Monday, September 29, 2014

Review: DH Sidebottom's The Decimation of Mae

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, resolute and tenacious. His ruthless greed to annihilate me was utterly disturbing. I am sure if he had hierarchy, the man at the top would have dragged his arse into Hell’s prison 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, showed me mercilessly how he played the game and how he liked to cheat at said game. He ridiculed and taunted me 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, tortured soul there was something that beat and confused his emotions once in a while.

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.

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 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.

4 Darkest of the Dark Stars!
Review by Jen Hagen
This book is not for the faint of heart.  It has graphic violence that may not sit well with some readers.  This is one of those books that I should not have liked based on the subject matter, but I could not stop myself from reading.

Mae is 18 years old and has had her life turned upside down since the accidental deaths of her parents four years ago.  She was placed in foster homes and resorted to her preferred method of coping – self mutilation by cutting.   The one thing that Mae will not lose without her permission is her virginity – it’s the only thing remaining of her that she can control.  On an evening where that is threatened, she is saved by 25-year-old Daniel.  Daniel is her savior that evening, and after a bit of comfortable companionship she agrees to go out with him again.  This begins Mae’s decimation…  Three years later she still harbors nightmares and reminders of what was taken from her.

His actions that day made me question not just my own judgement but the intentions of everyone else around me.   That is what made him so powerful; not the pain he could cause to my body, but the agony he brought to my soul.

Three years’ time has changed a lot of things for Mae – so many things can happen within that time frame.  You can have life, you can have death – and sometimes both.  Her way of thinking has changed, her beauty has changed, but she is still the strong-willed, humor-filled person that she always was.  Her strength has persevered.  During the next few weeks Mae will need to call upon her strength when she finds out the reason behind the deception and betrayal – her life as she knew it was a web of truth and lies.  Daniel is a mixture of pain and love, both hurting Mae but giving her something that she has always wanted but never been granted – a gentle touch from a lover.

Mae has worked her way into Daniel’s heart and mind.  He is no longer the monster that he once was.  He now has a reason to take on a new direction in life, to find a new purpose, and to make every second of every moment matter it’s not just him that he has to think about now.  Mae has awakened feelings in him that he never knew he possessed. 

“I’m incapable of feeling, Mae but I need you to know that yes, with you I finally feel my heart beating faster and harder.  I feel the need to give pleasure without taking.”

Mae and Daniel want desperately to race the sunrise as tomorrow is a turning point, and as they face the end of one day and the dawning of a new,  Mae she has a calming factor envelope her.

Life was cruel.  But yet I had accepted its punishing taunts and that in itself had allowed me to gain the most treasured possession it could grant.



I love dark reads and this is probably one of the darker reads that I have read this year.  I was angry as I read it, I was repulsed at some points, and at the end I was an emotional wreck.   The plot was something unique and there were times when I really shouldn’t have wanted to keep going, but the pull of each individual character kept taunting me.  Brace yourself…this is a heckuva ride that will leave you questioning your mind.  I am excited to read Daniel’s POV coming later this year. 

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