Review: Meatworks by Jordan Castillo Price


Title: Meatworks 
Author: Jordan Castillo Price
Genre/Themes: Dystopia / MM romance
Release Date: 3 July 2014

Author's links:
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My rating: 4 Stars

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Desmond Poole is damaged in more ways than one. If he was an underachiever before, he’s entirely useless now that he’s lost his right hand. He spends his time drowning his sorrows in vodka while he deliberately blows off the training that would help him master his new prosthetic. Social Services seems determined to try and stop him from wallowing in his own filth, so he’s forced to attend an amputee support group. He expects nothing more than stale cookies, tepid decaf and a bunch of self-pitying sob stories, so he’s blindsided when a fellow amputee catches his eye.

Corey Steiner is a hot young rudeboy who works his robotic limb like an extension of his own body, and he’s smitten by Desmond’s crusty punk rock charm from the get-go. Unfortunately, Desmond hasn’t quite severed ties with his ex-boyfriend, and Corey isn’t known for his maturity or patience.

Meatworks is set in a bleak near-future where cell phone and personal computer technologies never developed. In their place, robotics flourished. Now robots run everything from cars to coffee pots. Taking the guesswork out of menial tasks was intended to create leisure time, but instead robots have made society dependent and passive.

Desmond loathes robots and goes out of his way to avoid them. But can he survive without the robotic arm strapped to the end of his stump?


Most of my GR friends and people whose opinion on books I value highly raved about this book so I decided to try it. Furthermore, I was intrigued by the dyspotian setting and the character(s) with disabilities.

It's an engaging, thought-provoking read, skillfully written, leaving a very memorable impression. Told from the first-person POV of Desmond is his tale of finding his place in a cruel/emotionless dyspotian world where robots serve the people as much as control them. 

It started rather bleak and gloomy, too depressing for me. The world building was great and the future world portrayed was really distrubing. it's a story about Desmond's life with all his ups and downs, mistakes and the very, very few good things that happened to him. There is romance in the story but it's not the fantasy, all-chamging, saving tupe of love, rather this was raw and real, love-is-messy kind of story. None of the characters has it easy, even Jim, and consequently their feelings for each other were all over the place - love, lust, hatred, distrust, honesty, hope and desperation. 

Desmond is not a nice person, yet the author did manage to make me care deeplty for him, to want him to find his happiness. His journey, his growth didn't erase his past mistakes but they did make him a better person.

Corey and Jim are sort of Desmond's past and his future. I liked the intricacies of the relationships between the three of them, they felt real. There is no magic way to deal with disabilitity, with disillusionment, with life (the good, the bad and all in between).

The story reminded me in a way of Alexis Hall's Glitterland, though the setting couldn't be more different. It's a story of love/life gone compeltely and irreversibly wrong, before finally going right. A trial by error journey for Desmond (and Corey, to some extend).

It's capativating story, not for the faint of heart. It's about the ugly and raw in life, the people who have lost themselves, yet they still have feelings and hopes and dreams and they deserve to be happy as much as anyone else. 

Purchase links: Amazon / B&N / Smashwords / iTunes

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