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Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite
The Moonballers: A Novel about The Invasion of a LGBTQ2+ Tennis League … by Straight People (GAY GASP!) is a work of fiction in the humor, parody, and sports fiction subgenres. It is intended for the general adult reading audience and was penned by author Jeffrey Sotto. In this rip-roaring humorous work about the sport of tennis and the social norms surrounding LGBTQ2+ society, we find ourselves in 2020 at the birth of a brand new queer tennis organization near Toronto, Canada. Our protagonist Steffi Porsche fancies himself the champion player and natural leader of this new group, until a straight man, Khalid Adam, arrives equipped with all the wherewithal to take over. What follows is a campy and competitive look at intolerance from both sides of the rainbow lens.
Author Jeffrey Sotto demonstrates many different skills that really make this unusual and original novel work. For a start, he’s clearly an avid tennis fan, and his devotion to the sport adds a layer of excitement and enthusiasm to the writing that is positively infectious. Beyond this, he knows precisely where to pitch the parody element of queer fiction so that it becomes truly humorous without ever damaging the core ethos of queer culture. There is quite a lot of surprisingly explicit content in the book which certainly amps up the intrigue and makes for some shocking plot twists, but I found it was all dealt with in good humor and quite suitable for the target audience. Overall, LGBTQ2+ readers certainly won’t want to miss The Moonballers if they’re looking for laughs and hijinks, but also something that leaves you thinking more deeply about prejudice at its end.