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Shattered Paperback – November 22, 2011
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"If art is meant to disturb, to reach out and touch an individual on a visceral level, then I.G. Frederick did so for this reader. Not an easy accomplishment, for I have layers of scars over those wounds. Read SHATTERED if you've a lion's heart. Live it if you dare." Brenda Thatcher, Co-Owner Mystique Books
"I.G. Frederick's...savvy of the lifestyle and excellent writing style left me mesmerized, looking forward to each next page. Although much of this subject is new to me, the articulate writing style made me feel as though I had been playing for years. I highly recommend Shattered as well as the companion book Broken." Andrew G. Katsetos
"Not only did I find them highly addictive but after I had inhaled every speck the withdrawal cravings were nearly instantaneous. I am hooked now and have a jones for more in this series and I need it NOW!!!!!!!!!!" Snakeman
From the Author
Cautionary tale about abuse and the meaning of consent.
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"Shattered" has a decidedly didactic quality about it; parts of the story read less like artfully-paced dramatic fiction than some dry psychological case study or an extended "information dump" sidebar in a textbook on the BDSM lifestyle. A sequel to Frederick's "Broken," featuring many of the same players, "Shattered" is perhaps more satisfying than the first novel when considered solely as story, albeit even more perplexing from the standpoint of character motivation and consistency.
In "Broken," we first meet Jessica as a rather shallow object of pity, a hapless victim, passively accepting her enslavement. By the end of that first book, she has literally shaken off her chains, realized her true potential as a FemDom, and found a kind of peace in the arms of a soul-mate submissive--a BDSM happily-ever-after if there ever was one. But what are we to make of the Jessica we encounter in "Shattered"? Though now a licensed therapist, this same character has morphed into an ice-hearted monster with no qualms about victimizing others for her own selfish ends; cruel, manipulative, ethically detached, she is the true student of the sadistic professor who first coerced and enslaved her. It may well be that we become like those we hate and fear; but it might also have been interesting to see exactly how that happened to Jessica.
Zachary, a brilliant but deeply troubled young man comes to Jessica's office seeking help. (The opening paragraphs of "Shattered" offer a pitch-perfect description of obsessive-compulsive behavior.) The victim of childhood abuse and profound psychological trauma, he drifts through life, lacking any meaningful focus or structure. Jessica sees the boy as the perfect guinea pig for a radical experiment;
"Some researchers have used pain to effectively treat depression. Pain causes the release of endorphins, which can reduce anxiety and stimulate your sense of well-being. They can also reduce serotonin levels . . ."
Jessica envisions bondage and discipline--"whipping therapy"--as a way of managing Zachary's depressive cycles. Such blatantly unethical, unsanctioned experimentation surpasses mere unprofessional behavior, wandering dangerously into classic "mad scientist" territory. Fully aware of what might happen if her misconduct is exposed, she isolates and enslaves the young man, imprisoning him in her own personal dungeon. And when he is no longer useful to her research, she abandons him.
One of the keys to a fuller appreciation of this narrative is to understand early on that "Shattered" is not about Jessica; it is, above all, the story of Zachary's search for liberation and wholeness. As Jessica fades from the foreground to become the one-dimensional off-stage villain of the piece, Zachary finds Alyssa, Jessica's wiser, older ex-friend, a Domina who has suffered a terrible debilitating loss. It is through Alyssa and her profound grief that the young man realizes the horror of what has been done to him:
"She (Jessica) only mentioned one threesome; bondage and discipline, domination and submission, and sadism and masochism.' Alyssa reluctantly pulled her feet away. `No, there are three threesomes. Those, but also tops, bottoms and switches, and more importantly, safe, sane and consensual."
Finding enlightenment and purpose with Alyssa, Zachary begins to understand himself and his own genuine needs; "A slave should always choose if, when, and who to give himself to . . ."
Notwithstanding its awkwardly contrived "happy ending," much of what goes on in "Shattered" is quite hard to take; gratuitous degradation and torture, pain and abject humiliation, vividly rendered--and yet we are left wondering, to what end. Seeing it all in our minds' eyes, we can begin to appreciate the quote from Nietzsche on one of Zachary's tee shirts: "In the consciousness of the truth he has perceived, man now sees everywhere only the awfulness or the absurdity of existence . . . and loathing seizes him."