In the Domicile, one does not ask questions or have interests outside of their leadership, the Elders. Blind faith is the highest expression of good citizenry. In the aftermath of a global revolution the Sixth Domicile and it's sister facilities were erected as a refuge for the remnants of humanity. In which were instituted the Common Law, an ever growing body of legislation which strips every trace of personal autonomy for the sake of harmony and safety. The Common Law not only establishes marriages arranged by the Elders, but forbids the exposure of one's skin and assigns alpha numeric designations in lieu of names.
The Sixth Domicile's female protagonist, Q437B “Q”, has lived in the Domicile since birth. Orphaned in early childhood, Q was left to be raised by her Grandmother. As her grandmother had lived in the time before the revolution, she was in a position to plant a seed of speculation and defiance within Q. This seed has brought Q to choose the companionship of a male that is not her betrothed. And, in the process uncovers a fundamental lie in the Domicile's doctrines.
Q must decide whether her personal choices are worth the risk of punishment. But there are forces unseen in the politics of the Domicile, which may leave her without an alternative. Will she be martyred for a cause that she has barely become aware of?
I was given a digital edition of this book in exchange for an honest review.
What I liked about this book
Provocative Social Narrative
Whether it was intended or not, The Sixth Domicile poses extreme forms of current social tendencies.
The foremost is the insistence upon conformity, with divergence being treated as a threat to peaceful coexistence. In the way that the Domicile requires masks, we too are increasingly discouraged from expressing individual differences. Such expressions are frequently (and mistakenly) equated to bigotry and intolerance.
The Domicile punishes criticism, and does so by the tacit consent of it's citizens. Much like the inhabitants of the Domicile, we are also being taught to accept the punishment of dissenters as they are political criminals or worse.
The Domiciles were created in the wake of the largest tragedy in human history. The Sixth Domicile is a somewhat disturbing, if not realistic, example of what amount of oppression a frightened and desperate people will gratefully accept for the promise of safety.
First, a warning: This book contains explicit sex and abusive violence. Rather than employing implications, Ruggles goes into the details of Q's experiences. This creates the depth needed to relate to her internal struggle. This is especially important as the story is given from her first person perspective.
What I disliked about this book
As this book is written from first person, there is much that happens outside of Q's awareness. The time line for the circumstances leading up to the climax is not unreasonable, but Q comes into it very late in its progress. This makes for an effect that can be compared to slipping on ice. The climax and conclusion were almost the same moment. I do not think that this could have been improved upon though, as it is the most appropriate and natural development of the events as described by an unlikely heroine. Ultimately I must forgive the short drop. Especially in the light of an announced (and much needed) sequel. Vrai Domicile is available for preorder now.
About Courtney Ruggles (From author's website)
Courtney's love for writing dates back to short stories on a word processor (What?? Word processor with floppy disks?). Oh yes, she literally had a card filing case full of floppy disks. Now she continues her writing (she upgraded to a laptop) while living in Southern Ohio with her husband and son.
Although Courtney has always lived in Ohio, sometimes closer to the Ohio River and sometimes futher away, she dreams of the mountain ranges out west and the sandy Florida beaches. She married the man of her dreams and had a beautiful blond haired blue eyed boy. Before she sought publication for her first book The Sixth Domicile: Book One of the Domicile Series, Courtney worked as a social worker in a mental health agency where she counseled and provided therapy. After she left full time work, she taught social sciences at a local univeristy and began a photography business. The "extra" time gave her the ability to focus on writing again.
Courtney's background in social work fuels the grit in her stories. When Courtney isn't writing her next book, you can find her doing homework (drag) and sipping flavored coffee, reading young adult and new audlt books (because social work text books are only so interesting), or daydreaming about all the future beach houses she intends to buy.
I love books! For most of my life I have been reading them, and giving my insights to friends and family. This blog is for sharing that passion with the many others that love books too.