Beyond the Black Door by A.M. Strickland
#two #female #fantasy #grayaro
In a world where souls take the form of nature landscapes or building interiors, Kamai has inherited a gift from her mother to walk through souls. Yet Kamai has no visible soul of her own, and in every soul she ventures into she sees a black door. Her mother warns her never to open, but when her mother is murdered, Kamai opens the door. Spinning into a conspiracy that leaves her uncertain who to trust, Kamai rusges to solve the mystery of what’s behind the door and just what her mother was hiding that got her killed.
Kamai knows she doesn’t feel the same desire as those around her who are referenced to doing sex work. She struggles with her lack of desire and wanting to be like her mother which puts herself in uncomfortable situations that she quickly gets out of before anything happens. Further into the book she is given a test along with another character that is divided into gender identity, who you're attracted to, romantic attraction, and sexual attraction. The last two are on a sliding scale from full to none, while the first two are on a scale of female to male. During this section, the other characters help Kamai come to terms with her asexuality (though they call it “new soul”). The other character that takes the test with her also comes out as ace and trans (though they comes to terms with their transness through the course of the story). Both of these characters are implied to be gray-romantic, because they pick a symbol closer to having none and mention only having a couple exception. This scene really provides a lot of details about asexual and aromantic orientations without using the words.