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Book Review: Assimilation, Love & Other Oddities, by Lyn Gala

Assimilation, Love and Other Oddities - Lyn GalaOndry 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.

Ann – 5 Freakin’ Hearts my Friends!

What an amazing book.

I honestly could not put it down once I started. I thought I loved Liam and Ondry after reading Claimings, Tails and Other Alien Artifacts, but reading about them as an established pair in Claimings #2 was an experience that was so much more than just loving a couple of characters. Their dynamic has matured and everything I “pretty much understood” in Claimings became crystal clear in Assimilations. Their dialogs were such a pleasure to read and they have a depth now that has grown since the first book.

While the closest human definition of Liam’s status would be that of a submissive, the Rownt definition of palteia just makes so much sense! I totally get it. I can intellectually understand what I’m told about a D/s relationship. But, a chilta and pelteia relationship is so logically and completely explained I couldn’t help but be fascinated by it. Ondry and Liam revered one another so much in every action, I could feel that they were equals and one truly complemented the other.

The world building is some of the best I’ve ever read. There was so much detail, but it was never overwhelming as sci-fi and fantasy can sometimes be. I didn’t need a flow chart, a dictionary and search party to follow along. The focus stayed on point making the information flow organically so that I was able to get complete caught up in the story instead of spending time figuring out who a character was or where they came from.

My favorite thing though, was the exchanges between Ondry and Liam when they were alone. They both became fully multi-dimensional characters to me. Ondry has a real sense of humor and Liam can be such a smart ass, I just fell in love with them both all over again, just harder this time.

I highlighted the bejeezus out of this book. Like, a book length of highlighting. Ondry’s dry observations were usually my favorite. Simple, brilliant and above all logical, I need an Ondry in my life to keep me on track. I may have used this on conversation today and will most definitely use it again:

“That fact is so true it does not require stating.”

So, according to Ondry, I can’t really gush about how much I loved this book – see above.

Jenni Lea – 5 Hearts

You’ve all heard the term ‘Death by Chocolate’, right? Well, this was ‘Death by Ondry’.

I cannot express how much I love Ondry. He may be my #1 most loved character out of any book I have read, ever. He is pretty much the most perfect specimen of male and he’s not even human! I’m seriously thinking of having T-shirts made that say ‘I \0x2665 Ondry’ on them. I love him that much.

Assimilation, Love, and Other Human Oddities is not your standard romance. Sure, there are romantic elements and you get to see how much the love Liam and Ondry have for each other progresses but the story doesn’t have the romance at the forefront. Don’t get me wrong, this story is romantic as hell but it’s done in such a subtle way as to make the reader not even notice until they are suddenly hit with a shot directly to the feels.

The characters and world building are absolutely brilliant. Brilliant! Lyn Gala knows subtlety and she wields her mighty pen well. The plot is intricate, the characters multi-dimensional. It was fascinating! Ms. Gala uses her words so well that she was able to get me to feel disdain for humans – my own species! I sympathized more with the Rownt than I did my own kind. Now that’s writing!

I would love to see more from this world, even if it doesn’t have Liam and my Ondry as the main characters. I am fascinated by everything about Prarownt and its people. I want more!

Oh, and because I cannot say it enough here it is one more time.

I Heart Ondry

Optimist King’s Wench – 5 Hearts

I’ve been struggling with what to say about this book for several days now. Gone through several revisions, some were downright terse. In short, I loved it. Adored it, really, but I don’t think it will resonate with everyone. There are romantic moments between Liam and Ondry that are divine especially when Ondry was drawing love symbols on Liam’s neck with his fingers. *sigh*

However, I wouldn’t necessarily categorize it as a romance novel. It’s tagged science fiction and space opera, both of which are befitting.

I’m not sure what the time lapse is between the two Claimings novels, but during that time Liam and Ondry have surpassed established; they’re a unit. They act in one another’s best interests, beyond altruism. Liam has incorporated the ethos of the Rownt, carries Ondry’s status and safeguards it as steadfastly as Ondry. I was delighted by the progression of their relationship as well as the elevated status of the palteia. It’s thought to be a great honor to have a palteia, Ondry has no qualms with PDAs and relishes showing Liam off. Actually, they’ve achieved a bit of a celebrity status. Just how close they’ve become is palpable. They tease each other, the tail sex is still amazing as is the pillow nest and the ilsil. I loved them. I really did. Then again I loved them in the first book, so this is not news.

As much as I loved Liam and Ondry’s relationship, it took a backseat to the world building. This is the most intricately detailed world building of Ms. Gala’s I’ve read and Turbulence was no slouch. Ms. Gala made Prarownt a living breathing canvas upon which everything else plays out. It’s almost a character in and of itself. Prarownt is a utopian society wherein females rule. There is no prejudice, no crime, there is an inherent trust within the Rownt, emphasis is placed on status and earning that status through intelligent and cunning trades rather than it being commercialized. The needs of the community supersede the needs of the individual, and children are precious and valuable. Basically, I’d like to apply for citizenship. Where can I do this? Is there some sort of Prarownt embassy? And I’m not even mentioning the features, personalities, and abilities of the Rownt!

Everything was exceptional. Everything.

The storyline unfolds gradually and with deliberation. I enjoyed it because we got to experience more of Prarownt, but the humans… not so much. Humans are full of suck. Major suckage.

This book “happened” for me in a completely different way than the first. And to think all this time I’ve been deluding myself into believing that I didn’t like sci-fi! HA! Joke’s on me. Touche, Lyn Gala.

I would recommend it to people who love Lyn Gala, sci-fi, exemplary world building and tails.

I’ve got my fingers crossed that this isn’t the end for Liam and Ondry, but if it is I’m happy I got to tag along in their journey for as long as it lasted.

SheReadsALot – 5 Hearts

This story will not work for everyone. Warning, this story is not for everyone! You want gushy, mushy love scenes and copious amounts of tail sex? You need heart pacing action and high suspense? You want Ondry to magically grow a human penis to finally give Liam the business?

This is not that story. This novel would work best for fans of Ondry and Liam.

Going back to the preface of book #1, the author created this idea based on a perfect Dom. This came into the form of Rownt alien, Ondry, a perfect specimen of a caretaker Dom. Thank fuck for him because I love caretaker Doms. In a market that can be overloaded with Dom alpha-holes, I enjoy this author’s Dominants. They think before they act, they think of their partners needs and consider the scene in its entirety. But Ondry is not just any Dom, he is chilta. Liam his partner, is his palteia. What is a palteia? What is a chilta? “Assimilation, Love, and Other Human Oddities ” is a novel that explains to the reader what exactly they are.

I am not going to fangirl on you. I will however try to get across my joy that the sequel is a fitting continuation of the novella, “Claimings, Tails, and Other Alien Artifacts”. Instead of being jammed packed full of unnecessary crazy plot twists or action sequences, this is filled with tighter world building, wars fought with intelligence and words instead of weapons (okay there was one scene but it was needed. Trust me) and a love of science fiction. Liam and Ondry are tested but prove how strong the bonds between a palteia and chilta truly are. Instead of overt machinations, subtle, smart and cool tactics are used.

For the smut lovers, there is more tail sex. Don’t worry. You should read “Claimings, Tails, and Other Alien Artifacts” before this book. The world building in book #1 are seedlings and book #2 is the sapling that shot out of there. There is some political/societal arguments in between the Rownt/human struggle. They are sound arguments. Is this a romance novel? I wouldn’t call it a traditional one. Then again, a human and Rownt alien interspecies couple that can’t have penetrative sex isn’t your average storybook pairing, now are they?

To sum up this book in a word, beautiful.

Sunny – 5 Hearts


I actually skipped the ARC and waited for the book to be released before I read it, so I haven’t had time to organize my thoughts in a coherent way. I apologize for the haphazard notes that I’m sharing in my haste to be included in this post :)

As in the first book, the world building/cultural study was fascinating, and we learned even more about the differences between humans and the Rownt. I loved watching Ondry process human interactions; it was interesting to see what another species thought of human behavior. I do wish it had been balanced with more romance, though. What we got was wonderful, but I wanted more. I’m greedy like that ;)

I highlighted so much and want to share all the things. Instead, here are a few of my favorite bits:

Ondry’s pride in his palteia.

How a simple statement like Ondry showed Craig his predator’s fangs showed so much…Ondry’s vigilance, his quickness to react, and his determination to protect Liam, all while displaying a calm demeanor.

Sweet moments like when Ondry traced love symbols on Liam’s neck. I also liked when Ondry wrapped his tail around Liam’s leg for reassurance or comfort.

Ondry’s reaction to Liam’s fixation on bathing and how his hair looked.

Quotes like “I like the smell of your genetic material.”

Ondry’s concern for Liam’s well-being and happiness. His need to take care of Liam…
Ondry needed to know that his palteia was well.
and Liam’s need to please Ondry…
Liam smiled, thrilled at having delivered the right compliment at the right time. Finding ways to please Ondry was quickly becoming a bit of an obsession with him.
They were both so focused on each other, each the priority of the other.

How language/speech was used to indicate status. How there were so many more variations of pronouns for the Rownt, all which had very specific meanings that provided a lot more information than the simple ones used by humans.

How things like skin color changes, tightening cheeks, the showing of teeth, tail movement, etc., all conveyed emotions of the Rownt.

Ondry’s enjoyment over controlling/pleasing Liam sexually.

How the cultural differences provided opportunities for humor. Lol…that scene with the grandmother in Ondry’s yard? Huge grin on my face over Ondry’s pleasure at how old she was and Liam’s brain needing to do a little rewiring. And then Ondry’s delight over the added surprise…that whole scene was wonderful.

Ondry’s efforts to prove he deserved the ka status, to show his control and not act like a youngling with egg on his backside. His pride when his worth was acknowledged by others.

How Ondry was both adorable and fierce. Adorable in his affection for Liam and his pleasure over their status, and fierce in his determination/need to protect Liam.
“Explain!” Ondry roared, all his teeth showing. Liam jumped, but Diallo just pressed her lips together again. Ondry made a low hissing noise, and his nostrils were fully clamped shut.
*nods* Fierce.

Oh, and…tail sex ;)

So, yeah…I kinda liked it :)

Boy Meets Boy also has an exclusive short from Gala here.

Ebook Link on Amazon:

Note: This review has been cross-posted with permission from the Boy Meets Boy review site.

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