REVIEW: Loveoid by J.L. Morin

The Official Description: A woman euthanasist and an Egyptian farmer delve into the evolution of the collective soul as an extremophile virus targets a select few.

Cli-Fi at its best, where the twisted scientific changes of our present-day lives catalyze love in parallel universes. Loveoid grapples with the dilemmas of the latest generation of humankind ⎯ that the loving don’t survive. In the present-day novel Loveoid, Olivia unravels a virus that only harms the corporate upper crust. In combat with media, governments and corporations, as love-lacking predators on top kill off life on earth, Olivia finds love, and comes to question her own ideals. The impossibly mixed match encounters life-threatening obstacles, as Khalid elicits her darkest fears, yet lights the way with ancient holistic remedies and spiritualism. Will love allow them to stay human?

Just the facts: Cli-fi, pandemic, animal rights, human rights, euthanasia

This is a convoluted tale involving science, climate issues … human rights, animal rights… basically everything we need to deal with if we want a future. Sadly, the relationship that’s described as “love” is anything but. Kinzie Things

My thoughts bit: 
This book was a very strange adventure. Dr. Oliva Murchadha is a scientist working on a cure for an illness that seems only to affect the infamous 1% of the population. The richest people are the ones who need the cure.

The plot is a bit confusing… I’m still not sure that I know what the primary purpose of the book was. I did finish the book, primarily because Morin’s writing is quite enjoyable. Even when the author was writing about things I couldn’t quite grasp, I still appreciated the style.

There are ideas that are touched upon that are unsettling and disturbing. For instance, there are euthanasia centers in this future world. People flock to these centers so that they don’t have to worry about food shortages, pandemics, and illnesses. The stark and emotionless way that people were shuffling towards their deaths disturbed me. I applaud the author for creating such an epically dismal future for people in spite of the fact that I think euthanasia is probably a good thing under appropriate circumstances.

Olivia is at a euthanasia hotel when there is a terrorist attack. She finds herself on the run with one of the local men who was working outside the hotel earlier in the day, Khalid. Immediately they enter into a relationship that I found rather confusing. At first, I thought they were simply assisting each other but then I realized that Khalid was kidnapping Olivia. The reason that I found it confusing though, was that the book describes their relationship as a romance. As far as I could see there was nothing romantic about their interactions at all.

While Oliva is desperate for news about what is going on in the outside world and worried about her research – Khalid keeps her captive. He hides all the ways she may escape from his farm and cuts her off completely. Once she is living with him and “falling in love”, he emotionally abuses her, he fat shames her, and is embarrassed to be seen with her in public. The worst part for me was that the writing of their “sex life” read to me more like sexual assault. Khalid was disconnected and often degraded Oliva. There was dubious consent at best and their entire relationship made me uncomfortable.

It never became clear to me why the author chose such a horrible relationship to call a “romance”. There was nothing positive about the relationship and I felt really disconnected from the characters.

There are some really important issues touched upon in this book: The power and weaponization of the press and media, fear and the way that it plays into us buying into plans we think will help save us, pandemics (How timely is that?), and global climate change. I wish that these issues had been more involved in the plot but it primarily focused on the bizarre relationship between Oliva and Khalid.

The research for a cure that will prevent a pandemic does come of a conclusion (no spoilers) and I thought the author wrapped up that part of the plot nicely. Sadly, my dislike for the “relationship” between the two main characters detracted from the reading experience for me.

Things You May Want To Know: Please be aware, I’m by no means an expert on what may or may not have the potential to disturb people. I simply list things that I think a reader might want to be aware of. In this book: (SPOILERS) fat-shaming language, misogynistic speech and interactions, terrorist attack, mentions racism, discussion re animal abuse, discussions of euthanasia, a character is kept prisoner, dubious consent during a sexual encounter

Links: Goodreads // The Author // The Publisher

I received an ARC of Loveoid by J.L. Morin from Harvard Square via Edelweiss in exchange for an unbiased review.

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