The Switch by Justina Robson

Vertigo

Mad Mountain Man
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Very disappointing. Felt like it was trying too hard to be trendy with it's emphasis on LGBT. In a society where anything LGBT is 'punishable' with death. All the main characters are LGBT. The lead character is gay but he has an intense platonic love of the second character who is also gay and she has a gay relationship with an off-world woman who is also gay. They are both 'captured' and owned by a mafia like gang led by a gay man who has a relationship with our lead character and eventually our lead character has to capture another high up figure in the administration who is, you guessed it, gay and they have a relationship. All the other (lesser) characters are straight. I'm sorry but that just totally lacks any plausibility for me. I truly don't believe I'm lgbt-phobic but I do look for realistic settings for my reading.

This wasn’t the books only flaw but it was by far the biggest along with those relationships receiving far more attention from the author than I felt they deserved, to the significant detriment of what could have been a very interesting setting and plot.

2/5 stars
 

Serendipity

A Traditional Eccentric!
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From my own experience of how writing novels can go wrong and from what you're saying, this novel sounds as if it could have done with a significant structural edit. A great shame, given the kudos attributed to the author. Something must have gone very wrong.
 

Vertigo

Mad Mountain Man
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From my own experience of how writing novels can go wrong and from what you're saying, this novel sounds as if it could have done with a significant structural edit. A great shame, given the kudos attributed to the author. Something must have gone very wrong.
Well it did for me but for others that may not be the case. It's a little like a number of movies put out in the '70s with all black casts; Shaft springs to mind. It can be argued that they made an important statement at a time when the fight for minority rights was focused mainly on the coloured community. But their reality was unrealistic; the world was simply not like that, at least not in North America. Equally this felt unrealistic in that all the major players are gay and everyone else is straight. And that lack of realism both pulled me out of the story and made me feel, possibly/probably unfairly, that the author was just caching in on a current trend. However I do hope that's an unfair criticism.
 
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