Dana reviews Static by L.A. Witt (Published by Riptide Publishing, January 17, 2014, 2nd edition, 236 pages)
Why I read this book: This is a book I had wanted to read for while. I recently bought it and thought it would be perfect to review in conjunction with the Transgender Romance Writers Blog Hop going on this week. To read the post and participate in the giveaway click here.
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.
Winner: Best Science Fiction Romance in the 2013 EPIC Awards!
Finalist: Best Transgender Fiction in the 24th annual Lambda Literary Awards!
Winner: Best Bisexual / Transgender Sci-Fi / Paranromal / Fantasy in the 2011 Rainbow Awards!
(This award-winning title is a revised and edited second edition of Static, originally released in 2011 by Amber Allure.)
While neither Damon and Alex are transgender characters in this book, there are transgender secondary characters and I feel this book explores the reality of transgender and gender queer people. Alex is a shifter, and in the world this author created that means he/she shifts between a female and male body depending on how she is feeling internally. I think that would make Alex more of a bi-gender character, being able to identify as both sexes, but when he is forced to remain ‘static’ in his male form by his parents the reader learns what it feels like to be trapped in a physical form that does not reflect who you are inside.
Damon who is a heterosexual man, has only known Alex in her female form. For two years he didn’t know Alex’s secret of being a shifter. When he meets Alex as a man, he actually takes it pretty well. It might have been due to the fact that Alex was really ill and needed help. It’s obvious from the start he is a really good guy. His lack of attraction to Alex as a man is understandable so it’s a happy moment when he realizes how much he loves the person, Alex, regardless of gender.
It’s a wonderful story of true love that is gender blind, of support in the community for Alex, support he/she never received at home. Alex stands up to his parents and becomes an inspiration to someone he never thought he would. It was a very cool world building for this author and I will probably read this one again.