ARC Review: The Decimation of Mae by D.H. Sidebottom

Saturday, July 05, 2014
This story doesn’t contain hearts and flowers, it doesn’t even contain the word ‘love’. It isn’t for the fainthearted, nor those who want romance and happy ever afters.
It’s dark, in fact it goes beyond the dark realms of misery and despair. It makes your heart suffer, it will beat you down and it will still demand more from you.
Yet, it is still a story of hope and courage. Friendships develop and understanding digs deep, whilst acceptance and surrender give way to reverence and sacrifice.
It contains disturbing scenes of sexual violence, cruelty and torture. It also includes self-harm, pain addiction and brutalisation. 
Please bear this in mind before purchasing this book. Thank you.

The Devil visited me three times in my life, albeit, my short life. Not in the physical sense you must understand, but very much literally.

He was persistent, if not resolute and tenacious. His ruthless greed to annihilate me was utterly disturbed. I am sure if he had hierarchy, the man at the top would have dragged his arse into Hell prison just for his unscrupulous methods.

I was just fifteen when I first became aware of what he was capable of. This initial taste of him set the playing field for how my life was to be lived – for want of a better word.
He mocked me at this point, showed me mercilessly how he played the game, and how he liked to cheat at said game. He ridiculed and taunted until six months later, he won and took something of so much importance from me that I would never be the same again.

His second visit was, in my eyes, so much more cruel and heartless. I know we’re talking about the devil here, and yes, you have a right to say he had no heart, but even then, even when I was so utterly broken, I begged to differ and hoped – no prayed, that somewhere deep in the caverns of his black and tortured soul there was something that beat and confused his emotions once in a while.

But the third visit was somewhat different than the other two. He tried, and at first succeeded, to bring me to my knees once and for all but then something happened. God finally intervened and altered Satan’s intention; he sent hope and morphed the Devil’s minion into an Angel, hoping to break and shatter the anguish and suffering. He gave the ability for me to feel pleasure in pain, order in the chaos and light in the darkness.
But in giving me a reprieve, he also gave me something that would finally and ultimately obliterate me. He gave me the capability to love, therefore giving me the ability to be destroyed.
And Satan made sure that I was destroyed. Cruelly, viciously and sadistically.

I am Mae Swift, and this is the story of my decimation.

Publication Date: July 18th



What I expected when I started reading this book:
1. A captive story, main character falls in love with her captor/tormentor.
2.Violence, rape, torture.
3. Steam

Did I get that?

Accept the pain. Fear the agony.

I've read my fair share of dark reads, and The Decimation of Mae can compete with the best of them. From the very first page, I could tell I was going to like this story. Mae Swift, lost her parents and sister when she was very young, and to cope she began cutting, she also uses drugs, she met Daniel when she was eighteen. Once. One night, one experience that still haunts her.

Fast forward five years and Mae is taken, she's to be sold but before that she'll need training. A process that entails, breaking her down, she'll learn that her wants and needs no longer matter, the only thing she can think of is what her Master wants from her.

That is what made him so powerful; not the pain he could cause my body, but the agony he brought to my soul.

It's funny how you think you'll react when being raped. I'm not sure how other people saw it but I always imagined I'd scream and cry and fight, but in the moment that a man took away my soul, I felt nothing.

Although very dark, this is also a very sad story. Mae, has been beaten and broken down by her past and present. Every day of her existence is a struggle and her only reprieve is when she cuts. She was actually quite a strong and resilient character, she never gave up.

Daniel's character is cruel, sadistic and he feeds off Mae's pain. He enjoyed it when she fought him, he's very much a villain and he's capable of and has done the most horrible things. Everyday that Mae is in his hands is a fight for her life.

Fuck his mind games and his attempts to take my sanity. It would never belong to him, I would never let go of it for him. I was me. I was Mae fucking Swift, daughter of Madeline Swift and Graham Swift, and sister of the strongest heart that had ever graced this God damned diseased planet.

I'll warn you, yes this is a dark story but it's quite an emotional one too. Yes it's not a love story but it is a story of love, the characters are not perfect. Mae, lives in a warped reality and her actions and reactions reflect that. This is not the darkest book I've read but I thoroughly enjoyed so I would definitely recommend it. It's not a mind-fuck but there are twists.

ARC kindly provided by author in return for an honest review

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