The ruthless criminal mastermind Dr. Inevitable has decided he wants to claim the grim crime-fighter Silhouette as his personal property, so he sets a series of traps for the hero designed to break him and train him to serve the Doctor. Will Silhouette escape the villain’s nefarious plans, or will Dr. Inevitable succeed in making the hero his willing slave?
Warnings: Noncon/dubcon, genre typical violence, use of homophobic slurs
Silhouette: Captured and Conquered is an m/m superhero novella about a supervillain who captures, seduces, and conditions a superhero into being his willing sex slave. It’s more porn than plot, reads fairly quickly, and feels like it would be well at home as a kink.com script (and that’s not a bad thing at all!) It follows Dr. Inevitable, a kinky supervillain crime lord who takes a liking to a certain costumed hero and decides to defeat and claim him as his own. It’s a stockholm syndrome dubcon romp (that skews a little more noncon in certain scenes so be cautious if that’s not your speed) and is a classic Captor/captive scenario.
Being written in the first person, this is a pretty quippy, almost fourth-wall breaking at times, humorous take on the superhero genre. Dr. Inevitable is a fairly irreverent narrator and I very much enjoyed being in his POV. Most kink novels tend to be written from the submissive’s perspective, so it’s always interesting to see one exploring things through the eyes of the Dominant, really getting into the experiences of power-lust and sadism. I very much enjoyed how it was written, in equal parts lustful and playful. Dr. Inevitable is even a rather morally grey antagonist, as although he is a criminal, he’s also very good to his men and doesn’t go out of his way to harm those that do not deserve it. It was interesting to see a villain written in this way, and I enjoyed the ways in which Inevitable’s criminalism is shown in a positive light contrasting to Silhouette’s vigilantism being shown in a more maladaptive coping light.
Unfortunately I really never felt emotionally connected to either of the characters, although the author does make the attempt at giving them some depth. Silhouette is struggling with issues involving resentment towards his parents as well as internalized homophobia, and Dr. Inevitable is a psychologist that can read people like a book and deliver long monologues about their trauma, Hannibal Lecter style. Both of those are interesting ideas, but the book isn’t overly concerned with fleshing them out as much as it’s concerned with the porn, which honestly can’t really be a criticism here because, well, it’s what’s on the tin. I think what would have, overall, made the characters come to life a little better for me however would have been dialog that wasn’t quite so “swiped right out of a porno set” stiff. Inevitable’s psycho-analysis is fairly cliche (“I bet you dress up as a superhero and fight crime because you’re mad at your father!” followed by a shocked gasp and a smug “aha! I knew it” moment) and Silhouette’s acquiescence to his situation happens so quickly it gave me whiplash, but all in all I can’t be too mad at a porno for being a porno.
There’s little to no worldbuilding to speak of, as it is just a prototypical superhero setting with powered metahumans and masked vigilanties. There’s a decent amount of sensuality injected into the world, as well as a tongue and cheek kind of humour about the whole genre (Dr. Inevitable’s little quips about most supervillains dressing like they’re secretly bondage enthusiasts is charming) which is quite fun, but nothing especially groundbreaking in terms of setting. It’s a set backdrop more than anything else, which is perfectly fine for a piece of this length and, ahem, focus.
While the smut can be a little overly dramatic at times, it has a lot of really hot content. Again, I would absolutely watch a kink.com feature film adaptation of this book, as I think it would be really, really hot to watch. That said there were aspects of it a little squicky just for me personally (as much as I love gangbangs, subs being given authority to use/abuse other subs is iffy territory for me), and I wish it had gotten a little more creative than just dick sucking and impact play (could have gone for some CBT, just saying!) but all in all it was a fun romp and totally the sort of stuff you’d expect from a Captor/captive fantasy. I think the hottest moments, for me, were the scenes in part two when the escaped Silhouette is being newly courted by the mysterious and dominant man who he does not yet know is Dr. Inevitable. The conditioned responses in him are… gorgeous. It does tend to be more visually focused than emotionally focused however, and scenes tend to be over fairly quickly.
If you like the superhero genre and always thought it would be hot to see a bad guy win and ravish the hero and have him at his mercy, this is the book! It’s really fun, even if it can take itself a little seriously at times. I’ve always been a fan of these sorts of capture fantasies and it more than delivers on that front. Read if you like gangbangs, humiliation, and the fantasy of a closeted sub gradually learning about their own repressed submissive desires and asking to be beat. Yum.
Have you read Silhouette? Let me know what YOU thought by leaving me a comment!