The Administration series (#1- 7) by Manna Francis- book discussion between Rameau and Anachronist

About the series (partially from Goodreads):

The Administration series is a dark futuristic dystopia set in Europe (mostly New London but other countries as well), a continent fully controlled by a totalitarian bureaucracy, which shares political power with big corporations. The oppressive government uses torture, violence and the various Divisions of the feared Department of Internal Security to maintain peace and quiet (read:power). The corporations fight amongst themselves, using lethal force under the euphemism of ‘corporate sabotage’, uniting only to resist attempts by the Administration to extend its control over them. The fragile balance leaves both sides insecure and highly distrustful. That’s why many people prefer not to think too much – they enjoy life, drink, party, they do drugs and have sex. You never know – next day you can be tortured, even killed, in full accordance with the law.

The series follows two main characters, Keir Warrick, a minor corporate director of an innovative, small company called Simtech, and Valantin Toreth, a Para-Investigator working at the notorious Investigation & Interrogation department plus their families, friends colleagues and enemies. Oh, yes—and there is sex and violence, plenty of it, and other things that upset the people who rate films.

Before you start this series you may want to know that:

  •  Most stories set in the Administration contain m/m or m/f sex scenes.
  • Many stories in the Administration contain consensual BDSM of varying degrees of severity.
  • Some stories contain non-consensual sex and/or violence.
  • Some stories contain ‘issues of consent’, such as a superior exploiting a subordinate, or other cases where full consent is in doubt.
  • Two stories contain references to child abuse

SPOILERS GALORE TO FOLLOW – CONSIDER YOURSELF WARNED.

Ram: I heard from you about this series (thank you!) but where did you hear about it?

Ana: I don’t remember, really. The funniest thing is that I had downloaded and saved it on my comp and then it waited for AGES before I started to read it.

Ram: And then I tarried a bit longer before I started reading it and decided I would “savour” the rest of the series, which only lasted until I picked up the second book. We’re a pair of geniuses, really.

Ana: LOL takes one to know one I guess. Then I had a huge problem with getting my way round my copy because it  was just a huge compilation of stories without the major divisions into particular parts. However Toreth and Warrick kept me interested till the bitter end.

Ram: The bitter part might be a slight exaggeration but otherwise I agree. The characters are the strength of this series and I’m so happy that the author recognised it by the end of the second book… and when I say the second book I mean Quid Pro Quo AND the shorts that follow it.

Ana: So let’s indulge and talk a bit more about two main leads. There’s Toreth who, believe it or not, I’ve always imagined wearing that stylish black SS uniform at work – a sadist, an opportunist and a hangman. And there is his love interest, the allegedly better guy…

Ram: Warrick, the Corporate to Toreth’s Administration. He really is a love interest even though it takes a long while for Toreth to recognise him as such. What I love about Warrick is that whenever I start to think Toreth as the worst ever character, the ultimate bad boy of bad boys I love, Warrick does or says something that proves me wrong. Ostensibly only, Warrick is the one with morals.

Ana: Warrick never hesitates to go to bed with a torturer, somebody working for the nefarious I&I, just because Toreth is like his dream come true – a guy who understands the masochistic kink like no other lover he had before.

Ram: I have to disagree with that. I don’t think Toreth understands Warrick’s kink. There are several scenes where their roles within the game are reversed and Torreth remains as puzzled as ever by its attraction. Toreth is willing to fulfil Warrick’s fantasies despite not understanding their pull. He doesn’t thrive on the pain like Warrick does.

Ana: Perhaps not but he does thrive on seeing his sex partner reduced to a begging, moaning heap adorned with bites and bruises. ;p He loves feeling he possesses Warrick and sometimes it is just the wrong side of icky.

Ram: Because Warrick wants him. That’s what Toreth wants and fears he can’t get. Toreth’s insecurities are a huge, successful plot point.

Ana: Oh yeah. Freud and Jung would have a field day analyzing his dysfunctional family and childhood experiences which led to the necessity of possessing people he loves/is attached to. Like Warrick or Sara, his inestimable  PA.

Ram: It became a sort of game for me, tracking all the clues the author gives about Toreth’s family. I don’t think Toreth wants to possess Sara outside work environment, though. They’ve had their one night of fun, although I thought they came dreadfully close to an interesting arrangement.

Ana: Like an evil love triangle, perish the thought?

Ram: Yes, sort of. Think of all the dynamics and connections.

Ana: I am thinking hard now and you know what? I wouldn’t mind ;p. Sara did land in bed with those two in First Against the Wall  (BUT they didn’t have sex, not technically anyway) and Warrick was bisexual to begin with so…

Ram: I wouldn’t have minded either, but I was thinking of the time she offered to prop up Toreth after Carnac had done his worst. And I fear Carnac can never do worse to Toreth.

Ana: You mean driving a wedge not only between Warrick and Toreth but also between Sara and her immediate superior? Well, I doubt Carnac planned that much but I admit it would be a real coup de grace, destroying Toreth completely.

Ram: True. Had Toreth and Sara followed through, Carnac would have succeeded better than he planned.

Ana: As we are already speaking about Carnac…I kind of loved to hate him.

Ram: I wouldn’t go as far as that to say I loved to hate him, but he does make a brilliant villain, which is why I’m glad of his continued existence.

Ana: Oh yes, he made things far more interesting whenever he showed his pretty face. By the way I adored the fact that he was handsome, blond and so unmistakably evil.

Ram: I think Carnac is best in small doses. He does his thing, ruins a few lives, and then we get a book or two exploring the ramifications. Or a rebellion.

Ana: The funny thing is he would make such a good third part in the love triangle if he only deflated his head a bit. *giggles*

Ram: For a hate fuck, maybe. For anything stable, I doubt it.

Ana: Oh well, you’d never know. I think such a trio would be unstoppable but it’s perhaps only me. Who would you recommend this series to, taking into account the fact that it is full of adult content?

Ram: Anyone who looks at the content warning notes and thinks “that looks interesting.” Or simplified, to anyone looking for a good dystopian m/m.

Ana: I would add: if such words as  bdsm or erotica don’t make you run for cover go for it and you’ll be rewarded with another addiction – consider yourself warned. ;p

The Administration series so far (because it is a bit tricky):

 Mind Fuck (The Administration #1)

 Quid Pro Quo (The Administration #2) :

  • Unlucky Break (The Administration #2.1)
  • Friday (The Administration #2.2)
  • Pancakes (The Administration #2.3)
  • Surprises (The Administration #2.4)
  • Family (The Administration #2.5)
  • Mirror Mirror (The Administration #2.6)

 Games & Players (The Administration #3)

  • Game Set (The Administration #3.1)
  • As Long As It Lasted (The Administration #3.2)
  • Fuck of the Day (The Administration #3.3)
  • Wine Women and Cushions (The Administration #3.4)
  • Playing with Fire ( #3.5)
  • All Work And No Play (#3.6)
  • Gee (#3.7)
  • Shopping & Fucking (#3.8)
  • Pool School (#3.9)
  • Without The Game (#3,95)

 Control (The Administration #4)

  • Control (#4.1)
  • Wait For It ( #4.2)
  • Caged (#4.3)
  • Unaccustomed As I Am (#4.4)
  • Helen (#4.5)
  • Shopping No Fucking (#4.6)
  • Losing It (#4.7)
  • Coming from America (#4.8)

 Quis Custodiet (The Administration #5)

  • Gratuitous Kink (#5.2)
  • Then and Now (#5.3)
  • Friends in the Right Places (#5.4)
  • Smoke and Cameras (#5.5)
  • Sunday (#5.6)

 First Against the Wall ( The Administration #6)

 For Certain Values of Family (The Administration #7)

  • Boys’ Toys (#7.2)
  • Make It A Surprise (#7.3)
  • Prodigal (#7.4)
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