Bliss by Lisa Henry and Heidi Belleau

4 Stars (4 / 5)

Prepare yourselves to fall, because this one is dark; so dark that your throat will close up and your stomach will turn. And you’ll find yourselves loving every second of it. If this book is for you, and we’ll get into the dos and don’ts in a minute, you’ll ride this rollercoaster of ugly and hate and love every page.

What goes on in Bliss is something that should never happen, not even in the pages of a book. Rory and Tate’s story is something out of the darkest horrors stories. Here’s how it goes: Rory James moves legally into the idyllic Beulah, where there’s virtually no crime-rate and no violence because the system works. In comes Tate Patterson, lured by the lack of jails in Beulah thinking of it as an easy target, and he gets sucked into this perfect rehabilitation program for criminals; but he is faced with how actually screwed up the system really is. Tate is chipped and put under Rory’s roof, to comply with the city’s Rehabilitation through Restitution program and serve Rory for seven years. What Rory doesn’t know, is that the pleasant and complying Tate is under the influence of a much behavioral-modifying chip that he thought; Tate is unable to disobey and unable to tell anyone about how deep the chip goes. Tate learns that even though there’re no prisons in Beulah, his fate is much worse: he is locked up inside his own mind without the possibility to ask for help.

I’m going to stop you right here; if rape and non-con are triggers you shouldn’t even try to get into this one.

The chip is set to make Tate only feel good when he serves his master, no matter how painful and dehumanizing the serving might get; and they test it to a fault; while we get the run down of what Tate is asked to do, we also get the voice inside his head and the conflict between what the chip forces him to think and feel and what is really going on inside his head.

The taking away someone’s free will is not piece of cake to deal with; not even when the subject of said stripping is actually happy to oblige, because he doesn’t have a choice. Tate is actually in pain –excruciating, bleeding pain – when he tries to go against the chip.

“They are always happy”

Ms. Henry gives us dark, twisted and disgusting characters, and also sweet, compassionate and naïve ones. She writes a world where the romance takes second place to emotions and behavioral modification making us question the advances in technology that we might even get to see. People are so pleased with the results that they fail to see the lie and the ugliness behind the perfection.

I wouldn’t recommend this book to everyone; it’s too dark and so twisted and so disgusting sometimes that some of you might not even be able to get past the first half. But if you can deal with the ugliness, the disgusting, and the need to pull your hair out when you see a character being less of a human being or even getting so sucked up in the lie that they don’t even notice how dehumanizing they are being, then you’ll find yourselves sucked up in an amazing story, where feelings and emotions go deeper than thinking.

Bliss Bliss by Lisa Henry   Published August 18th 2014 by Riptide Publishing
ISBN: 9781626491380 GoodreadsWorldCatLibraryThingGoogle BooksBookFinderShelfari

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