Have you ever played that game with your significant other, the one that goes 'Would you still love me if..."? Would you still love me if I grew hair all over my entire body? Would you still love me if I had Hobbit feet?
How about this one, 'Would you still love me if I was suddenly the opposite gender?' For some, that's probably a real toughy. I know my own husband very gently told me that while he still would love me, he's not sure that he could remain intimate with me. I'm not offended, human sexuality is a complicated creature.
It brings up one of my favorite debatable topics: What is Attraction? We all know what we're attracted to in the immediate, but what about those husbands or ex's that didn't fit your type? What about attraction that grows in places where in the beginning there was none? Is it still about someone physically, or is it about the person they are inside that you got to know? And if that's the case, if it's about the person inside, what does gender have to do with it?
These are the questions that are posed to you in Static. Alex is a shifter, except in this world a shifter changes their gender. It isn't about a superpower, or a battle with a big bad. This is simply about having the ability to be who you are in your mind. If your brain says, "I'm a boy," shifters have the ability to make their body match. Wow, I mean that is quite a concept. On top of all that, Alex's boyfriend Damon never knew that Alex was a shifter, only finding out the truth because Alex was forced into becoming a static male. Damon is heterosexual, and he's been in a two year relationship with Alex in her woman form.
That's some deep stuff.
In addition, Static talks about what it must feel like for those who are Transgender yet do not have the ability to shift. How there's a whole world of people with the ability to make their body match their mind. It discusses those who vehemently oppose any lifestyle that isn't deemed 'normal'. It discusses the emotional impact on someone who's different.
So, I could tell you about how the book starts off so abruptly, with very little back story, that it felt jarring. I could go into how the writing itself was only so-so, and the actual plot was a little weak. I could talk about how Alex was sometimes a little whiney, though really, could you blame him? All of those are true, and the reason why this book is only 4 stars. I'm not going to, though. I don't want to leave you with that; it was so secondary to how much this book stretched my imagination. I have found myself asking everyone I know how it would impact them, and their relationships, if they were suddenly the opposite gender.
I love a book that makes me think and question life, and Static delivered, absolutely. At the end of the day, the idea's presented in this book are what will stick with me, likely forever.
Read this review and more at Badassbook Reviews.