very annoying grammatical errors, which drove me to distraction. I admit that I'm fairly picky about things like this and I can live with a few errors, but this book is riddled with them.
However, I found this an interesting read overall. It is more than just a bunch of sex and BDSM scenes and it has a storyline.
This was quite a read. I was drawn in and kept involved although the characters were not pleasant. Still, the training and harshness and character development was well crafted and believable. The writing was paced and thorough. I was rooting for them all even the trainer.
The one thing that I could not let go was what happened to Sharon. Robert and Claudia were pampered compared to what Sharon went though. Even Brian was given fresh chances, but it seemed that from the outset there was a bias against Sharon. She was treated badly and given a cruel situation at the end. That left a bad taste.
In all this was a good read. It seemed as if the author had "lived" this tale.
The Marketplace is unflinching, brutal and has moments of droll humor. This is a book that grabs you from the get go. Laura's storytelling and writing is engaging, and as you read, you lose yourself in the world and the characters. This is heavy, heavy BDSM where four people are being trained as slaves and will be sold at auction to masters who are allowed to do whatever they want to them. This isn't some fantasy, sexual odyssey where pleasure and pain is combined for the ultimate climax. The slaves are put through rigorous tests and are humiliated to the point where it's almost non-consensual and brutal. The Marketplace reminds me of reality show television where the audience, or in this case the reader, picks a favorite they want to succeed and move forward in the hopes they'll be given to a master who will appreciate them and see how wonderful they are.
The slaves here are taught to bend to the will of others in power and not question why they are forced into doing things, no matter how humiliating. The slaves still have free will and can leave at any time, but they stick to it because they feel they have nothing else to turn to. The training center is run by two people, Alexandra and Grendel who have taken on the task of training four people who already have been involved in the BDSM scene as pseudo-slaves. These four all need major work and they're forced to go through a type of BDSM boot camp. We have Sharon, the spoiled and entitled thinking pleasure slave who thinks she'll be some rich man's slave and pampered and loved. There's Robert, a bear of a man who has a gender identity crisis because of the mistress's he served. Claudia is a true submissive and her mistress adores her but feels Claudia is dead inside and has no real skills and needs to be reprogrammed. Finally Brian embraces the scene but is cocky and doesn't think he needs to be taught or trained. These four will sleep, bathe, eat and work alongside one another for weeks in order to become perfect slaves. Under their caregiver and teacher of sorts, Chris Parker, the majordomo, rules with an iron fist while only obeying Alexandra and Grendel. Chris has a few dark secrets, one of which Brian is very aware of, and because of that he may not succeed.
Over the course of the novel we see the four slaves in training learning basic decorum and life skills such as laundry, cleaning out the stables on the property and housework. If the slaves complain or disappoint Chris and the staff, they're punished with whippings and paddlings and forced to pleasure a number of the staff or any guests who visit and not receive pleasure in return. In most cases it appears they're abused horribly and are expected to ask for more and take whatever is dished out to them.
A book like this is not for the faint of heart. The first section is more of an introduction and one that carries you along. There are more than a few scenes of humor and witty dialogue as you get to know the four slaves and their personalities. But then in the second section, that is where things turn dark and there are more than enough scenes of brutal acts and humiliations such as Brian being punished and forced to be a dog, and Sharon who cannot be broken and refuses to obey is forced to pleasure anyone, male or female in any way they want. A slave has no options or real desires. Their desires are their masters or master and they must always think of the one who owns them and not about themselves.
The reason The Marketplace was so enjoyable for me it because of the writing. Laura's writing and world building is very fascinating and enjoyable even though I flinched a few times because of what the slaves had to endure. There's this one scene with Sharon and two men who degrade her horribly that I had to stop reading. But if you can get past some of the shocking acts, you're in for a treat. Claudia and Robert will tug at your heartstrings and Brian will make you laugh with his statements and insults. Then there's Chris, a true enigma of a man who is still very much a mystery when you finish.
The Marketplace was addicting reading for me and I look forward in reading the next installments. These books are pricey at $10 a pop so most may take a step back from purchasing them. But if you are willing to sacrifice the $10, I would buy The Marketplace. Laura really opened my mind to a new world and way of life not many authors can pull off. I'm glad I took a chance and introduced myself to the world of The Marketplace and Laura Antoniou.
50 Shades of Grey reminded us that for many people, that fantasy is to be controlled, owned, and used for some else's pleasure.
The Marketplace follows leather playboy Brian, sweet, innocent Claudia, sissy maid Robert and drama queen Sharon as they enter a world where that fantasy is reality. The four are applicants to a house that trains people to be sold into consensual slavery, and to our protagonists, thst seems like a dream come true. Until it doesn't quite turn out the way they expected.
This is my fifth time rereading the Marketplace series, and it never leaves me wanting. There are characters to love, and characters to love to hate. The dialogue is clever and entertaining, the characters realistic even in their roles as caricatures, and the sex and kink are plenty steamy.
This is kinky smut for people who need a side of plot with their sex, and some diversity in their universes.
If the thought of serving, or being served is one of your kinks, then this book is a must read.