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Life Prison

(Life Prison: Mercy's Prisoner #1)

3.74  ·  Rating details ·  43 ratings  ·  11 reviews
"I'd heard of guards like this; they existed in prisoners' tales like beautiful princesses exist in the tales of ugly boys. I supposed that I ought to be grateful to have been assigned such a guard. . . . I didn't feel grateful."

In the unmerciful world of Mercy Prison, there is no rule but unending pain. For Merrick, the arrival of his new guard provides hope that he may b
Kindle Edition, 110 pages
Published September 29th 2008 by Love in Dark Settings Press
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Average rating 3.74  · 
Rating details
 ·  43 ratings  ·  11 reviews

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Julio Genao
Nov 25, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: novella
spectacularly clever.

subversive, and a little illicit.

i'm not at all into dubcon as a kink—but i am into storycraft.

and the story-fu with this one is strong.

for while it makes use of rape as a dramatic device and may certainly be construed as a dubcon story, i believe that it isn't.

the rape and related mortifications of the flesh that occur in this are all a function of the setting, and serve as context that sets the reader up for some excellent reversals.

the brutality is not the point of the ta
Danny Tyran
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
A.B. Gayle
Jul 27, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: first-person-pov
This is a story about expectations and preconceptions. If you believe you are nothing, that the system around you is wrong and your fellow inmates no better than you then what hope do you have?

Ever since he arrived in Mercy Prison, Merrick has dreamed and schemed about ways to gain his release, which, for him, is death.

He has long ago decided who he is, his attitude to life and the worth of the people around him. He thinks he knows it all. Then he is put under the charge of Thomas, a man younger
Dusk Peterson

When Thomas arrived the next morning – it was my weekly day of rest from work, so I was engaging in a particularly agonizing examination of the walls – I said, before he could speak, "I'm sorry about my bad temper last time. I get out of sorts occasionally."

"Not at all." His reply was cool, as were his eyes, which rested upon me heavily, like a block of ice. It came to me as I watched him that this young man, whatever his flaws might be, had received personal training from Compassion's

Actual rating is 4.5 Stars.

What an incredible turn of events! Such a page-turner! I honestly didn't think this story could end well, even vaguely... but... I was happily proven wrong. :)
Fenriz Angelo
Mar 05, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very interesting and beautifully written. Even the things that shoudln't be beautiful, were.
Nile Princess
Hmm, not sure how to feel about this one. As usual, I love Dusk Peterson's descriptive writing. You literally feel like you're deep in this hellish world of despair with these prisoners. I empathized with the prisoners, and with Thomas for wanting to change things. I especially like the compassion of Thomas juxtasposed with that precise, cold way he could get which could have gotten really interesting and beautiful if explored further (I'm guessing it will be, in later books?) What really threw ...more
Jun 22, 2010 rated it liked it
Seriously confusing, but deep at the same time. The two main characters of the first story (Thomas and Merrick) have some kind of complicated relationship, where one thinks he is manipulating the other, but really he's being manipulated, but HE's being manipulated...


I disliked the ending a bit. Although it was nice/happy/fulfilling that Merrick became a reformer of treatment of prisoners (despite being a prisoner himself), it was disappointing that his view of life changed so dramatical
3.5 stars
There were some disturbing moments that involved the protagonist of this story. The protagonist himself is not easy to read about, even more how this is told from his point of view. It's a well-written story, but in my opinion too short for the message it tried to deliver.
Apr 01, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: m-m, ebook
It's haunting, beautiful and confusing. I feel like there are several more layers of meaning beyond my grasp.
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Goodreads Librari...: Series cover uploaded instead of e-book cover 6 163 Nov 26, 2012 01:24PM  
Honored in the Rainbow Awards, Dusk Peterson writes historical speculative fiction with diverse characters: historical fantasy, alternate history, and retrofuture science fiction. Friendship, romantic friendship, and romance often occur in the stories. Visit for e-books and free fiction.

A resident of Maryland, Mx. Peterson lives with an apprentice and several thousand books.

Other books in the series

Life Prison: Mercy's Prisoner (4 books)
  • Milord (Life Prison, #1.3)
  • Isolation (Life Prison, #1.4)
  • Coded Messages (Life Prison, #1.2)

News & Interviews

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