REVIEW: Affiliations, Aliens and other profitable pursuits by Lyn Gala
A desire for status has brought Ondry and Liam to a human world to trade, but dealing with humans has brought up all the old pain in Liam’s heart. Even though Ondry would do anything to protect his beloved palteia, he doesn’t know how to protect Liam from himself. Worse, Ondry isn’t sure how to shield Liam from the shifting politics on the Rownt ship where the Calti Grandmothers are nothing like the ones they left behind on the planet.
With everything in their lives changing, Ondry and Liam have only each other. If Ondry can’t find a way to defend Liam from the ghosts of the past and overcome the impossibly short life span of a human, their small family might be over long before either of them is ready to let go. Ondry has always been a dominant and possessive Rownt, and with Liam in danger, those traits are necessary as he challenges the world to protect his lover.
PLEASE BEWARE OF POSSIBLE SPOILERS IN THE COMMENTS TO THIS DISCUSSION FOR THIS AND PREVIOUS BOOKS IN THE SERIES
Dear Lynn Gala,
I love this series. The end.
I honestly had trouble with this review – I know why I love these books, but I feel like the main reasons why I love them have already been discussed in my reviews of the first two books in the series and I am afraid of just repeating those reasons here. Actually, I am not sure if this is the last book in the series – I *want* it to be, because for me it ended in the perfect place, but I have no idea.
Readers, if you want to read this book, you can’t start here, you just can’t. You probably will not be confused about plot, because it is not complicated and most of the important things that happened in the first two books are referenced here in one way or another. However, you will miss the characters growing, you will miss the world of Rownt showing off more layers to us, and Ondry and now other Rownt learning more about humans will not have the same punch if you have not read how they started dealing with Dylan.
In this book we have Ondry and Liam joining the Rownt ship to trade with humans, amongst other things. In the previous books we learned that the Rownt are obsessed with trades – this is one of the driving forces (although not the only driving force, because there are couple other things which are more important to them) of their society. Rownt also value status and rank a great deal, but when it comes to choosing between obtaining more status and taking care of their child or palteia, they would choose the latter. In fact, that’s what we saw in the past books – how much Ondry was willing to risk of his newly acquired status in order to help Liam, to care for him.
In this book we see an established couple, which I personally do not see nearly enough in m/m books – I know there is a preconception that it is boring to write about established couple, and I always say that it could be but it does not have to be. I think it is just requires even more creativity to come up with the challenges for an established couple which do not take them back to square one, but which still make the book an enjoyable and engaging read.
I think the writer succeeded very well here. Both Ondry and Liam became the center of each other’s world, Liam learned a lot about his “adopted” people (that’s the expression he uses, so I am going to use it as well), but he still does not know a lot, and Ondry learned some stuff about humans too, mostly through Liam. However, Liam had had a lot of bad experiences in the past, some of which he still needed to deal with, and Ondry needed to learn more about human beings, both good and bad.
I also liked a couple of interesting and important things about how Rownt act; specifically, how the leaders of Rownt society act is revealed in this book, and in a way that affects both Liam and Ondry.
I said before that I know why I love these series and I do – great characterization, sweet guys, and interesting worldbuilding — but I am also a little bit surprised because in scifi I usually prefer more complex plots. Things definitely happen in these books, but *not that many* things happen if that makes sense, so the world building and the characters and their mutual growth and love for each other were the main attractions in this series. I said it in my other reviews – creating aliens which felt so familiar in some ways and so *alien* in several others was no small feat.