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(Davlova #1)

3.81  ·  Rating details ·  262 ratings  ·  73 reviews
Davlova: a poverty-ridden city-state ruled by a tyrannical upper class. Resources are scarce and technology is illegal. But in the slums, revolution is brewing.

Misha is a common pickpocket until his boss gives him a new job. Disguised as a whore, Misha is sent to work for one of the most powerful men in the city. But his real task is far more dangerous: get close to Migue
Kindle Edition, 283 pages
Published June 22nd 2014 by Marie Sexton
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3.81  · 
Rating details
 ·  262 ratings  ·  73 reviews

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Never thought I'd read a Marie Sexton due to the reason pictured below...

But will you look at this! Marie Sexton goes dark and creepy, you guys! She even adopted a new pen name, A.M. Sexton, for what she calls a “dark, kinky, semi-cyberpunk novel”. It’s a shame I can’t make comparisons to Sexton’s ‘fluffier’ works, as I haven’t read any of those yet. But what I can do, is comment on the promised darkness of this story. Was it really necessary to adopt a new pen name for this book? For the fans o
Emma Sea
Jan 27, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: darkfic fans who don't need a conventional romance
Recommended to Emma Sea by: Jenni Lea

The most lush and enchanting violence I've ever had the pleasure of reading.
Jenni Lea

Holy-fuck-me-sideways this book was good!

I can't even!

How can I both adore and loathe a character at the same time? I mean, this character, this villain captured my heart yet I was also driven to rage at what he'd done - numerous times. Over and over and OVER again.

I picked this book up on a whim. I read the blurb and thought it would be an interesting read. Boy was it ever! It grabbed hold of me from the first word and didn't let go until the end.

There's no way I can even begin to give a prop
Rosa, really

DNF 56%

I really wanted to like this one but my reaction can be summed up as

Except for when I read the words "Oh, Miguel. Don't make me love you again." And then my reaction was

It's not that I actively disliked it, it's just that I felt like I couldn't connect to it in any way. Not my thing, I guess.

Aug 31, 2015 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: dub-non-con
I treasure books, I don't use a bookmark, turn pages, I'm careful not to break the spine. If this was book not an ebook I'd have hurled it at the wall then stamped on it!

The start is well written, amazing sense of place; weight of the air, every sense engaged, Misha an appealing niave narrator. There's no doubt Sexton can write. I was drawn in.

Then. Nothing. The world instead of expanding narrows to Misha's headspace, world-building is forgotten. It's like looking at an oil painting; I can tell
This was technically very well written, only it had no story. It bored me quickly, even though the first pages drew me in.

I usually enjoy scifi or spec tortureporn, but to do so I need to be in on the emotions of the violence, Misha was so completely and regularly drugged out of it, that there was nothing to titillate me. It was just boring.

Then, I am really the wrong addressee for hebephilia fodder. I know it's a thing for many readers, but I am simply disgusted by it. Teenagers made to look m
Bree Cheese
4.5 stars. Wow, I devoured this one! The abusive relationship is a bit frustrating, but the end is perfect. Highly recommend this dark, lush novel to dystopian lovers.

4.5 stars

I find myself wanting to read fewer fantasies these days because I just don’t find many of them that well done. Or, at least, of interest to me.

Not so, this one.

I was hooked from the start; the world building is engrossing, the writing is excellent. Written under another pseudonym, I guessed that Ms Sexton would still deliver something entertaining and sensual. But herein lies a darker tale than the usual.

This is a dystopian fantasy set in an island world physically divided by a white
This review has been cross-posted atReviews By Jessewave

4.6 Stars

I will start by saying that Release is a dark read and won't be for everyone. It was an intense book to read and it's taken me a while to get my thoughts together regarding it. Even if you normally like Marie Sexton's writing, this book is very different than her norm, hence the pseudonym. You'll likely either love it or hate it. I loved it. Heed the book warning, though; some of the content is difficult to read. It's dark and pull

Marie Sexton is pretty much hit and miss for me and frankly, there were more misses. :\
But dystopian setting and the fact that this was marketed as her "venture into darker waters" piqued my interest enough to give it a try.

Ok, I'll start with world-building. The story is set in Davlova and in a way, the city is another character because it plays a huge role by the end. Davlova reminded me very much of maritime republics, medieval itallian city-states. It's self-governing, it's a port-city and o
JustJen "Miss Conduct"
4.5 star review by The Blogger Girls.

This story called to me immediately. I don’t think I even associated this with the author’s other work, but it wouldn’t have mattered either way because this just sounded interesting from the cover to the title and right down to the blurb.

Davlova is a dark and gritty world. There are two sides, the rich or elite people running the government on one side of the wall, and the peasants or lesser people on the other. Those same people are on the verge of rebellio
Jo * Smut-Dickted *
I am very surprised there are so few reviews for this novel here.

I went looking for a kind of dystopian feeling novel - and didn't much care if there was romance or sex or whatever. I wanted some great world building, a kind of victory of the masses, and some great characters who I get behind when they kicked but. I got so much more than that. The world created here was very rich, very vibrant. True to the dystopian genre it contrasts the "have's" with the "have not's" by exploiting the type of
Aimee ~is busy sleeping~
Highly recommended to anyone who likes their dark fics. I can't believe it took me months to finally read this...! This book was basically unputdownable for me the entire day. It was a discomfittingly darkly sensual, violent, and exhilarating read with morally complex characters. My feelings towards the three main characters, Misha, Donato, and Ayo were definitely conflicted...It just all became a delicious twisted mess. Though all the way, my sympathies stayed with Misha and poor, sad Ayo. I'm ...more
****Reviewd for Prism Book Alliance****

4.75 Stars

I don’t usually ask for much from my mm fiction. I want entertainment, I want resolution and satisfaction, I want sexy times. I usually read happier HEA stories and I don’t expect deep meaningful metaphors or commentary on society and the nature of love. However, every once and a while I like delving into something darker, and when I find that commentary, and it can make me think and question without taking me out of the story, I call that a win.

Leta Blake
Sep 03, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Review to come. Bold and ballsy showing. Skipped lunch and made excuses to go to bed early so I could keep reading.

Edited to add: 4.5 stars for me. I was very impressed by the fact that Sexton didn't pull any punches with this book, diving right into darkness and following it down. The world building was well-done, the conundrum the character faces was great, and I decided to give it the full five stars in my rating because, as I said, I was so impressed by the fact that Sexton really went ther
A dystopian type fantasy with not only one but two slaves and their master. Well, this book is my dream come true! The world building is really different and believable and you never quite know where the story is headed. Considering some of the books I've read I actually found the abusive element to Miguel Donato and Misha and Ayo's relationship a bit difficult to read at times. I appreciate it was all a necessary part of the story though and of course Donato was an absolute darling after one of ...more
Deep and dark and totally immersive. Release is the story of Misha a young man who has grown up under harsh circumstances in a dystopian world where the poor live at the bottom of the hill in a ghetto area, whilst the elite and governing classes live beyond the walls with luxury at their fingertips.

Misha works for his clan as a pickpocket turning occasional tricks. An opportunity presents for Misha to gather information on Miguel Donato one of Davlova's most powerful and dangerous men. Misha ass
Adrian Fridge
Jul 03, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Misha is a thief-turned-whore who's doing a spy job on an elite member of the upper class. This is very well written, compelling, and dark.

The relationship Misha forms with Donato is a roller-coaster, and I'm pleased it wasn't forced into an HEA. Fact is, Donato is abusive. Even when he's being overly sweet and apologetic, he's being abusive (view spoiler)
Oct 07, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: kindle-lendable

That was a wild ride! A future where technology is banned for the poor and only the wealthy have the luxury of electricity! Slaves, neural implants, genetically engineered sex slaves, transgender guys, whores and pickpockets....the list could go on! Misha was perfect, he was conflicted Conflicted in his loyalties and his emotions. He loved Miguel and hated Donato...and I did too!!

The biggest fucking fuck.....that ending.......F U C K!!!!!


Awesome book.
Aug 31, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: freebies, owned-azn
An engrossing master/slave page-turner centered around an unambiguously abusive and unhealthy relationship. The story is full of emotion and heart, but there is no sugar-coating what is really going on here, though Misha, in his denial, does try.

Donato is shown as having two sides to his nature. There is the vicious, brutal master who assaults his paid whore both physically and verbally. And there is “Miguel” (Donato’s first name), who treats Misha lovingly and claims to feel remorse for his ab
dammit, that one chick
I strongly disliked this book. I'm not particularly sensitive to dark themes and/or violence in a book. If it serves a purpose in the plot or feeling uncomfortable is a part of the storytelling, I can respect that. I thought this might be more like Carrie Waites' Gamble Everything or Adrienne Wilder's Bound Gods, but it's not.

The most prominent theme of this book, to me at least, was the cycle of abuse. Just to be clear, is NOT a BDSM book. It's one character lashing out and beating the "whore"
Sep 01, 2015 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
DNF @ 64%

I haven't come back to this one, and can't bring myself to finish it. I think I only got as far as I did as I was reading it for a BR!

Technically this was well-written and initially the whole premise and the main character Misha drew me in until around about a third in, but after a while I felt that really nothing at all was happening. And then lots of things that I really hated were happening, repeatedly...sooooo, it's a DNF with 1 star as I really didn't like this at all.

Full review t
Dee Wy
Jun 24, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's late - short review. I liked this, though it felt a bit slow at times. I wanted more action on the main mystery plot, but I can look back and see that everything in the relationship between Donato and Misha needed to be there and take center stage before the story could move on to the "big revolution" and "release" that was brewing.

An interesting sci-fi world where the haves and have-nots clash. Though no one said "Let them eat cake," the end result was the same. The abusive/loving romance
L.A. Witt
Jun 17, 2014 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
As soon as I have time to read more than the back of a cereal box, I am ALL OVER THIS.
3.5 Stars

I'm not sure why I didn't connect with this one as much as I expected to; it had all the right ingredients for a book I would love, but I didn't.

Well, I mean, I know part of it was my horror at how every time Donato would beat Misha bloody, black & blue...he'd just forgive him. Yes, at first it was so that he could continue to infiltrate Donato's life, in an effort to get the information his boss needed, info only he could scrounge up as someone who could get close to Donato, info t
Sep 13, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: m-m
This had so much potential but ultimately it fell short for me.

The novel takes place in the city of Davlova, a city on the brink of revolution. The rich live on the hill, while the poor live in the trenches. The rebels use Misha to spy on powerful aristocrat Miguel Donato by being his whore.

Now my biggest problem was with the main character, Misha. Worst.Spy.Ever. Within two days Misha is already half in love with his mark. In two seconds flat Misha goes from hail the revolution to what revolu
Chiara Ropolo
Jul 30, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Primo libro di una duologia, dico subito che non lascia in sospeso, ha una sua conclusione e non c'è il colpo di scena finale che lascia col fiato sospeso (e la voglia di strozzare l'autrice). Ho lo stesso voglia di leggere il seguito e lo farò presto.
È un libro distopico e di quelli tosti. Posso definirlo duro, crudo, violento e direi finalmente! Mi è piaciuto tantissimo il worldbuilding, anche se il mezzo punto in meno è dovuto proprio al bisogno di qualche informazione in più riguardo. Fu
2.5 звезды

Прекрасная иллюстрация тех случаев, когда авторы пытаются писать о том, что им не близко и попросту неприятно. Увы, и в этом случае нетленки не получилось.

Жанр: смесь стимпанка и киберпанка. Миростроение минимальное.

Сюжет: уличного парнишку Мишу отправляют на важное политическое задание - поработать мальчиком по вызову у одного благородного судьи и выведать как можно больше тайной информации. Судья оказался непрост - садист с чем-то вроде раздвоения личности: то люблю - не могу, то луп
I really liked this dark, violent departure from Marie Sexton. A new pseudonym was probably a good choice; other than generally good writing, it bears little resemblance to the author's other works, and it's really not a romance. Lots of good stuff here: interesting world building, memorable characters, and one hell of an ending. I have no idea where the sequel might go, but I'm curious to find out.
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