Dalí is a beautifully written exploration of ethics, gender, grief, and SPACE! 5 Stars.
I won't use up space recounting the basic plot, as you can click the GoodReads link above to see that for yourself. Instead, I'll focus on what I loved about this novel and some of the thoughts it left with me when I'd finished. Below, however, you can see the book information provided by the publisher. You can buy the ebook here.
Author: E.M. Hamill
Release Date: August 7, 2017
Format: ePub, Mobi, PDF
Cover Artist: Natasha Snow
Category: Literary/Genre Fiction
Word Count: 85200
Sex Content: Explicit
Warning: Depictions of violent death
Between space rescues, ship battles, gladiatorial bouts, and the sexually charged hand-to-hand-combat scenes, if you're after adventure and action, this book won't disappoint. Dalí is a little more action-packed than what I'd normally read, but it worked well for me.
The writing is fabulous and the world-building is even better. Rich, complex, and totally believable, the galaxy of the future mirrors many of the political and social concerns of our own time -- which is always the case with good science fiction. I highly recommend this novel for fans of science fiction and/or adventure.
This novel works beautifully as a stand alone story, but I can also see how it would easily become a series if the author has that in mind. The rest of my review contains spoilers - delving into aspects of the novel that I wanted to discuss.
This book is definitely not a romance, which is not a comment I make as a negative, but something to be aware of. That's part of why this novel is great - it doesn't follow the same old formula that quite a lot of traditional LGBTIQ+ tends to abide by. Anyone who has read my previous reviews knows that I'm not a fan of sci-fi being background for a romance plot. A sci-fi romance is a great story (heck - it's what I myself tend to write) but the genre elements shouldn't be, in my opinion, a convenient backdrop for a story that could've been set anywhere or anytime. That isn't the case with Dalí.
The relationships were interesting - particularly between the main character and the other changelings - Kai and Dru. Something about Dru really got to me and I found myself hoping she'd get something of a satisfactory ending to her kidnapping journey.
My favourite relationship - and this is totally subjective - was between Dalí and Tella Sharpe. I felt that Tella was the only character Dalí slept with who didn't expect them to be whatever sex or gender suited her, unlike the other people Dalí slept with - who wanted them to be only either male or female. I definitely understood why they became so frustrated with Tella and felt so betrayed, given her role in kidnapping the changelings, but I was surprised by how deep that animosity seemed to go. Dalí questioned Rhix's ethics, but continued to (mostly) trust him and kept sleeping with him after knowing he traded in goods that could facilitate mass murder, yet they remained so angry with Tella, whose crimes were pretty awful, but also much smaller scale than Rhix's. Again, this is not a criticism! Humans are like that - we aren't logical in who we do or do not tolerate or forgive.
The complexity of these relationships is still on my mind well after I've finished reading the book. I love books that make me keep thinking, and even make it hard to start the next book I want to read.
On a totally inane note, I loved the Princess Bride references, and surely that comment about "My mother is a lizard" has to be a reference to another 80s cult classic, Willow, right? My only comment here, though, is that I did question characters who were living so far in the future being that obsessed with such films. It felt a bit like Tom's fascination with the 20th Century on Star Trek - Voyager...more of a way for someone on the crew to explore their own love of cars and music? It was harmless, though, and even though my amusement about the references had worn off by about the mid-way point, as a fan of the movie who can quote the whole thing, it was a little bit of fun, even if I did think they didn't suit the context.
So if the only less-than-positive thing I have to say is about inter-textual references, that's definite nit-picking! I'm really pleased that books like this are being written and published.
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