19 November 2014

Assimilation, Love, and Other Human Oddities by Lyn Gala

 Ondry and Liam have settled into a good life, but their trading is still tied up with humans, and humans are always messy. When political changes at the human base lead Ondry to attempt a difficult trade, the pair find themselves entangled in human affairs. Liam wants to help the people he left and the worlds being torn apart. He also wants to serve Ondry with not only the pleasures of the nest but also by bringing human profits.

Ondry has no hope of understanding human psychology in general, he only knows that he will hold onto his palteia with the last breath in his body, and he'd like to keep his status and his wealth too. Unfortunately, new humans bring new conflicts and he is not sure how to protect Liam. He does know one thing that humans seem to constantly forget—that the peaceful Rownt are predators and when their families are threatened, Rownt become deadly killers. Liam is his family, and Ondry will protect him with his last breath… assuming that he can recognize the dangers in time to do so.
No surprise here – I absolutely LOVED Assimilation, Love, and Other Human Oddities. As it was a full-length novel, I got to spend even more time with Ondry and Liam this time around. Not only was I treated to a front-row seat at the furthering strengthening and deepening of their palteia and chilta relationship, but I got to explore even more of Rownt along with Liam. As such, I am in awe of Ms. Gala’s ability to create such an interesting world – one which I agree with Liam on: the Rownt make far more sense than humans.

I found the action and intrigue that accompanied the introduction of Captain Diallo fascinating. It not only increased the excitement factor in this installment, but it also provided the reader the opportunity to learn exactly why the Rownt are considered predators. Had Liam possessed any lingering doubt regarding Ondry’s commitment to his position as Liam’s chilta, it would have been annihilated when Ondry killed the kawt. As the book progresses we also learn that Diallo’s introduction also lays the foundation for a sequel – a thought which makes me giddy with anticipation.

As much as I enjoyed the action and intrigue, it is actually Liam and Ondry’s relationship that I love most about this book. Under Ondry’s care and attention, Liam has flourished as a man and in his role as a palteia. The most telling example of this was when Ondry was mounted and mated by a Grandmother (that term has a different connotation in the series). The Rownt mating process is rather aggressive and from a human perspective, it looks a lot like rape – something that Liam was the victim of. Yet his time spent with Ondry had healed him to the point that he could easily detect the difference between his non-consensual experiences and Ondry’s completely consensual mating and rather than being horrified by the act as he would have been when he first arrived on the planet, he took pride in the fact that Ondry was chosen by a Grandmother and said what Ondry needed to hear in order to go through with the mating. Of course, the mating is strictly for procreation, so it has nothing on Liam and Ondry’s seriously erotic sexual interactions. Ms. Gala has again produced a well-written and highly enjoyable m/m sci-fi romance that I look forward to reading Assimilation, Love, and Other Human Oddities again as I hope that there will indeed be a book three in the series posthaste. 


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