Cherry Pie: A Cyberpink Story Book Review
Cherry Pie: A Cyberpink Story is the second installment of the Cyberpink series by George Saoulidis. It directly follows the events of Pickle Pie. Hector has registered his Cyberpink team with the help of his athlete Pickle and sleazy hacker friend Tony. They eagerly await Hector’s newest acquisition to the team, Cherry. After she arrives, it’s still a long road to building the rest of the team and being competitive.
If you have read neither Pickle Pie nor my review of it, let me give you a brief back story (if you have, it’s safe to skip this paragraph). Cyberpink is a gladiator capture the flag style sport played entirely by female athletes, some of which are augmented with robotic parts. The athletes are slaves, euphemistically referred to as “debt bondage,” and their owners take full advantage of this fact. Not only do the owners make all the money from both the sport and sponsor deals, but they also use them for sex. It doesn’t stop there as erotic merchandise, as prostitution is also common. Hector, the leading male of this series, is supposed to represent the good guy owner.
Pickle starts to grow into herself in the second installment of Cyberpink. Since Hector knows next to nothing about Cyberpink and its dark underbelly, he mostly hands over management of the team to Pickle. It’s her responsibility to find players for the team, find a place to train, coach the team, and handle most other strategy aspects. Pickle also becomes something like a den mother to the younger players on the team, taking responsibility for them.
Cherry is the second athlete Hector owns. Acquired at the end of Pickle Pie, Cherry is younger and less experienced than Pickle. On the field, she has a lot of potential due to her natural speed. Off the field, she is naïve. Initially panicked that Hector would take advantage of her like her past owners did, she quickly learns that Hector will do his best never to hurt her. Worryingly, this quickly evolves into them, forming a sexual relationship. While this is portrayed as a consensual relationship, the simple fact that Hector literally owns her makes any relationship questionable at best.
Cherry Pie’s problematic elements come to a head when Hector decides to throw a party starring his Cyberpink team. Spearheaded by the lecherous hacker Tony, who runs Hector’s media presence, the party starts normal enough. It objectifies the women but not much more than your average beer ad. This changes once the main event is about to begin. To tie in with the team’s name, the Pies, Pickle and Tony have arranged a pie-eating contest. Before the contest, Tony has the audience pay extra money for the team to remove their clothes. The pie-eating contest is then done topless. Again, usually this would be no problem as long as everyone is a consenting adult. However, considering that all the women are slaves, this is horrendous. Hector is supposed to be the good guy, a white knight, but he is still using his women. The only way Hector can be a good guy is that he’s not as bad
Cherry Pie is a fun romp through a sex-filled sports world. It does an excellent job advancing the Cyberpink series. Despite its problematic elements, it is still an enjoyable story. I still think the story could benefit from making the dystopian elements stronger. If you are looking for a series that’s pure entertainment, I suggest you give this one consideration.