Book Review: Static by L.A. Witt

Static by L.A. WittTitle: Static
Author: L.A. Witt
Genre: Fantasy, Science Fiction, M/M Romance
Sensuality Rating: Erotic
Source: review copy provided via NetGalley
Published: January 20, 2014 by Riptide Publishing

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.

Reviewed By: J9

In a Nutshell: Excellent and truly unique sci-fi transgender romance.

The Set Up: Alex has been Damon’s girlfriend for two years so it’s a shock to Damon when he walks into Alex’s home to find a man—an man who is Alex, his girlfriend. Alex is a shifter, a human who can shift between a male and female body at will but his evangelical parents drugged him and implanted a medical device to keep him male, a static unable to shift biological genders to match his mind. Damon is duly worried about Alex’s health but he’s never been attracted to men and isn’t sure a romantic relationship with Alex is still possible. Now Alex and Damon need to figure out their relationship as well as deal with Alex’s implants.

Why I Read this Book: Transgender sci-fi? Uh, duh, yeah!

What I Liked: This is an excellent story, both in plot and romance. The sci-fi world is so well written where there are static humans, those who can’t shift biological genders and shifters who can. Shifters are marginalized in this society and anti-discrimination laws are barely enforced. The world building is secondary to the romance but it’s still present and delightfully imaginative. The plot revolves around Alex dealing with the medical devices that his parents forced on him. This isn’t an easy plot to read as it’s full of sadness but it’s also full of hope and a great ending.

As good as the plot and world building are the best thing about this book is the relationship between Damon and Alex. This isn’t a simple romance of Damon suddenly accepting he was interested in men all along. On the contrary, the relationship between Damon and Alex progresses at a believable pace with fears, setbacks and genuine emotional engagement. Like Damon, at novel’s beginning I truly worried that Alex and Damon wouldn’t be able to remain a couple. How Damon and Alex communicate and grow together makes this book a stellar read.

What I Also Liked: This novel has a great supporting cast. Alex works at a bar and it’s become a home with his boss, Tabitha, as his mother figure. She’s a great character who helps Alex cope with being stuck in his static male body. I also liked the surprise person in Alex life but I can’t say more or it will spoil the OMG moment that was so well done.

Finally, I’m not normally a fan of the back and forth POV shifts but it mega-totally-worked here for me. I loved getting both Alex and Damon’s thoughts and views on their relationship and each other. I also love-love-love the chapter that is told from both their POVs. This alternating first person narration was the absolute best way to tell this intimate story so readers truly understand both leads from the inside.

Notes: The sexual intimacy in this novel matches the characters and the relationship beautifully but that means it takes a while. Don’t go into this novel expecting huge sexual antics or fetish sex that is typical of Riptide books. This totally worked for me but may not be for more adventurous readers.

This world is so well developed that I would be upset not to have more books set in this world. May I suggest the detective as the next book’s lead?!

IMO: Romance fans will love watching Alex and Damon’s relationship develop as I did and I highly recommend this truly unique and compelling novel.


J9’s Rating:
4 Frogs

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About J9: Vegan. Avid runner. Android addict. Never without a book in hand. Currently devouring MM romance but reads historial romance and paranormal romance as well. Follow J9 on Twitter.


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