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Life Prison by Dusk Peterson

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TITLE: Life Prison
AUTHOR: Dusk Peterson
PUBLISHER: CreateSpace
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RATING: 5
Review by PermaFrost
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BOOK BLURB:
Historical fantasy set in a Victorian-type environment reveals the humanity beneath the surface degradation of "life prisons" in which death is an unacceptable escape.

BOOK REVIEW:
The novella "Life Prison" (also available in a longer version online) is a fascinating introduction to the work of unusual author Dusk Peterson. Combining a historical background similar to that of Victorian England with a skilled perspective into the nature of human relations and a wide range of characterization, "Life Prison" is a real page-turner which left me wishing at its conclusion that it was a full-length novel, as I was so caught up in the characters and their concentric situations.

Merrick is a life prisoner at Mercy Prison, where the title is only a euphemism. No mercy is ever shown, including the prisoners' deaths. One of a dozen "life prisons," Mercy is not as evil as Compassion Prison, and the news of a new guard sent from Compassion to Mercy sends shivers through the prison population. Yet the consequences will be far-reaching and totally unexpected.

"Life Prison" contains gay content in the context of prison relations (prisoner to prisoner and guard-to-prisoner) and some violence; but the nature of the story is such that it rises far above the violence and copes with philosophical issues and emotional struggles in a microcosm of "real life." This is a story ~ and an author ~ not to be missed.

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