The First Lanthanide
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Nivloc’s debut novel is equal parts science fiction, dom/sub erotica and defense of the chiropractic arts.

Dr. Barus Lanthan has returned from a trip around the world after winning the lottery, and he’s uncertain what to do with his life in the wake of such a significant change. Fortunately, he’s quickly introduced to his friend’s younger sister, Dusk, a supergenius exhibitionist submissive who reads less like an actual character and more like a fan fiction version of what all women should be like. But, then, all the characters in the book are less people than collections of tics haphazardly thrown together and given little reason for why they do what they do. The main villain is simply the villain because he lives next door to Lanthan for far too long in the novel’s plot, while Dusk seemingly falls for Lanthan because he’s the main character and that’s what she’s supposed to do. For a book billed as science fiction, science-fiction elements don’t show up until over a third of the novel has passed, and what leads up to it is a portrayal of two people apparently falling into a relationship sparked with BDSM and other kinky sex games simply because they have nothing better to do. (At one point, Lanthan goes to the library to research dominant-submissive relationships, sucking all of the fun and sexiness out of the concept.) There are some interesting ideas about string theory and extra dimensions, but Nivloc sits on them for too long, and by the time they show up, they mostly seem to come out of the blue. Sure, we’ve gotten hints that Dusk is some sort of genius, but soon, she’s building secret government projects in the basement like it was a normal occurrence. On top of everything else, Nivloc includes a narrator whose presence in the novel is so sporadic that it’s easy to forget about her before she randomly inserts herself in the narrative to declaim about sexual attitudes among the ancient Greeks or the like.

Contains many interesting ideas that, unfortunately, all seem to be from completely different stories told from different perspectives.

Pub Date: Sept. 16th, 2009
ISBN: 978-1-4401-3650-4
Program: Kirkus Indie
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