Of Sound Mind and Someone Else’s Body by William Quincy Belle
Science Fiction with (gasp) sex!
Alan Maitland is a successful businessman on his way up the corporate ladder. Life is good, but life is also full of the unexpected. A scientific experiment goes awry and Alan’s mind is transferred to the body of Hana Toussaint, a high-class escort. Suddenly, he must not only contend with a new identity, but with the eye-opening experience of living as a female: how to walk in high heels without falling; how to put on a bra without dislocating a shoulder; how to deal with makeup without poking out an eye; and how to get along in a society which in many ways is still male-dominated.
Of Sound Mind and Someone Else’s Body takes an intriguing look at what might happen if the minds of a man and a woman were swapped. Imagine suddenly finding you were the opposite gender to what you are now. It would be weird, right? And, certainly not a subject many authors would tackle. Well William Quincy Belle did, and in doing so has skillfully created insightful scenarios, explored some interesting ideas and created two very likable characters in this is a well-written and enjoyable book.
The plot centers around two protagonists, Alan Maitland and Hana Toussaint. Unbeknown to each other they both volunteer to have chips implanted in their brains. While the procedure seems to have occurred without issue, sometime later Alan Maitland suddenly finds himself performing a sexual act on another man; exactly what Hana, a prostitute, was doing at the time of their ‘swap’.
Well, you can imagine his surprise! Confused, stunned and quite flabbergasted, Maitland manages to extract himself from the situation and head back to his apartment. There he explores his new body with curiosity and surprise. Soon he meets Hana, the occupant of his body, and they set out to change themselves back.
These two well-developed characters couldn’t be more different. Alan is a strait-laced, reserved corporate man and Hana is a sexual liberated woman who finds pleasure in helping others seek their own physical enjoyment. One of the most powerful elements of this book is discovering how they react to each other and how they deal with their opposing personalities.
They come across a number of issues and hurdles which increase the dramatic tension. For example, Alan is expected to perform at important business meetings but has to coach Hana so she can speak for him. While Hana is practicing to be a relationship counselor, which opens a few interesting doors that the perplexed Alan must deal with.
The sci-fi element in this book isn’t too overwhelming. The procedures needed to correct the mistake are well created and believable. If you are not a big fan of this genre, you won’t be put off by the terms used. In fact, they only add to the drama and complexity the couple face.
One thing that does stand out is how Belle uses this extraordinary situation to discuss the differences between men and women, and how they perceive each other. This is no, Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus, but the author does a thorough job of explaining each perspective clearly and openly.
Belle doesn’t pull any punches when it comes to describing how Alan and Hana explore the new bodies they inhabit. However, it is done tastefully and with a little spark of mischievousness, all of which makes the story a great read. Ever wanted to know what it might be like to be the opposite sex, and who hasn’t? Then this is the book for you. Enjoyable, funny and clever with intriguing characters and a fascinating plot, Artisan Book Reviews highly recommends Of Sound Mind and Someone Else’s Body by William Quincy Belle. Enjoy! Book reviewed by Susan Day for Artisan Book Reviews.