Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Metamorphis by Gabriella Bradley

TITLE: Metamorphis
AUTHOR: Gabriella Bradley
PUBLISHER: eXtasy Books
LENGTH: Short story (roughly 14k)
GENRE: Paranormal ménage erotic romance
COST: $2.99

A car accident throws two souls in chaos, when St. Peter’s apprentice mistakenly puts them back into the wrong bodies. Wesley finds himself in the body of a beautiful young woman, while Marian now inhabits his. When Wesley shows up on his lover Tyler’s cabin doorstep in a female form, Tyler doesn’t understand why he’s attracted to this strange woman, even after she claims to be Wesley. He’s even more confused when the man he thinks is his lover arrives claiming to be Marian…

The idea of a gender-switch story where a gay man ends up in a woman’s body intrigued me, so I bought this, hoping for something entertaining if not necessarily profound. I should have taken my misgivings about the title more seriously. I thought, “Maybe it’s just a play on words and it’ll get explained in the story.” But…no, it didn’t. The author misused the word, most likely meaning “metamorphosis,” and this lack of basic vocabulary knowledge typifies her weak storytelling.

It starts out okay enough. The prose is simple but straightforward, and the scenes short. But as soon as Wesley in Marian’s body shows up at the cabin, things start getting confusing. It gets even more so when Marian in Wesley’s body shows up. The author can’t decide what pronouns to use when addressing them, and this lack of consistency makes for a very sloppy read. It doesn’t help that POV focus gets weaker as the story progresses.

This problematic presentation isn’t the only issue I had with the story. Wesley in Marian’s body has no problem letting Tyler take the virginity Marian had been saving. All he cares about is having sex. And how am I supposed to believe that gay Wesley – who has never had any interest in women whatsoever – is suddenly eager to include a woman in a relationship with the love of his life? And what was the big deal with Tyler’s ex-boyfriend being in the cabin when Wesley in Marian’s body showed up? Did he serve any purpose at all except to provide a modicum of conflict at first? Every little thing chips away more of my suspension of disbelief, until it’s almost completely gone by the time I finish.

Though the basic idea of the story held fun promise, its execution didn’t follow through on it. Next time, I’ll take my cue from a sloppy title.


4/10 – Without staying consistent in how the body-swapped genders are dealt with, it makes for a problematic read.


3/10 – When one of the gay characters has never had any interest in women whatsoever, it makes it very hard they can work anything out.


4/10 – Shallow and inconsistent

Entertainment value

3/10 – I like the idea, but the execution lacks any sort of finesse

World building

4/10 – Too many questions and not enough answers to have any sort of consistency



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