Sunday, June 26, 2011

The Auction by Kitty Thomas

The Auction is set on another planet, far in the future. Humans have seeded this planet, and the species that lives there allows them one city in which to live. If they leave the city, the monsters kill them.

Human females are auctioned off when they turn 18. We are shown that it's not such a different idea than the dowries of old, the main difference being the money goes into the city's coffers. Most girls have someone buy them and set them free, a family member or boyfriend. Some are bought for the purpose of being owned, but society tries to ignore that when it happens. I liked the build up, the thought processes that went into building this society, this world.

Here is the blurb:

Belle Walker lives in a strict society where women are treated as property, sold to the highest bidder soon after their eighteenth birthday. But the auction isn’t the only danger. Though she’s never seen them, she knows monsters live outside the city. These creatures have allowed the humans a small area to inhabit with the promise to leave them in peace as long as they never cross the boundary. On the day Belle is sold, one of the monsters breaks that promise and enters the city, intent on having her as his own.

Kitty Thomas, as a general rule, focuses more on the psychology behind slavery and submission than she focuses on the physical. Tender Mercies was the exception, where she gave us a lot more description of the physical acts. But with The Auction, she gives just enough for our imaginations to take hold and finish the picture in our own way. I appreciate that, I really do, but sometimes I could do with a little more description.

BDSM elements:
  • Bondage and Discipline: 2 of 3
  • Dominance and Submission: 3 of 3
  • Sadism and Masochism: 1 of 3
  • Extra Point: No
As for the writing elements:
  • The plot was predictable but that was okay, I enjoyed the process of getting there.
  • Pacing was fine
  • Prose and dialogue are always very well done when Kitty Thomas is writing.
  • Character development was superb
  • World-building went above and beyond for such a short story, describing not only the physical aspects but the general rules of society.
I've gone back and forth on a rating and I'm settling on a 9 of 10.
  • Book Rating:The Auction: 9 of 10
  • BDSM Intensity Level: 6 of 10
  • Heat Level: 3 of 5
I recommend The Auction even if you aren't normally a sci-fi fan. Sometimes, taking us to another world allows an author to give us non-consensuality in a way that is hot without pushing our squick buttons. It's far enough from our reality to allow our inner conscience to keep quiet, and close enough to our fantasies to allow our libido to enjoy it. Kitty Thomas has once again done an excellent job of giving us a non-consensual relationship that ends up working for both people, and letting us travel along the thought processes from beginning to end.


  1. Sounds like a book to read! I'm always fascinated by Kitty Thomas's work! I reviewed Comfort Food on my blog a while back (or was it only last month?) and am looking forward to hunkering down with this one. Thanks for the great review and recommendation!

  2. Read this book and loved it. :) Thanks for the recommendation.
    I just read a really fantastic BDSM book that's the first in a series - it's called Slave (by Sherri Hayes) and it was really surprisingly good, though low on the heat level (which I believe will change in the next few books).