Title: Teresias Bound
Author: Rebecca James
Genre: Trans Sci-Fi/Fantasy
Publisher: Self Publish
Aiden is a man in a woman’s body. His dream is to fly to Aquarix where the elusive Fluens–the only species capable of changing his life record and physically making him a man–reside, and for years he’s been working at a seedy brothel in Solarias to save enough money to make that dream a reality.
Lydo, the prince of Teresias, has spent his youth leading his father’s army and avoiding his responsibilities on his home planet. On brief leave during a dangerous mission, he stops at a brothel and acquires the services of a feisty young prostitute who insists Lydo refer to her as a boy. Amused by the girl, the prince pays her way to Aquarix.
Aiden is euphoric at his transformation, but Lydo is more than a little disconcerted by the fact he is attracted to Aiden as a man.
When it’s time to part ways, Aiden fulfills his second dream by taking a job on a spaceship. Resigned to step into his expected role on Teresias, the prince returns to his homophobic planet. But as the king parades princesses before his son in hopes of a betrothal, Lydo finds his heart remains with a certain adventurous boy somewhere out in space.
Hands down, this is my new favorite mpreg. It’s also a fantastic trans story and one of the main characters is bisexual! And instead of being paranormal, it’s science fiction. I honestly wish I had written this, it’s that good.
The plot centers around Aiden, a human whore working in a brothel, who is saving enough money to visit the Fluens, a species who can supposedly change his body to meet his gender identity. One night he gets a visit from a road-weary alien prince, Lydo, who simply wants to stick his dick into a hole, get off, and go along his merry way.
Aiden turns out to be a particularly demanding whore, and while Lydo gripes over his peculiarities–like insisting he’s a boy and not a girl–he mostly goes along with it. Lydo’s too tired and horny to argue, and in the grand scheme of things it’s only for one night, so what does he care? No one from his court is going to bear witness to his depravity. His bemused acceptance of Aiden isn’t out of any higher sense of morality or goodness on his part, but there is something about Aiden that intrigues him. For reasons unknown to the reader, sometime during the night Lydo performs an alien emotional reading on Aiden, and for reasons not completely known to Lydo himself, he gives Aiden all the money he needs to complete his medical transition.
While that seems like a really sweet thing to do and you’d think the story would end there, it doesn’t. Aiden and Lydo keep running into each other, which eventually results in Lydo being there for Aiden’s transition with the Fluens, and Lydo sticking around after, to make sure Aiden gets a job and a place to live, etc. (That’s pretty normal for guys to do for a whore they just fucked twice, right?) After he’s ‘done right by Aiden’, Lydo has to return to his homophobic kingdom, while all those feelings he buried eat him up inside.
Aiden’s not exactly having the time of his life either. It seems the Fluens weren’t very communicative about what they did to Aiden’s body, and what he thought was the normal cis human male hookup, actually resulted in him retaining a few–completely functional–reproductive parts. Several weeks after Lydo leaves, Aiden’s told he’s pregnant.
The major question of the story is… what is he going to do about it?
The plot of this novel is entertaining, I loved the diversity, and all in all this is exactly the kind of book I like to read. And it’s an mpreg! I know the blurb doesn’t mention the mpreg pieces, so I’m kinda skating on thin ice as a reviewer here, but I also know people who don’t like mpreg wouldn’t appreciate the it’s an mpreg–surprise!, and people who do love mpreg would definitely want this called out, so I’m calling it out.
And it should be called out, because it’s awesome.
I loved how the transgender elements worked into the story. Aiden is emphatic early on that he’s male, which was nice, because this wasn’t really about him dealing with the internal struggles of transitioning. He knows who he is and what he wants. It’s more about Lydo and his species’ homophobia and how that stunts his emotional growth. This is clearly a gay romance story, and through Aiden’s transition, Lydo has to confront his own sexuality. Does he love men or women or both? Does it matter? What does that mean to his future rule? I appreciated how time was taken to address all these issues in a satisfying manner while the plot still moved along nicely.
On top of the incredible plot, the worldbuilding was light on the science fiction but super fun, to say the least. I was fascinated with the various alien species–there was a male species with two cocks! And there were several enjoyable culture shock moments when one species did something incredibly offensive to another without realizing it. While not all the aspects of the worldbuilding were entirely believable–this was more science fantasy than science fiction–those moments were pretty convincing. All in all, an entertaining read.
I’d recommend this to mpreg romance lovers, scifi/fantasy lovers, trans literature enthusiasts, and really anyone who likes a good diverse read.
Ben Brock is a reviewer for The Novel Approach and Queer Sci Fi. He enjoys running, whisk(e)y, the mythical gluten-free donut, and fills his life with bent bunk. He especially loves to discuss LGBTQ+ literature. His website is http://www.babrockbooks.com. You can find him on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/BABrockBooks.