Book Review: The Flight of the Silver Vixen by Annalinde Matichei (series, #1)
Somewhere in outer space is an alien race consisting entirely of females. It’s not that the men are missing; they never existed. This race is known as intermorph, and those like our own are schizomorph. A teenage hover bike gang steals a space craft and finds themselves on a troubled intermorph planet where they must band together and fight as warriors against demons, internal enemies, and a neighboring aggressive schizomorph race.
This book reads distinctly like what would happen if you gave a bunch of ten year old girls the ability to record their imaginary playtime into a book and try to sell it. Everything from the dialogue to the plot screams, “A bunch of ten year old girls who like being girls but still think boys have cooties wrote this one day playing in their back yard.”
The writing is really bad. Clear characterization is almost non-existent. I was still uncertain as to who exactly various people were at the end of the book. The dialogue reads as so fake that it makes you cringe. It’s full of made-up words and ways of speaking that aren’t explained at all until a glossary at the end of the book. For example, the intermorphs don’t swear, but they do exclaim “g’doinking” when upset. See what I mean about ten year old girls? If I was, for instance, a middle school English teacher, I could see some merit in the writing and would encourage the young person to continue. This, however, is not a middle school English class. This is supposed to be a well-written, well-realized, novel. It is not.
Then there is the whole entire concept in and of itself. A race of just women absolutely can be a creative way to explore gender and sexuality, and I’ve seen it done well by famous feminist scifi authors. This is not done well, however. The intermorphs are all either brunettes or blondes with the brunettes fulfilling the traditional male role, and the blondes fulfilling the traditional female role. Everything about how they interact is a carbon copy of a traditional patriarchy. Just because both genders have vaginas doesn’t make how the brunettes treat the blondes less offensive. I also was incredibly disturbed at how the female main characters talked about the male schizomorphs. They referred to them as “it” and as animals. Even beards on men were degraded and feared. It’s the first time I’ve seen a book somehow manage to be both misogynistic and misandrist. This in and of itself is enough to warrant one star from me, even if the writing was good. This is not a healthy way to perceive men, women, gender, or sexuality.
I absolutely cannot recommend a piece of bad writing full of unhealthy perceptions of gender and sexuality to anyone. My hope is that the author is still quite young and with time will grow to more mature opinions, as well as more mature writing.
1 out of 5 stars
Source: Kindle copy received from author in exchange for my honest review