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To Kiss or To Kill by Jean Lorrah
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1311,085,837 (3.67)1
In the distant future, mankind has mutated into Sime and Gen. Jonmair is a Gen, and Baird is Sime, and when Baird rescues Jonmair from the Last Kill, she suddenly has a life to live--and someone with whom to share. But can Baird, one of the wealthiest men in Norlea, also be the life partner that Jonmair longs for? Can love indeed conquer all? Or will death finally triumph over love? An original Sime Gen novel, Number Eleven in the series, and never before published.… (more)

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Nostalgia led me back to this recent Sime/Gen book, though the romance set just after Unity made me feel about equally squicked and nostalgic. Squick: Jonmair, a newly established Gen, thinks she’s been bought as a Choice Kill for Baird, but that first he’s going to fuck her (note that puberty and Establishment roughly coincide), and she already feels tender towards him so she only hopes that the sex is good. Nostalgic: okay, I admit it, I do like the aspirational living in harmony stuff. Layering stereotypes across a new set of axes, with occasional recognition from some characters that they’re stereotypes, produced a whiplash effect for me. Baird was the traditional asshole hero who doesn’t want to be controlled by the heroine’s mysterious power over him and whose journey consisted of learning to accept it—but in this case he has a biological explanation for that power that isn’t her sex. At the same time, I read the book, perhaps against authorial intent, as Baird making excuses for himself that were enabled by his culture; there was plenty of ‘oh, well you can’t expect rational behavior from someone who’s post/junct/in turnover/in Need.’ (One occasionally wonders how Simes get anything done.) Anyway, it’s a variation on love taming the savage beast, with the background of huge—okay, I can’t help it—Tectonic changes in the underlying society. Best if you like power differentials and have good Sime/Gen memories. ( )
  rivkat | May 12, 2012 |
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