Northern Corporate Dominion by Remy – review

Title: Northern Corporate Dominion
Author: Remy
Genre: Fantasy/sci-fi
Other Information/warnings:
Graphic content, violence, blood, pain, sadness and angst

Summary (if relevant):
"As government became increasingly dependent on private industry to support society, the corporations began to assert more and more control, and eventually the two became indistinguishable. When the corporate government realized that slavery could be a viable economic solution to the costs of maintaining a workforce, many citizens found themselves reclassified as corporate assets.
Slaves were not taken from other civilizations through conquest, as in the past, but through more insidious means. Children, as property of their parents, could be sold to pay debts. Convicts became property of the state, and soon filled the factories and assembly lines of the private companies that bought them. Breeding farms, set up in the second generation after reinstitution, turned out enough product to meet an ever-more-voracious demand. "
My review:
I was reminded of these stories by Bellona’s rec site

(… )

And glad to be so. These are *not* warm and fluffy stories about cute slaves and implausibly kindly owners. The slaves are brutalised and broken, and used by their masters to break others of their kind. Long service is rewarded by death, and the only comfort to be found is in the rare solace of a fellow slave’s arms. Joran was born to privilege, but as the child of a slave who his father never got around to freeing, he finds out the hard way what his real position in this society is to be. It’s a cruel and traumatising process bringing him to heel, and makes for a difficult read.

That’s not because the writing is flawed – far from it. It’s powerful, rich and incredibly moving – even the fate of people you at first dislike, can make you weep – but there are no easy answers here, no soft options, and the final resolution, if such you can call it, is hopeful and hopeless at the same time. Brave, imaginative, and challenging writing, which rises above the genre and the expectations of the set up. A real masterpiece, but not for the faint of heart. Take the warnings very seriously.