Gretchen's Reviews > Static

Static by L.A. Witt
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Nov 19, 2015

liked it
bookshelves: sf, queer

This was an interesting premise. I cared about Alex and Damon a lot, I found the concept worthwhile and I thought the author did a decent job of exploring what reality would be like for people with the socially-marginalized ability to shift their sex at will. The protagonist, Alex, has been a shifter in secret living as a woman for years, but an unwanted surprise surgical implant from Alex's family and religious leader force Alex into being stuck in male form, forcing a lot of turmoil in Alex's professional and personal lives. The main question of htis novel is acceptance--will Alex's partner Damon get over the shock of learning the secret this way? Will Alex be stuck in static form forever and if so will that be tenable? Should Alex try to get a potentially life-threatening surgery to reverse the effects of the implants? I liked the way the characters worked through some of these questions together. Some of the worldbuilding felt a bit strange/not terribly well-developed to me, but I was prepared to go along for the ride. I liked that one of Alex's best friends was a static trans woman/that the trans experience was not erased by the magic of the plot gimmick. On the whole, though, I thought the writing was pedestrian and the culture around shifting felt strangely binary in a lot of ways. I think I would have liked this book better if it were about gender fluidity instead of genders and sex and physical presentation being so, well, static.
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