Review: Releasing Rage by Cynthia Sax

Reviewed by Jen

Where to start? I have some very mixed feelings about this book. It is super sexy for sure. This book knows what it wants to be and comes out of the gate swinging, getting down and dirty in the first few pages. It delivers on its promise of an angry, wounded cyborg who has never known kindness. And it made me want to see a happy ever after for each and every one of the cyborgs the author introduced me to.

But.

(*spoiler alert*) The heroine is gang-raped. The book didn’t need it. Even worse was the way that the hero had to heal her. With sex. After she is raped. While she is unconscious. And it’s gross. And if this part of the book was not there? If the heroine just managed to escape after being roughed up or something? We would’ve been pretty golden. But that’s not what happened. And I’m not over it. So trigger warning all over the place.

If you’re still with me, let’s take a moment to talk about the crux of the story. Rage is one of an early model of cyborg designed for fighting and breeding. The breeding part never worked, but he is great at fighting. Unfortunately, neither he nor his fellow brethren are able to defend themselves from the awful scientists who torture and abuse them when they are not out fighting to save humanity. Well, at least that was true until Rage killed his last handler.

Joan is the new engineer assigned to him. Apparently every single human man in this world is a sexist or misogynist, because all the other engineers hate her simply because she is a woman. She is assigned to work with Rage on the presumption she will fail and be killed. But upon meeting the cyborg, she quickly realized she needed an unusual approach. A submissive one.

Dominance and submission aren’t usually my bag. But at least this relationship was not one that involved pain or degradation. At least not between Rage and Joan. It was clear they both were turned on by their dynamic and I never felt like her submissiveness was a weakness. It was through her gentleness and her subservience, that he grew to trust her and realize she was different from every other human he had ever met.

I liked Rage. And I liked Joan, although she was a bit of a martyr. Obviously, no one has ever valued her, so it makes sense that she gobbles up Rage’s attraction to her with a spoon. And no one is ever been kind to him, so he revels in that from her. I enjoyed their dynamic.

But again, the rape. The aftermath. Just… No. and the fact that every single human man was a monster felt heavy handed and it lacked nuance.

The happy ending satisfied. But there was this whole thread throughout the book about the cyborg who saved Joan as a child. And I kept thinking he was going to show up at some point and he never did and I felt so let down.

Like I said, I’m all over the place with this book. And I don’t know how to rate it. But I think I might try the next one to see if it can maintain the elements I liked while hopefully skipping the ones I didn’t. I’ll let you know how it works out.

Click to purchase: Amazon

Releasing Rage
by Cynthia Nix
Release Date: August 19, 2015

Comments

  1. I am so over this kind of plot device. Just no!

  2. I’ve had this book (and a few others in this series because they were free) on my TBR mountain for awhile. I’m into UF and PNR, but have never read about robots or cyborgs so thought I’d try these, thinking they couldn’t be too bad considering the number of books published. The idea of sex-as-cure is annoying enough, but after a rape? Dunno if I could’ve read on from there; I’d likely DNF it on the spot. So now I’m leery, and will bump the cyborgs further down the freebie mountain. Thanks for the heads up.

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