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Review by Ellen Tevault

Alicia E. Goranson
Suspect Thoughts Press
$9.99 or less at Amazon

Rump-smacking good action-adventure trans fiction … that boots transgender literature out of the classroom and into the streets. A hard-edged tale of passion, revenge, and low-rent apartments. Supervillainz has romance, car chases, brutal
superheroes, epic battles in dyke bars, and a climax that will have you reaching for the tissues.

Despite what the book blurb above says, I never felt like grabbing for tissues. Even though I enjoyed this award-winning novel, I was frustrated by the fact that it wasn’t what I expected. Since I love superhero stories, I expected a different novel than what this story provides. If I had read this novel without my strong expectations, I would’ve enjoyed it more.

The plot is fast-paced and the characters are well-developed. When Devon convinces Bit to smoke, I was disgusted. Since smoking is a pet peeve of mine, this scene clouded my view of Devon throughout the book. I found it hard to like some of the characters, including the main characters, at times.

I don’t know if I missed earlier signs, but I thought Devon was a transgender butch until he took a testosterone shot in the middle or last half of the book. It wasn’t until then that I realized he was a trans man. I understand that Goranson maybe didn’t want to spell out where the characters were with transitioning, so that readers could visualize them the way they wanted them to be, but I would have liked to have known sooner. I think Goranson expected the reader to understand where the characters were on the gender spectrum and other topics in the plot, which I missed at first. I think the author needed to explain these things in the novel further, instead of expecting the reader to figure it out on his own.

This novel is fast-paced and a good attempt for a first novel by a new author and has won Project: QueerLit 2004 and was a 2006 finalist for the Lambda Literary Award for Transgender. Goranson stretches genre fiction and characters into new territory. I enjoyed the fact that Devon and Bit didn’t receive a lot of negativity from the lesbian community they hung out in for being transgender. I recommend this book to readers craving transgender characters which are real, even if they aren’t always likeable.

This review was originally published by Ellen Tevault at her Erotically Ellen blog, and is published here courtesy of the author.

Purchase this bookfrom Amazon or search for other sellers with the ISBN 0-9763411-8-2. Copies are also available through Abe Books sellers.

September 5, 2017
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