Shurrn's Reviews > Bliss

Bliss by Lisa Henry
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Creepy - beautifully written - absolutely gripping!

“…You send a man to prison once and chances are he’ll go there again and again. Prisons and punishments create criminals; they don’t deter them. But you give him a chance to rehabilitate himself in a meaningful way and everyone wins. You do, he does, and so does society as a whole…”
Sounds good on the surface. Which is just like the town of Beulah - Perfection to the naked eye… But there’s a darkness lurking in Beulah, unseen to outsiders and even the general population within…

On its face, Beulah is a Utopian society in the middle of a nation overrun with crime. The air is clean; the lawns are lush and green. There’s free healthcare, education, and the citizens are friendly… Which is precisely why Rory applied for a position within the protected walls of Beulah.

It was a little… nice. Yes. Safer to go with nice than with weird. Maybe it was a cultural thing. Maybe people here were just… happier.
Rory spent his years growing up in the putrid city of Tophet – he struggled to keep safe, feed himself, and put himself through college – now all that hard work is paying off. He got himself a job in beautiful Beulah working as an assistant for Chief Justice Jericho Lowel – the perfect job, with the perfect boss, provided with the perfect little house, in the perfect town…

Rory was barely off the train when his perfect experience is ruined by a surprise punch to the face. Rory’s rude welcome to the idyllic community is headline news for a town with no crime.

There hasn't been a trial in Beulah in nearly a decade. Criminals are urged to take a plea deal and agree to "Rehabilitation through Restitution" - the program places the criminal into the home of the person they've victimized. The victim helps to rehabilitate their fellow citizen as they perform restitution labor for a period of seven years.

Sponsors don't have to worry about living in close proximity of their "rezzy" though. All prisoners are implanted with a microchip which tracks them using GPS and ensures that they are non-violent. Sounds perfectly reasonable, right? Rory thought so too...

The Chip.
The chip wants to make me forget the truth. Never tell you the truth. Never make you unhappy. Never break its control. I have to lie.
Help me.
Help me.
Help me.
Tate thought that Beulah would be an easy mark – a town without crime is a town without security or prisons. He thought he could sneak in, steal enough to cover his debts, and then sneak back out. He didn't count on the random search at the train depot. He was running from the cops and tried to cause a distraction by punching the stranger standing on the platform.

Tate is given a choice: Go to trial and face a life sentence of indentured servitude if found guilty, or take the plea deal and serve seven little years in beautiful Beulah.

He didn't really have a choice when faced with the evidence piled against him. He took the plea deal and tried to prepare himself for the idea of Restitution. He wasn't counting on the chip, though...
"Just a little chip. Goes it the back of your neck and turns you into a nice boy."

The true purpose of the chip is kept secret for the residents of Beulah. It compels the prisoner to please their master in any necessary. A skull-splitting pain is the reward granted by the chip to any prisoner who fails to secure their Master's approval at all times.

So yeah... Behavior Modification Chips + A Prisoner who desperately needs to please his Master = Some serious non-consent.

It was terrifying to see the inner-monologue of Tate as he was fighting with the chip's programming... He's struggling to remember who he is. He knows that he doesn't want what's happening him, but he is completely powerless to stop it.

It was somehow even creepier to see things through the POV of Rory - who has no idea that his "rezzy" has a modification chip... He's a good person who is trying to acclimate to this strange new society, and he begins to genuinely care for Tate...

Poor Tate, who is locked in his own mind, slowly losing himself to the programming of the chip.

"How did that feel? Be honest."
The words were out of his mouth before he could stop himself. "I hate it. I want more."
This is the kind of book which leaves you in a haze long after you've finished. It is certainly not for the faint of heart.

Dear readers, sometimes I tell you that a book has certain situations which you might find objectionable. That is not the case with this book - the entire premise of Bliss is carefully crafted to push you out of your comfort zone.

You already know if you can handle this book. If you're the type of person who relishes the darkness looming within the pages of a book - I recommend you rush out and buy this book immediately. You will not be disappointed!
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Reading Progress

August 15, 2014 – Shelved
September 2, 2014 –
0.0% "I have to cath up on a few reviews before I officially start reading... But I'm soooooo looking forward to this!\n \n "
September 3, 2014 – Started Reading
September 4, 2014 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-10 of 10 (10 new)

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Di Covey/TwistedBookReviews Sounds like my cup of dark! :)

message 2: by Sammy (new)

Sammy Loves Books Looking forward to your final review hun ;o)

Kimberly Nicole I agree it was AMAZING! If you can handle the skin crawling factor.

Shurrn Di - -Twisted Sisters Book Reviews- wrote: "Sounds like my cup of dark! :)"

It was deliciously wicked!
I hope you'll give it a shot :)

Shurrn Sammy, the Cyborg Slut wrote: "Looking forward to your final review hun ;o)"

Working diligently to quench your thirst reviews, Babe ;)

Shurrn Kimberly wrote: "I agree it was AMAZING! If you can handle the skin crawling factor."

OMG Yes!
I've always appreciated that about Heidi Belleau (this was my first experience with the lovely Lisa Henry) - Heidi can take me to places I don't really want to be, but make me grateful to have taken the journey. Every time. Crazy!

message 7: by Sammy (new)

Sammy Loves Books Great review and let me just say that I love your casting ;o))

message 8: by Shurrn (last edited Sep 07, 2014 12:35PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Shurrn Sammy, the Cyborg Slut wrote: "Great review and let me just say that I love your casting ;o))"

Thanks Sammy - Browsing photos of half naked dudes to cast in my reviews is hard work ;)

Shurrn Vfields is happy! wrote: "Yea, yes, yes!"

Awww Yisss ;)

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