Disclaimer: I received a free electronic copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review.
Going Through the Change by Samantha Bryant follows five seemingly-normal women, all of whom happen to be going through menopause. However, “the change” isn’t all these women have in common — all of them have undergone inexplicable bodily alterations that have left them with unbelievable new abilities. Eventually, the women cross paths and three of them team up to figure out what has happened to them. Once they determine the common denominator, they go in search of the person responsible and get much more of a fight than they expected.
Going Through the Change is a fun and quick-paced novel. While it is obviously geared toward women, especially middle-aged women, as a young woman I still enjoyed the novel and found myself relating to the emotions behind the character’s experiences. The overarching theme of the novel is body- and female-empowerment. Each of the characters have struggles, be it managing a family, body- or age-consciousness, or dealing with a stressful job. However, each of the characters grows (for good or evil) and learns to respect herself and take pride in her new abilities. As someone who cares deeply about female empowerment, I adored this message and the playful way it was portrayed.
The characters themselves are mostly well-developed, and Bryant does a masterful job of interweaving their lives. Linda, Patricia, and Jessica are all well-rounded and complex, and their cultural and experiential differences keep the novel feeling fresh, even as they go through similar (or the same) events. Likewise, these three women provide enough diversity that every reader should be able to relate to at least one of them. Moreover, Suzie and Eva, two of the side characters, are rock stars in their own respect, and David, Linda’s husband, shows his depth in the way he handles Linda’s change and eventually overcomes it to support her.
A few characters that I would like to have seen more development from are Cindy, Helen, and Nathan. Admittedly, Nathan is a very minor character (and perhaps having one that is just a jerk is fine), but I would liked to have had more from him (jerk-ish or otherwise) so he did not feel quite so two-dimensional. As to Cindy and Helen, both of them begin with strong personalities and clear motives. However, I felt as if a switch were flipped, and they changed into new people a little too quickly. Granted, going through a supernatural change must be rather shocking, but I would have liked to see a more gradual change or at least some sign of indecision or inner conflict from them.
As previously noted, the plot of Going Through the Change moves quickly, which is something I like as a reader. The fast pacing keeps the novel fun, and the twists keep the reader engaged. The chapters ended in ways that encouraged me to keep reading, always wanting more. My only complaint is that the novel seemed to end rather abruptly. It is clear that Bryant is setting us up for a sequel, as there are many important issues left to be resolved. However, I felt like the book went from epic fight scene to stop in a rather short span of time with little-to-no winding down. While this will be a fantastic asset when a sequel is ready to purchase, right now, I feel like a bit like someone turned off my movie three minutes before the credits.
Overall, Going Through the Change is a fun and exciting read. It is inventive and unlike any superhero novel I have ever read. In one of Bryant’s author biographies, she states that she is a fan of comics and Joss Whedon, and it shows in her spirited novel and empowering themes. If you love superheroes, feminism, and a dash of humor, you will love Going Through the Change.
If you are interested in reading Going Through the Change and would like to help sponsor my writing and research, you can purchase it at my Amazon Associates Store. By doing this, you will not pay a cent extra, nor will the author receive a cent less, but I will receive a small commission on the sale. Simply click the book’s title or the book’s image.