Book Reviews

Dali by E.M. Hamill at NineStar Press

Genre Pansexual/Panromantic / Nonbinary / Genderfluid / Science Fiction / Aliens / Other Planets / Outer Space / Mystery/Suspense/Thriller / Action/Adventure
Reviewed by Serena Yates on 09-July-2018

Book Blurb

Dalí Tamareia has everything—a young family and a promising career as an Ambassador in the Sol Fed Diplomatic Corps. Dalí’s path as a peacemaker seems clear, but when their loved ones are killed in a terrorist attack, grief sends the genderfluid changeling into a spiral of self-destruction.

 

Fragile Sol Fed balances on the brink of war with a plundering alien race. Their skills with galactic relations are desperately needed to broker a protective alliance, but in mourning, Dalí no longer cares, seeking oblivion at the bottom of a bottle, in the arms of a faceless lover, or at the end of a knife.

 

The New Puritan Movement is rising to power within the government, preaching strict genetic counseling and galactic isolation to ensure survival of the endangered human race. Third gender citizens like Dalí don’t fit the mold of this perfect plan, and the NPM will stop at nothing to make their vision become reality. When Dalí stumbles into a plot threatening changelings like them, a shadow organization called the Penumbra recruits them for a rescue mission full of danger, sex, and intrigue, giving Dalí purpose again.

 

Risky liaisons with a sexy, charismatic pirate lord could be Dalí’s undoing—and the only way to prevent another deadly act of domestic terrorism.

 

Book Review

The vision of the far future presented in this novel is less than rosy: pandemics and poisoning have come close to eradicating humankind, third-gender humans who are unable to reproduce naturally are growing in numbers, and the New Puritan Movement now pushes genetic purity (i.e., no third-genders allowed) in the name of increased reproduction in the interest of species survival. Sol Fed consists of the citizens of Earth plus those on the various colonized solar planets but terrorism threatens everyone and the Nos – hostile, plundering aliens – endanger not just peace but the continued existence of all humans. Sol Fed is attempting to join the larger galactic community, the Remoliad Alliance, but negotiations are not supported by everyone. Seen from the perspective of a genderfluid third-gender changeling, a trained ambassador who has lost everything and everyone they loved, this is a suspenseful thriller, a futuristic action/adventure including political intrigue and space pirates, and, ultimately, a story of hope.

Dalí is a fascinating, complex character with a unique perspective. They are most comfortable with an androgynous appearance but can present as either female or male if and when needed. They are an ambassador by training, a dedicated peacemaker who grew up away from Earth but returned when their father got reassigned to Rosetta Station (an outpost circling Jupiter). A terrorist attack killed their two spouses, one of them pregnant with all three parents’ child, and Dalí has been drinking and using illegal drugs until they hit rock bottom. “Even though the bastards failed to kill me, they destroyed me.” sums up Dalí’s deeply grieving mental state when they almost get killed, not entirely by coincidence. But it turns out to be a turning point, and as Dalí begins to physically recover, they start to take interest in the ever-worsening political situation as well as the growing numbers of “vanishing” third-gender humans. Once they are recruited for a rescue mission by the shadow organization named Penumbra, things go from fascinating to spellbinding.

What follows is a story with so many twists and turns it made my head spin. Dalí goes undercover in an attempt to expose the terrorists that they suspect killed their spouses and plunges into one dark situation after another. There is a plot to sell third-gender humans to aliens as slaves. Human greed at its most ugly is involved, with corporations and profit-grabbing CEOs out to protect their interests, no matter who gets killed. Deep friendship supports Dalí and ugly betrayal makes life difficult, and few people (human and alien alike) are what they seem. The mission begins to drag Dalí, mostly kicking and screaming, from the deep loneliness and despair they feel throughout most of the book. One revelation chases another, and all I can suggest is to hold on to your seats when you read this!

If you are ready for amazing worldbuilding that is more imaginative than I have seen in quite a while, if you want to see what the world looks like from a nonbinary point of view, and if you’re looking for a read that is suspenseful, sometimes violent, full of adventure, action-packed, and occasionally very erotic, then you will probably like this novel as much as I do. It’s truly brilliant, refreshingly unique, and the ending lets me hope for a sequel.

 

 

 

 

DISCLAIMER: Books reviewed on this site were usually provided at no cost by the publisher or author. This book has been provided by NineStar Press for the purpose of a review.

Additional Information

Format ebook
Length Novel, 253 pages/85200 words
Heat Level
Publication Date 07-August-2017
Price $6.49 ebook
Buy Link https://ninestarpress.com/product/dali/