Review: Antidote by Jack L. Pyke

Video footage of Jack Harrison sleeping with Cutter, a man who has mutilated teenagers, should have stayed dead and buried with the man who had filmed it. Yet when footage to Jack’s past starts appearing on Internet porn sites, Jack’s whole world is again turned on its head. At first the porn links are done to unsettle, to disrupt Jack’s fire and ice world: all the sexed-up adrenaline of being caught between the pleasure to Gray Raoul's BDSM kink, and the gentleness of Jan Richards’ vanilla touch. But when the content of the porn sites force even Gray to turn his back on Jack, leaving Jack isolated and away from the full protection of the Master’s Circle, Jack is left at the mercy of a group of men who are out to alter Jack’s whole perception on his BDSM lifestyle. As brutally as possible, Jack’s sex life is now live webcam feed for a whole new audience.

Words cannot describe what I've just read. I just read words, technically, yes, but… to put into words what this book has done to me is next to impossible.
There will be spoilers in this review.

I think about this book and I want to cry, or puke, or cry and puke at the same time. I can't unread this. Okay. Let's be honest here. I like to draw pictures of unicorns, and pet cakes, and everything I like fairly fluffy. This book is practically like sitting a nun down in a room and making her watch some snuff films.

This book, friends, is not for the faint of heart. People warned me. Fuck, Jack L. Pyke warned me, and I was all, "Yeah, bitchin', totally tubular, sounds radical." Little did I know this book may possibly require me some therapy sessions in my future.

Basically, this book is fucked up.

Jack is a fantastic character. God, writing this kind of makes me want to cry like a little baby. I grew really attached to Jack in Don't… He's such a little shit, you can't help but love him. But the things that have happened to him are written and explained so vividly, I feel so drained for him. I feel like I was there, in Jan's place, watching him. I don't know how he can ever recover from this. It's not like he wasn't fucked up in the first place, then throw in this long, drawn-out abduction in Antidote, and you've got yourself a real shit-storm.

I actually learned to love Gray in this book and surprisingly enough, Jan too. It's hard to say. In all menage books I read, I usually lean towards a character or two. Pyke has done such a superb thing for the genre, creating an actual relationship between three men that feels so attached. I can't pick one without the other. I love Jack and Gray together, but I feel like Gray needs someone softer sometimes, someone to balance out Jack's irrational nature. So now my coupling is with Gray and Jan, who, god, broke my heart at the love admission. But I can't leave Jack out. He needs to be somewhere, he means too much to me. So, all in all, I love these three men together.

“Somewhere along the line you fell in love with him, didn’t you?” he said quietly, barely glancing at Gray. Then back at me, he shouted, “What the fuck is wrong with you?”

Martin. Martin confused the fuck outta me in classic Pyke fashion. Love it. I loved Martin being in the story. Oh, he's so sassy and such a little shit. My heart raced reading about him the first time with Gray. I'd secretly love to see a scene with Gray and Martin. I understand why Gray won't, but that doesn't mean a girl can't dream.

The beginning of the book was fantastic. Cute, fun, sweet, watching all of these boys having a gay old time, goofing around and living their fun lives of bickering.
The middle. Well, I had to pause on this book at least four times. It was so hard for me. I get it though. I read the warnings, I looked at the genres, I should've known what I was getting myself into. But not like this. The descriptive nature of Pyke's writing is kind of like a jackhammer (haw haw); it's completely relentless and it draws you in, even if the subject matter is horrifying. And trust me, it's horrifying.

In the end, I didn't think Gray would be the one to opt out, but a huge part of me is glad he did. He was becoming too much like Jack's dad (not Jack's actual dad, but as place-filler), and less like his lover.

This book.. is… so much. It's so much of everything to the point where I was wondering if it was too much. But the thing is, I get it. I get why there was that much intensity and brutality and pain. The story needed it, it's just hard for me to read.
There were parts of the story which literally left me pausing, almost gasping for breath because I forgot to breathe. I wanted to cry or kick something, or mostly just run away. Run away from a book? Sounds ridiculous, right? But try reading this and tell me it doesn't make sense.

Pyke has tortured my beloved boys so much in this book. Her writing is wonderful. I adore it. I admittedly am not even the hugest BDSM fan on the planet, but when Pyke writes it, it feels like it's right up my alley. She's so clever and tricky, making little babies like me read and love books like this one. Her writing is fantastic and if nothing else in this book, her intensity she brings to each of her characters should be noted.

I suppose if I had to think of something, the book felt a little long. Some of the talking, I feel, could've been cut and we could've lost a few pages in the process. But other than the fierce desire to now somehow Men In Black Flashy Pen Thingy the middle part of the book from my brain, I'm very glad I read it and will absolutely be looking for the third instalment when it comes out.

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