Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Euphoria by Jayne Lockwood (scifi nonbinary mpreg)

Euphoria is one of those books that I found to be a challenge. There is no question that Jayne Lockwood is a wonderful writer with an equally wonderful imagination, but I struggled with the structure of the story, and found it hard to connect with many of the characters. I picked this up and put it back down so many times, I feared I would never finish it, but despite the challenges I still felt compelled to see how it all played out.

On the plus side, I loved the non-binary aliens and thought they were exceptionally well done. Vardam came across as genuinely non-binary, neither masculine nor feminine, with their attraction to Kurt feeling neither homosexual nor heterosexual. The "slender opalescent tentacles" helped make them feel very alien and, combined with their gender, made for a fascinating aspect of the story - almost as much as the shocking male pregnancy that results from it all.

On the negative side, while I found Vardam fascinating, I cannot really say I found them likable. Maybe it's their alien nature, in which case maybe it makes sense that I had trouble connecting. Kurt, on the other hand, had no excuses - I disliked him from the start, and only found him more challenging as the story went on. I know the suicide attempts were supposed to bring the reader closer, to force a connection, but I just found myself becoming angry with him.

Back on the plus side, the science fiction aspects were fascinating. Lockwood offers up alien colonization, time travel, mutated diseases, the threat of extinction, and the promise of an alien cure-all in Vardanium. I reminded of the social drama of Alien Nation and the Utopian promise of the original V miniseries, complete with the comic innocence of dialogue, but without the horrors lurking in the shadows. I already mentioned the tentacles, which I loved, but the cocoon travel - as opposed to spaceships - was an interesting quirk as well. Asteroids and supernovas make for some exciting scenes as well.

I am glad I persevered, despite the character issues, because Euphoria was a truly original work of science fiction that does non-binary right.

About Jayne Lockwood: I've been writing for many years, starting out at County College of Morris in New Jersey with a course in Journalism. Since then I've published five novels for Black Lace Books under a pseudonym (Savannah Smythe) and one ghostwritten book for glamour celebrity, Abi Titmuss, in 2005 (10 Fantasies.) Also, I've published two M/M erotica stories as S. A. Smythe, Lexington Black and Docklands Diamond, both available on Amazon and Smashwords.

Since then I’ve published The Cloud Seeker and Closer Than Blood, both romantic suspense novels under Hollow Hills Publishing. At the moment, I'm and I’m working on my third Jayne Lockwood novel. I draw from my experiences as an Englishwoman and my time in New Jersey. The area of the Chilterns where I grew up and where I live now is rich in inspiration, secrets and tales from the past. As an author, I have more stories inside me than time to write them!


1 comment:

  1. Thank you so much for an honest and heartfelt review. I really appreciate it!

    Jayne x