The Seep is an interesting little book. It’s about a transgender woman going through a painful… um.. divorce? Aliens invade every aspect of Earth life, connecting us all to each other, making us all high on love. They’re in the water. They’re in your food. They can make you into anything you ever wanted to be.
This was a fairly unique story. I loved the idea of benevolent aliens who’ve come to “help.” It’s not really an idea I come across often. The word invasion typically has a negative connotation. The Seep usher in a new era in which people can live forever. Don’t like your face? Change it! Don’t want to adult? Become a child! Want to be happy all the time? It’s cool- have this drink spiked with Seep!
Which is where I think the social commentary comes in. The Seep, despite their insistence that they are only there to help, they only want what’s best for the planet, they only want you to be happy- aren’t really giving you much of a choice in the matter. On the surface they bring utopia, but beneath it all, they are colonizing Earth in their image. Sound familiar?
It definitely has a surreal, dreamlike sort of quality to it. I wasn’t sure how much in-book-time was supposed to be passing. Sometimes it felt like years, others only months. There are some weird moments that will have you scratching your head, a bear cooking soup, a woman eating fish and crying about it because she can feel their pain as she eats them. A friendly face missing the way their fingers turned neon orange when eating Cheetos.
I did become a little frustrated with the protagonist, Trina, at times. Due to her divorce she spends a lot of time wallowing in self pity and drinking her sorrows away. She wasn’t the kind of person I’d want to hang out with in real life and she’s not the kind of character I enjoy reading about. (For reference, I had a similar complaint about The Girl on the Train).
Luckily the book is short, it’s easy to read, and kept me interested until the end, even if I didn’t always understand what was going on. There were things that I would have loved to know more about if Porter ever wrote a full length novel set in this world.