Book Review: Claimings, Tails and Other Alien Artifacts by Lyn Gala

Posted: July 31, 2013 by sidlove in 4 Star Reviews, Book Reviews, Katinka's Reviews
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Reviewed by Katinka C.

Claimings, Tails and Other Alien ArtifactsTITLE: Claimings, Tails and other Alien Artifacts
AUTHOR: Lyn Gala
PUBLISHER: Loose Id Publishing
LENGTH: 104 pages
BLURB: Liam loves his life as a linguist and trader on the Rownt homeworld, but he has ignored his heart and sexual needs for years. He won’t risk letting anyone come too close because he won’t risk letting anyone see his deeply submissive nature. For him, submission comes with pain. Life burned that lesson into his soul from a young age. This fear keeps him from noticing that the Rownt trader Ondry cares for him.

Ondry may not understand humans, but he recognizes a wounded soul, and his need to protect Liam is quickly outpacing his common sense. They may have laws, culture, and incompatible genitalia in their way, but Ondry knows that he can find a way to overcome all that if he can just overcome the ghosts of Liam’s past. Only then can he take possession of a man he has grown to love.

REVIEW:

More fascinating than I had expected! Not that I had a list of expectations, but as soon as I read that Claimings, Tails and other Alien Artifacts involved aliens with tails, my mind sort of went into a frenzy and fed me “Oh no! Not smutty tail action… and..tentacles? Oh please, not suction cups and slime!” red alerts. I shouldn’t have worried. Although there’s more than enough to enjoy if funky appendages going dark places is your kink, please don’t let that tail on the cover put you off! The aliens in this book, Rownts, don’t have the bodies of purple painted stockphoto models. More importantly, they don’t have spiky, finned tails. This is not torture porn.

Quite the opposite actually! It’s a gently flowing angst-free story, with an exotic touch to spice things up. Exotic comes in the form of an unconsciously dirty dub con talking alien, who develops an interest in a human male: Liam. As a linguist on the Rownt homeworld, Liam’s able to read and translate the expressions on the Rownt’s reptile-ish faces and is one of the few who understands the finer nuances of the alien language. This makes him an excellent trader. Unfortunately, Liam’s talent doesn’t protect him from his new asshole commanding officer, who plans on making his life hell. Something his favorite Rownt trader, Ondry, doesn’t fail to notice…

And then Liam suddenly wakes up groggy and finds himself chained to Ondry’s bed, a nest.

“I have to call base.”
“You are not theirs anymore.” (…)
“They gave me to you? For how long?” Liam asked. There had be a way to fix all this.
“You are palteia,” Ondry said that as if it explained everything. For a Rownt, it probably would.
“So you keep saying . The problem is that I don’t understand that. I’ve never seen the word. I don’t know any stories with palteia. How long am I supposed to stay here?”
“A palteia is always a palteia.” Ondry started to pale.
“Oh fuck. Forever. You plan to keep me forever.”Pressing his eyes closed, Liam let his head fall back against the wall with a thunk.

To Liam, palteia at first is just another word for screwed. For me, it was the beginning of a compelling take on D/s dynamics through the eyes of an alien race. Since the Rownt and the human race are sexually not compatible (these aliens don’t do sex for pleasure, which is pretty damn good news for Liam, but you’ll figure out the ‘why’ yourself), it’s intriguing to discover how things play out between Liam and Ondry. The cultural and social differences between their races are enormous. Even a talented linguist can’t completely bridge that gap. For instance, when Liam is manhandled and bound by his alien, the sexual subtext is completely lost on Ondry, but not on Liam… Which leads to amusing – and pretty exciting – situations.

“It’s an erection,” Liam explained once he caught his breath again. This was beyond embarrassing, and still he was hard.
“Really? This is long enough to reach the female reproductive tract?” Ondry’s eyes were wide with disbelief or maybe just curiosity.

Dissed by an alien. Gotta love that, ha!

Anyway, although I loved the focus on the racial differences and the fact that these aliens are and remain truly alien throughout the story, I wish there was a little more to the characters. Liam in particular never really came alive for me. If he had borrowed only an inch of personality from Dark Space’s Brady Garrett, I would’ve been happy! It’s possible that due to this ‘distance’ I felt, Liam’s sudden ‘feelings’ came as a bit of a surprise. This being a novella, you may be left wanting more and wondering about things that were only lightly touched on. I wouldn’t mind a sequel at some point.

But hey, time to admit that you want to find out if (and how) a human male and a reptile-ish, sexually incompatible alien with a tail can be a match made in space! Claimings, Tails and other Alien Artifacts didn’t bore me for one second. I’d definitely recommend this fascinating, kind of sweet and quirky book.

Katinka’s Rating: four-stars_0

BUY LINK: Book Store

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Katinka C. is one of the official reviewers on The Blog of Sid Love.

To read all her reviews, click the link: KATINKA’S REVIEWS
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