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Review: Dalí – E.M. Hamill

Dalí - E.M. Hamill

Genre: Sci-Fi

LGBTQ+ Category: Genderfluid, Genderqueer, Non-Binary, Intersex

Reviewer: Rari

Get It On Amazon | Series Box Set

About The Book

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 charismatic pirate lord could be Dalí’s undoing—and the only way to prevent another deadly act of domestic terrorism.

The Review

Dalí Tamareia is a changeling – or third gender – a human who has been evolved to be without gender but who can assume either gender. They’re also an empath who grew up in the planet of Zereid, whose natives are highly empathic and telepathic. Even though they practise a martial art, they’re a peaceable race who don’t believe in killing.

When the story opens, Dalí is lost in a sea of grief and pain following the death of their two partners and unborn child in a terrorist bombing. They’re subjected to bullying and hate by some bigots, who consider the third genders to be abominations. Dalí is also spiralling into addiction, and ignores all the people around them who try to set them right. Changelings are disappearing from all over, but Dalí doesn’t care.

An encounter with some of those bigots leaves Dalí nearly dead, which makes them realise that they really don’t want to die. They’re recruited by a group to discover what’s happening to the missing changelings, and Dalí discovers that the group has links to the bombs that killed her family.

I loved the plot and Dalí’s characterisation, as well as that of the minor characters. The world building is well done, and the inner workings of the various societies are fascinating. I finished the first book in a week, and have already started the second book of the series.

This was quite an enjoyable read. The voice, the prose, the characters and plot – everything was good. If you love sci-fi, space operas, advanced technology, alien civilisations, flawed characters and high personal stakes, this is the perfect book for you.

The Reviewer

Rari is an author and editor writing under the name of Niranjan K. She is an avid reader of all things fantasy, and loves to discourse at length about her favourite books as well as shows. This blog is the space where she will be sharing her views and insights of the books, shows and movies that she likes.

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