Splintegrate
Deborah Teramis Christian is back with a rousing stand-alone sequel to fan favorite Mainline...One of the many charms of planet Lyndir is the Between-World, home to the licensed entertainers of the Sa'adani empire. The most famous is Kes, a professional dominatrix who has become a celebrity attraction at a palatial dungeon called Tryst.One of Kes's most devoted clients is the infamous interplanetary political operative Janus, the last man standing when his business fell apart on Selmun III, and now a major cog in Lyndir's political machine. When a high-powered imperial authority decides she wants Janus out of the way, the seductive domna Kes is the most logical avenue. She'd never betray a client's trust, but the threat to her and her Sa'adani sisters is so great that she has no choice but to assist.Imprisoned, altered against her will, and turned into a brutal weapon by the highly experimental Splintegrate cloning technology, Kes is at war with herself as everything she holds dear falls apart around her. It will take an enormous triumph of will and help from some unlikely avenues for Kes to survive the government's machinations and pursue the independence she's craved her entire life.

Splintegrate Details

TitleSplintegrate
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseDec 31st, 2019
PublisherTor Books
ISBN-139780765300478
Rating
GenreScience Fiction

Splintegrate Review

  • Bob
    January 1, 1970
    Like the best science fiction, Splintegrate is a novel of ideas, one that explores questions of identity on a number of levels. Deborah Teramis Christian delves deep into body modification, cybernetic implants, and cloning, while also taking a hard look at dominant/submissive roles, the question of slavery, and overlapping sexual identities.Known to her clients as the Winter Goddess, Kes is a fantastic character, a strong woman and a sympathetic heroine. We first see her as a coldly professional Like the best science fiction, Splintegrate is a novel of ideas, one that explores questions of identity on a number of levels. Deborah Teramis Christian delves deep into body modification, cybernetic implants, and cloning, while also taking a hard look at dominant/submissive roles, the question of slavery, and overlapping sexual identities.Known to her clients as the Winter Goddess, Kes is a fantastic character, a strong woman and a sympathetic heroine. We first see her as a coldly professional dominatrix, costuming herself, setting a scene, and playing a role for Janus, a male client. There is emotion there, but it is one step removed from the moment. We next see her playing a flirtatious game of dominance and submission with her boss. In both of those cases there is unrequited love, an obsession others have with the ideal of the Winter Goddess. When we see her with Morya, a submissive from her original house, the full depth of Kes’ emotional identity is revealed. With her, we are introduced to a love that is genuine, passionate, and happily reciprocated, and yet still tied up with dominant and submissive identities . . . and somewhat restrained by questions of property.Where the story gets really interesting is when Kes is forced into a highly secretive program – Splintegrate – that sees her unwittingly cloned, her personality splintered and reassembled, each clone having different pieces missing. That splintering allows the story to get even deeper into those issues of identity, exploring Kes and her relationships from different angles. Not only does it take us beyond dominance and submission, but into issues of loyalty and obligation. We are reminded how all the facets of our personality, the good and the bad, define us, and forced to take a hard look at what happens when facets are softened or removed to isolate and accentuate others.Behind all of this is a tightly woven thriller dealing with plots both political and criminal, one that involves a game of succession at the highest levels of imperial power as well as the most dangerous levels of criminal authority. We see men and women willing to do anything for a cause, but we also see how personal wants, needs, and desires drive them to sometimes contradictory goals. Nothing about this story is clear-cut or obvious, and once the question of clones gets introduced, with imperial demands interfering with scientific discovery, further schisms between personal pride and professional duty begin pulling at the threads of that story.At one point I’d heard Splintegrate described as “Kushiel’s Dart gone cyberpunk” but I don’t think it’s quite so clear-cut. Yes, there are absolutely parallels to Kushiel’s Dart in Kes’ role as a BDSM courtesan, flipped (of course) from submissive to dominant, and I think both books do an excellent job of exploring the erotic power exchange within a mainstream work of imaginative fiction, but there is a marked difference in sensuality between the two stories that I think sets them apart. There is a narrative point at which Splintegrate very clearly diverges from that comparison, becoming a true cyberpunk thriller in the final arc. It turns away from the question of BDSM identities and becomes instead an exploration of who and what lies beneath those identities. It’s some heady stuff, especially with the elements of hacking, artificial intelligence, and cloning woven into the mix, but that’s precisely what a good science fiction tale should be.https://femledfantasy.home.blog/2020/...
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  • Jessie Sedai of the Black Ajah
    January 1, 1970
    This story reads like a twisted episode of Black Mirror - not one that you hurriedly discuss with friends, one that strikes a chord within you that leaves you so rattled you want to forget the experience and simply move on lest it seeps into your psyche and keeps you awake at night. I went into this book expecting a mature sci-fi universe that explores erotic themes without the vapid narrative of superficial smut. And I got that, definitely. It's beautifully written and clever and delves into This story reads like a twisted episode of Black Mirror - not one that you hurriedly discuss with friends, one that strikes a chord within you that leaves you so rattled you want to forget the experience and simply move on lest it seeps into your psyche and keeps you awake at night. I went into this book expecting a mature sci-fi universe that explores erotic themes without the vapid narrative of superficial smut. And I got that, definitely. It's beautifully written and clever and delves into the psychology of dominant/submissive, master/slave relationships that many books either are too scared to explore or are too preoccupied with meaningless sex to bother with. The world-building is exquisite and wholly unique, if not a little hard to understand at first. I appreciated that the author allowed us to learn through experiencing the world firsthand rather than explaining through dense dialogue spouting nonstop exposition. By 50% I was pretty well acclimated and understood the basics of the world, though I can see how some might find it arduous to get to. The main character is strong and beautiful and completely her own person in a world of unrelenting hardship and oppression. And the FF romance was tender and sensual and rooted in vicariously felt emotion. The personal struggles in finishing this book came from the body-modification/medical elements to this story that were used to manipulate our heroine, who I loved and rooted for profusely. The events were particularly upsetting and gruesome in my opinion and had me considering putting the book down entirely. I understand that this is a completely personal and subjective reaction that other readers might not be phased by, and it should be said that it did not take away the effectiveness or articulation of the story.I received a free copy from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
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  • keikii Eats Books
    January 1, 1970
    To read more reviews my reviews, check out my blog at keikii Eats Books! Quote: "See, limited nanoneurals map only what we want them to. This is how we splinter a personality - we reproduce just a select part of it. Then we create clones with only the aspects we desire to see." Review: Splintegrate is one of the most uncomfortable, horrifying things I've ever read. The atmosphere is cloying. The fear is palpable. The story is very, very interesting, but I could only handle it in small doses. To read more reviews my reviews, check out my blog at keikii Eats Books! Quote: "See, limited nanoneurals map only what we want them to. This is how we splinter a personality - we reproduce just a select part of it. Then we create clones with only the aspects we desire to see." Review: Splintegrate is one of the most uncomfortable, horrifying things I've ever read. The atmosphere is cloying. The fear is palpable. The story is very, very interesting, but I could only handle it in small doses. Every time I picked up the book with the intention of finishing it, I had to put it down again after a half hour.The world was incredibly well laid out. The first quarter of the book was dedicated to introducing our main characters and the world. It is so complex, I'm still not even certain I have all the details right. There are a conglomeration of worlds, all being ruled by an Emperor, who is currently dying. The technology of these worlds is incredibly advanced, with cloning being an accepted part of politics. Even their porn is more advanced.In fact, politics plays a heavy part of the events in Splintegrate. Whether the characters want to participate or not. There is the primary politics of assuring the Empire is stable as the Emperor is dying, by any means necessary. There is the secondary politics of the more unsavory characters, and how they are running their businesses. This is just a heavily politically influenced book.Plus, there is the world of Lyndir, which is home to "licensed entertainers" and has Shigasu houses, run by clans, that employ the entertainers. Some who wanted to be there, and some who have no choice. The main character of the book, Kes, is one of the people at the Shigasu without much choice: when she got into debt, and it was either sell her body or end up in prison. Now, she is a high priced Dominatrix, The Queen of Winter, and she is heavily sought after. Her past is riddled with bad events, and her future doesn't sound like it is going to be all that great, either. She has a home now, he belongs to her Shigasue Clan. Yet they can still compel her to do things for the good of the clan.And that thing they can compel Kes to do? Go with Ilanya Evanivit, the chief of Internal Security’s elite Political Division. Which is a lot of words to say she is one of the most politically powerful people in the Sa'adani Empire. And Eva wants to catch one of Kes's customers, for the good of the Empire. Janus is a businessman by less than above board practices. And Eva has determined he is in the way, to be removed by any means necessary. Any. Means. Necessary.And those means are through the use of the Splintegrate project, the horrifying work of Metmuri Esimir. Esimir's goal is to split someone's personality into clones, take out the bad parts, and leave only good parts behind, before reintegrating the personality later without those undesirably aspects. This is to rehabilitate prisoners who murder and such. Only he works for the Navy, who is funding this project. Three guesses as to why the Navy want the Splintegrate project to succeed. Hint: it isn't for rehabilitation.I'd like you to take a moment to reread that paragraph and reflect on how utterly horrifying that entire concept is.And that is what they want to do to Kes. In order to catch someone who is in the way. My heart was pounding the entire time leading up to this Splintegration process.Like I said in the beginning, this book is horrifying. I was so uncomfortable reading this book. It took me a long time to get into. At least a quarter is spent on just setting up the story, and it took me until the midway point of the book to really get into the story and attached to the characters. There are a lot of moving pieces, a lot of characters, and a lot of information dumped all at once, so I was confused for a long time. But once I got into the characters, it was smooth sailing ahead. Even if I did get attached against my better wishes since this is not the type of story that feels like it is going to end well.Splintegrate handles a lot of mature topics. There is the dominatrix dominance/submission aspects and a master/slave relationship. There is the concept of owning people and debtors prisons. The main character hates her situation with a passion and can't wait to buy out her contract so she doesn't have to work and have sex with anyone anymore unless she wants to. There was pure body horror and psychological torture. It was grisly and shocking without resorting to violence. And I'm sure I'm forgetting some other hard topics. Yet, there wasn't actually any sex scenes. It came close a few times, but the focus of Splintegrate was not the sex, it was the topics at hand.And if you're curious if you need to read Mainline first: No. I didn't feel at any point like I was missing out on anything for not having read Mainline. From what I gathered in the book, Splintegrate actually takes place several hundred years in the future. And also Mainline isn't actually being published (no ebook, can only buy third hand) anymore so this is a good thing.ARC received from Tor Books on Edelweiss. This did not affect my review.
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  • David
    January 1, 1970
    This is set in the same universe as Mainline.Amazon shows the release date November 19th, 2019
  • Annarella
    January 1, 1970
    It's hard to find the words to review this book because it's amazing.It handles a lot of serious themes and it makes in a way that is never moralistic or morbid.The world building is amazing and the cast of characters is well thought and interesting.I didn't read any other book in this series but I had no issue with the plot or the characters.I can't wait to read another work by this author.Highly recommended.Many thanks to the publisher and Edelweiss for this ARC, all opinions are mine.
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  • Will Sanborn
    January 1, 1970
    The book tries to throw so much at once. When you check the glossary it invites you to type in URLs for more information. This is a poor decision. There’s also random formatting issues. It has random subscript numbering without a proper footnote as well within the context of it appearing or within the glossary. It’s just there for no reason. The scenes also happen too fast. There’s no time to sit with characters. For now this is a DNF.
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  • Ellen
    January 1, 1970
    having a dominatrix main character does not "kushiel's dart in cyberpunk" make!
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