Book Review: Docile

Docile
2020, Tor.com

The docile has seven rights:
1. Retention of the right to vote in a public election.
2. The right to adequate: food, water, shelter, hygiene, and regular medical attention.
3. The right to anonymity of surname.
4. The right to one personal item.
5. The right to personal physical safety.
6. The right to sexual health and protection from pregnancy.
7. The right to refuse or demand Dociline, and at any time to change your mind.

In this dystopian society, debt is passed down through generations. If you are unable to payoff debt, you can either go to debtor’s prison or become a Docile. Dociles are slaves to trillionaires who payoff all or part of your debt in exchange for your servitude. Contracts can be for a couple of years or longer. Elisha is going into the Docile program in place of his younger sister to payoff the family debt. Elisha’s mother did 10 years as a docile and she wasn’t the same when she got back after being on Dociline, a drug used to block the memories and control dociles. Elisha is selected by a trillionaire, Alex, whose family created the drug Dociline. After seeing what Dociline has done to his mother, Elisha refuses dociline, so Alex must train him to behave like an on-med Docile.

Okay, this book was crazy. I didn’t really get into the story until about the 150 page mark. We follow Alex and Elisha’s relationship, if you can call it that, while Alex trains Elisha in not only being a docile but also, they have sex and Alex wants Elisha to behave like a perfect companion. The lines of consent are blurred during most of the story. With the power imbalance, is Elisha even able to consent? With this in mind the sex scenes are graphic and uncomfortable to read. Watching things develop was fascinating and I couldn’t stop flipping pages. When the plot took off, it really took off.

The last part of the book was intense but I didn’t love the ending. It came off as kind of cheesy to me, but I could see where they were going. The ultimate point was finding and keeping your agency. I got it it, but I still didn’t like the ending.

Overall, I would recommend to people if they can handle the content. There is rape and self harm in the book, so if these are big triggers for you should probably skip this. But if these aren’t I would definitely say give it a chance. I absolutely loved the progress of Elisha and Alex.

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Much Love,
Tasha

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