I requested an ARC of this book from Netgalley based on a smart cover and a compelling blurb.
Mutationem projects an all female cast, well, almost. The only male (as far as I have read, around three-fourth of the book) is a cat.
The introduction was good. The author introduced the characters well by giving us a short background with minimum exposition.
I thought what could go wrong with a story about a bunch of women survivors in a spaceship looking for a new home? A science fiction category, a mysterious and overprotective cat, and a super smart baby.
The intelligent cat and the terrifyingly progressing baby had some exciting moments. The cat had to protect her from the villain quite frequently, and those were the best scenes in the book. I almost liked the first few chapters.
Then the lesbian antagonist entered.
Dear readers, I believe in a justified portrayal of LGBTQS (added S for straight) romance. However, the purpose of the sex scenes (no romance as the character is an antagonist) in this book was lost somewhere between titillation and adding to the word count.
You don’t need explicit scenes in every few pages of a science fiction novel to show the antagonist is a lesbian and very very naughty.
Suggestion: A warning for the explicit scenes should be added in the blurb/book cover/ anywhere relevant for potential underage readers.
One particular garden scene was well-written. The enemy’s influence over some women of the ship and their response to her charm was so well portrayed that I went on for a few more pages.
That’s how the book is. You get good moments, and then you wonder who wrote the next part. The dialogues felt artificial.
I am convinced that the idea of the story is excellent. However, uneven pace and style of narrative, numerous lesbian sex scenes bobbing up at regular intervals, long stretches of the story without much progress, this book wasn’t of the standard I had expected.
This book had the possibility of becoming a fascinating read.
I assume the book has gone through beta reading. However, I suggest another round. There is so much potential. From the parts I have read (skipped quite a few pages, I admit), the concept is brilliant. A better execution is all it needs.
My review is based on an ARC, so there might be some changes before publishing the book.
I avoid posting reviews on books that haven’t made the 3-star cut-off, but I am making an exception and rounding off 2.5 Bohostars to three for the concept, cover, and the cat.