In the year 2081 our planet survived global warming of an apocalyptic scale. When the dust settled and the water receded Dr. Anthony Smith, one of only a few hundred survivors of GWI, started society anew. Having come to the conclusion that injudicious breeding played a huge role in the destruction of Earth as we knew it in the twenty first century, he worked closely with other survivors to isolate the Dionysus gene. This gene has the ability to manipulate human DNA to ensure that all male children be born gay, and all female children be born lesbians. A new society is born.
In the year 2300 Dr. Smith’s descendants are ushering in the twenty fourth century having maintained control of the government that still rules society. Twins Aiya and Aiyan are preparing to meet their matches and take control of House Gaeland, the current ruling House. But not everything is as it seems.
Love is Love.. it knows no gender and doesn’t conform to restrictions and boundaries. Aiyan has found his soul mate in Kaden, the prince of House Devi that he is matched with and eventually marries. But when the person Aiya falls in love with tests the boundaries put in place after GWI, all hell breaks loose. And in the midst of one secret unraveling, another will emerge. There is a growing anomaly that threatens to destroy over two hundred years of progression. This anomaly is known as Opposites.
Based on the cover and the blurb I had expected the story to focus on one couple, Aiyan and Kaden, with maybe a strong secondary character in Aiya. It goes far broader in scope though, and features seven main characters, all but one of whom fall in love with someone from among these seven. The book becomes even more crowded when taking into account all the parents that are never far from our young heroes and heroines.
Everyone gets about equal attention from the author, with slightly more time in the spotlight for Aiyan and Kaden, but because there are so many characters to follow up on, I feel as if we don’t get to truly know any of them. All the characters’ interactions, though well-written, remain almost superficial, making it very difficult to get into the story or care about what happens to them next. There’s too little time for self-reflection or internal dialogue and what dialogue there is among the group or pairings isn’t necessarily very revealing or meaningful.
When things get physical, we stay with the couple in question for a longer time, which struck me as somewhat unbalanced in the grander scheme of things. I’d have preferred it if the writer had taken more time to actually build these relationships on an emotional level too.
A lot of attention to detail has gone into the world-building and the story is certainly set in a highly unique universe, giving the reader a thought-provoking perspective. Still, there are some things that struck me as a bit strange. A futuristic society, with great biological advances, falls back into an almost medieval way of living but keeps quite modern sounding idioms that don’t fit the atmosphere of this alternate universe. The main characters are nearly all of royal rank or at least quite high up in society, but servants seem to be scarce, leaving all the menial work for princes and princesses to do themselves.
I don’t care much for Aiya who seems very passive and a stereotypical damsel in distress. Outside of a physical attraction there doesn’t seem to be much to bind her to her chosen significant other. Once Aiyan learns more about who his sister loves he reacts like an absolute boor. For twins with a supposedly strong connection, they don’t communicate well at all and don’t trust the other with their secrets. Aiyan, and some of the others, are shown to be bloodthirsty and vengeful, leaning towards gratuitous violence rather than attempting to keep up any sort of justice system. The book ends on a cliffhanger of sorts.
I really couldn’t get into this story, I tried, but it’s not for me.
Greg Boudreaux did a great job narrating this story. It can’t have been easy with the multitude of main and secondary characters, several of whom had distinctive accents.
Number of stars out of 5: 3