flesh cartel consequencesRating: 4 stars
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Length: Novella

Consequences is the second episode in the second season of The Flesh Cartel. In the previous episode, Dougie and Mat Carmichael were transported to the home of Nikolai, who is training Mat for his new owner. They’ve already suffered the worst abuse imaginable. They’ve been kept on the brink of starvation and raped and beaten repeatedly, with Mat suffering the worst of it. As Consequences begin, Nikolai is in the midst of his training, trying to discover the best methods for breaking down each of the men.

Mat is a fighter. In fact, his new owner bought him especially for that reason. Nikolai has to find the balance between making him obedient with a bit of a struggle and breaking him completely. The last thing he needs is for Mat to mindlessly obey Nikolai. He has to figure out the motivation it will take to keep Mat fighting, even when everything that he has had done to him has left him no reason to live. Nikolai knows the answer: Doug. Mat will do anything for his brother, even if it means suffering the most unthinkably horrendous torture. This includes filling him with medicine that brings him to the brink of death and provides hours of pain and suffering.

In another room, Nikolai keeps Doug. He is not training Doug for anyone specific, and is finding great pleasure in him for himself. Doug is extremely beautiful and submissive, and his studies in psychology make him an obedient and astute trainee. Nikolai introduces Doug to the sexual experiences he will be having with a future owner. For Doug, this is damaging both physically and mentally. Doug is straight, and while his body takes pleasure from the penetration, his mind is going crazy with the struggle. The final pages of this episode are a brutal rape, which is done with great care to keep Doug in good physical shape, but which wreaks havoc on Doug’s psyche.

Truthfully, I’m just not sure how much more I can take of this serial. It’s well-written on so many levels. The horrifying description is precise — so precise that it’s hard to feel anything but gut-wrenching pain and nausea for these two men. While it takes a talented author to pull that much emotion from the reader, it doesn’t make for a pleasant reading experience. I oftentimes have to put down the book and walk away, because I just can’t stand feeling so sick while I’m reading it.

If I thought that the turning point was on its way, if there was hope around the corner, I would not hesitate to jump right into the next installment. But I know that any salvation for these boys is a long way off, and I’m, quite honestly, not sure if I can make it that long. I love Doug and Mat and hate Nikolai with a passion, and this continuous abuse and torture, without a moment of respite, is draining. I hope the authors will give us something to cling to in order to continue with this serial.

In a serial that is hoping to keep readers coming back month after month, we need more than constant agonizing hell to make us want to continue reading. My rating for this serial went down half a star, and if things continue in this vein, I’m guessing the rating will steadily decline or I may have to quit altogether. I’ll give it a chance for awhile longer, but I need more than this to keep me going.

Amy sig

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