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REVIEW: What Blooms Beneath (audio), by A.D. Ellis

What Blooms Beneath

Title: What Blooms Beneath

Author: A.D. Ellis

Narrator: Kory Getman

Genre: Sci Fi

LGBTQ+ Category: Pansexual, Genderqueer, Intersex

Publisher: PUBLISHER

Length: 6 Hours 25 Minutes

Reviewer: Sharonica

Amazon eBook | Amazon Audio

About The Book

Kellan considers himself lucky to have an adequate existence on earth where, in the year 2044, common citizens toil under the oppressive thumb of a corrupt and unscrupulous government. Kellan dreams of becoming part of the Department of Paranormal, Supernatural, and Fantasy Sciences, but his application is continually denied because he has no extra-sapien blood. Kellan’s simple reality shifts when Rhône unexpectedly enters his life.

Rhône, living in a camouflaged, underground village, never planned to get involved with an individual from the outer world. When Rhône and Kellan cross paths, there’s no denying the attraction and pull between them. But there’s something else, something more, just beneath the surface. 

A hidden world and painful secrets are a potentially complicated blend. However, with Rhône by his side, enlightening details and unexplored powers provide Kellan with an opportunity for deep self-discovery. Will Kellan’s open and accepting heart allow for an extraordinary love to bloom? Or will the vast differences between Kellan and Rhône take root and strangle any hope for a flourishing future?

**What Blooms Beneath is an LGBT+ Fantasy Romance featuring a pansexual male and genderqueer intersex individual.**

The Review

I was a little afraid after the first few minutes that I was going to be lost since, don’t tell anyone, but I struggle with sci-fi the older I get. I grew up on Star Wars and Star Trek and loved seeing Christopher Reeve as Superman on the big screen. However, getting my mind to find the tunnel vision it needs to escape into science fiction today and you might as well ask me to do trigonometry again. Sweet Gaia, no one ever ask that of me, or my brain may actually finally implode on itself. No…Really!💥

Now Ellis succeeded in keeping my interest in What Blooms Beneath because it tells a love story and a story about hope and triumph over adversity will capture my heart every time. That is something that most likely resonates with quite a few of us right now. 

In the not too distant future, there is a race of beings who live in a village under the Earth, known only to a few as Popids. These beings live as one with the Earth and as the Earth thrives so do they, and they have the power to return to Her the power gleaned from her. However, when the planet puts off negative or polluted energy, the power of this race of beings wanes. So it is very important for there to be harmony between the world topside and that of the Popids.

A romance blooms between one of the beautiful Popid people and a mundane human who has no supernatural abilities, even though he’s dreamed of always working for the Department that handles all the paranormal affairs. The government only allows those with supernatural skills to work for the department, so Kellan is stuck in a custodial role. He never stops trying though, believing in the hope that one day someone will notice him.

Rhône, a member of the Popid village and Kellan become friends, then more, all the while forming a strong connection no one can explain. There are also dangers lurking and spies close to home and maybe even in the village. It will take empathy, wisdom, strength of heart and character for Kellan and Rhône to survive and save the Popid village and themselves.

I got so caught up in the wonder and beauty of the Popid people and their home that part of me wished I could change places with Kellan for a while. The image I have in my mind of Kellan’s first encounter with Rhône and the feelings he felt for them just moves me. The way Kellan described their skin, hair, eyes, and the purple haze he saw when he looked at them, I truly felt a part of their scene. I absolutely loved that Kellan could ask questions without fear of recrimination from Rhône, and in turn, Rhône knew Kellan was honestly curious about him and his people, as people and not as strange or weird creatures to be reviled and ridiculed by those on the outside.

There were quite a few moral perspectives and relevant topics for today weaved throughout the story.  Themes did involve some bigotry, and phobias surrounding the gender identity perspectives and race/ species differences. I liked that Ellis handled the topics by showing them in a loving consensual romantic relationship between Kellan, who identified as pansexual, and Rhône as gender nonbinary, gender non-conforming, and intersexual.

There is minute angst, some danger (an assault off-page), consenting adults doing adult things, and drug use legalized by the government of the future. Let the good times ROLL! 😂

The Story: 4.50🌟

The Narration: 4.00🌟

Overall: 4.25🌟

The Reviewer

These are always so hard so I will keep it simple: My four adult sons (28-21) call me Ma and Dragon Lady. Their ringtone ranges from the Imperial Death March to Stewie’s “Ma Mom Mommy.” Because of my disability, I am a hermit and stay inside and mostly  in very dim light, hence the nickname Dragon Lady. I read for therapy and am slowly getting back into my art, thanks to friends I have made in authordom and fandom.  If I had  one wish, it would be to see Ru Paul and Donald Trump in an MMA ring and the winner after answering questions on censorship of books in our libraries, LGBTQIA advocacy, national healthcare, and our troops and vets, being the next POTUS. 😁  

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