In the first scene of Transmuted (Unnerving), protagonist Isa has achieved something incredible. Thanks to her impressive streaming fanbase, she’s raised $40,000 toward gender affirming surgery. It’s a dream come true. Finally, Isa will be able to transform the aspects of her appearance that have caused her to suffer years of gender dysphoria. But just when everything seems to be going her way, Isa’s sister calls. Dad’s cancer is getting worse, and the best chance he has for survival costs somewhere around—you guessed it—$30,000.
From this first soul-crushing setback, author Eve Harms’s effortlessly readable prose takes readers on an unpredictable journey that is guaranteed to delight and horrify in equal measure. Clocking in at 71 pages, Transmuted is a quick read, but don’t let the length deceive you. This is a novella working on an epic scale. Harms weaves together multiple storylines with the precision of a surgeon at the top of their game. Chance encounters with beautiful golden-eyed women, experimental medicine, and poignant moments of personal discovery all play out in a world that grows larger with each discovery Isa makes.
Just when Isa thinks everything is lost, she happens upon an Instagram ad for a new kind of feminization treatment. Dr. Skrum claims that his procedures can do everything. In just three sessions, Skrum promises he can shift Isa’s facial features, clear her skin, and even reduce the width of her shoulders. And the best part? It’s all free. But even as Isa begins to see incredible results, something sinister is boiling beneath the surface. You get what you pay for, as the old saying goes. And in Isa’s case, she’s about to get disturbingly more.
Transmuted is a home run for the body horror sub genre. Those that love the prickling feeling of terror that comes from rotting, wrenching, ripping, and reconstructing have much to be excited for in Harms’s newest work.
Transmuted publishes July 15, 2021.