Saturday, February 8, 2014

Review: Static by L.A. Witt

Static Title: Static by L.A. Witt
Genre: M/M Romance, Transgender, Science Fiction
Published January 20th 2014 by Riptide Publishing
Length: 283 pages

Rating: 5 Stars
Review Copy Provided by Publisher


After two years together, Alex has been dreading the inevitable moment when Damon learns the truth: that Alex is a shifter, part of a small percentage of the population able to switch genders at will. Thanks to a forced implant, though, Alex is suddenly static—unable to shift—and male. Overnight, he’s out to a world that neither understands nor tolerates shifters . . . and to his heterosexual boyfriend.

Damon is stunned to discover his girlfriend is a shifter, and scared to death of the dangers the implant poses to Alex’s health. He refuses to abandon Alex, but what about their relationship? Damon is straight, and with the implant both costly and dangerous to remove, Alex is stuck as a man.

Stripped of half his identity and facing serious physical and social ramifications, Alex needs Damon more than ever, but he doesn’t see how they can get through this.

Especially if he’s static forever.

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Alex and Damon are in love and making progress to be married one day as man and woman. One visit to Alex's parents, however, caused Alex to be "static" or can't switch genders physically anymore. Damon doesn't know Alex is a "shifter" (of genders) so this is a shock and a stain on their relationship. Damon loves Alex but he's not gay, so how can they be together?

I love the little details on how society is made for "static" people and the little tidbits on how society thinks that I've never thought about. For explain, it's much easier for people to accept a masculine female rather than a feminine male. The story is very valuable and provides a "safe" medium to explore and learn about the possibilities of transgender identity. The story idea itself is amazing. The author's note at the end of the story explained where the idea came from and this exploration of human identity.

Onto the story itself, I really connected with Alex and can sympathize with his situation of being possibly static for life. I can understand his stress, need for alcohol, and despair over a lost identity of self. On the other hand, Damon's ordeal with finding the woman he loves in the man is well written and very heartwarming. As a reader, I learn about gender identity and transgender identity through Damon's learning.

I'm surprised that this book end up being so uplifting and hopeful when it can so easily be a dark and depressing story. Alex deals with his psychotic family who tries to "fix" him, the inability to shift into a gender that matches what he identifies with in his mind, depression, and alcoholism on a daily basis. It's always a possibility for him to break down and commit suicide, but love always picks him up and gives him hope. In addition to that, there is a community that supports shifters of gender and shows their support of Alex in his time of need.

Overall, this is an awe-inspiring story that presents an inside view of people who do not fit into society's neat boxes of gender definitions. This is a worth-while read and still manages to be a very romantic story with a broader message.

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