Tuesday, 9 February 2016

Review: Dimorphic

Dimorphic Dimorphic by Cy Wyss
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This is really a 3.5-star book, but I didn't quite like it enough for four stars.

I read about it in a guest post by the author, and liked the idea of an ordinary person with an unusual situation (able to inhabit the body of her brain-dead twin brother while she is asleep) deciding to become a superhero. The sample seemed well-edited and showed promise of an action-packed and gripping story.

Further in, though, I started hitting more copy editing issues - including several basic homonym errors - and, more importantly, I felt that the story lost its way a bit. The main character stayed reactive and largely incompetent, rather than becoming proactive and effective, although she did manage to escape from custody at one point (but only in order to send a message to get herself properly rescued, the rescue occurring in a manner that I found hard to believe). The plot seemed to thrash about without a clear goal for the main character that she was pursuing with focus and urgency. There were plenty of reactive goals, but no clear story question that I could see.

The "one person in two bodies which are different genders" aspect could also have been developed more, I felt. On the other hand, it often wasn't clear until partway into a chapter which body the consciousness was in, which led to unnecessary moments of reorientation. The fact that the protagonist's confederates didn't push the question of why the two bodies were never awake at the same time was another aspect I found difficult to believe. And the love triangle (plus side seduction) just reduced my, by that point, already low respect for the main character's life skills and general head-togetherness.

I think that was the main problem, in fact. I didn't like or respect the main character much, in part because she didn't have or pursue a clear and definite goal with growing competence, urgency and determination, which is what I look for in an action-oriented story.

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