The Beauty, by Aliya Whiteley

The Beauty, by Aliya Whiteley book coverGenre:  Science Fiction
Publisher:  Titan Books
Published: 2017
Reviewer Rating: three stars
Reviewer:  Michael D. Griffiths

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The Beauty by Aliya Whiteley is a strange sort of Science Fiction. Original and odd, this story takes you in an unexpected u-turn within the first few chapters and then just keeps getting more bizarre.

The tale starts as we follow Nate, the local story teller for a future dystopian society. He needs to do what he can to keep up the morale of his small village, since a deadly plague has killed all the females on the globe.

Later he is captured by a biped female-like creature made from fungus. After weeks of terrified imprisonment, he breaks down and has sex with the thing. Soon after, he gets released and every man in the village gets his own fungus beast, which Nate calls The Beauty.

Some men find the sex better than nothing, but many resist The Beauty. Soon violence begins as The Beauty starts to alter the forms of the men who fail to resist their desires.

This story may be one of the more original tales I’ve read in a while, but it has a few downsides.

First and foremost, this is not a novel, but more of a novella. It is padded with a second short story, which has three blank pages between every chapter. It just leaves me thinking, Hell, I wish I could get one of my longer short stories published as a novel.

It also leaves the story undone. Instead of finishing the journey we start out on, we are just left with a Twilight Zone ending and feeling as though watched a thirty-minute show. And while I like a little perversion as much as the next guy, this got to be more gross than sexy.

Again, very unique and well thought out, but not really my thing. I might have given it a lower grade if it was not so original. I have to give some props for that.

Skinjumpers

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