A Chaos Moondrawn Review: Expeditions, Estimation, and Other Dangerous Pastimes (Claimings #4) by Lyn Gala


Rating: 4.25 stars out of 5

This is the fourth book in the Claimings series with an overarching plot, so these should be read in order. There are also alien words used without context, which you would need to be aware of beforehand. This is the continuation of Liam and Ondry’s journey aboard the Rownt ship Calti, to seek trade with the Imshee.

One of the things I like about this series, like all good science fiction, is viewing the absurdities of humanity, when trying to explain them to an alien race. I always enjoy the discussions of linguistics and psychology. The fact that this happens after a rousing bout of alien sex, made me laugh. Quite a lot of this book made me laugh and appeals to my dry sense of humor, although be warned the depictions of sex and biological functions are a bit graphic and crude. Anyway, if you have been following this series and like those linguistics discussions, those are increased in this book due to Zach and Liam both being in the linguist field, them both learning from each other aboard ship, and meeting a new alien species.

In the last book, Zach came aboard as a palteia to a Grandmother who is now his chilta. The nearest translation in English to palteia seems to be submissive (although these relationships are not sexual in Rownt culture.) A chilta would have the “dom” role of protecting and helping a palteia, who are a highly regarded in Rownt culture. This opportunity gives the Rownt a way to learn about humanity without all of that burden remaining on Liam. It’s also intriguing to see a higher ranked human than Liam, but someone with less experience with the Rownt, navigate the complexities of the society, culture, and language. The change in dynamics is a way to show us Liam’s place in the world, in both cultures.

The author shows Liam and Ondry established in their relationship of mutual trust and love. Liam’s confidence has grown and as Liam has become more Rownt in his thinking, Ondry has also become more human in his. Ondry has also gotten even more overprotective the more he reads human medical texts. If fact, the whole reason for this book is fear of human physiology and aging–Ondry wanting Liam’s lifespan to be more compatible with his and for Liam to be less breakable. I love how Liam asserts himself to be an equal partner in decisions that affect their lives and status in a way he never would have earlier in the series. But while Liam seems more confident, in some ways Ondry seems less so.

There is a bit of repetition in Ondry’s thoughts and on the obsession with palteia throughout the book, but that is a minor niggle. Overall, this is a good contribution to the series, although not my favorite. The Cy, a race that traded with the Rownt thousands of years ago, are mentioned as how they learned folded space technology. I do hope this goes somewhere in a story, whether set in the past or the present. Of course, the Imshee contact with humans is a frightening prospect. I understand why Liam would want what the Imshee offer as he will live out the rest of his life with Ondry; I am unsure of why Zach would consent when he has a five year contract, especially since if he were to go back to Earth, I would expect the military to experiment on him. I would be happy for the author to pick any of these plot bunnies that she seeded in this story.

The cover artist is Anna Sikorska. It’s in keeping with the series in style and color palette and I think represents the story well.

Sales Links:  Amazon link coming
Book Details:
ebook, Patreon edition
Expected publication: October 23rd 2018
Edition Language English
Series Claimings #4

A BJ Review: Prelude to Claimings, Tails, and Other Alien Artifacts (Claimings 0.5) by Lyn Gala


Rating:  5 stars out of 5               ★★★★★

Prelude to ClaimingsBefore Liam had a new commander who openly distrusted him, before Ondry earned his ka status, there were two traders. Ye Ondry wants to earn status, and he is curious about this new human. Liam has just arrived on the planet and he’s trying to figure out these aliens who supposedly have good metals to trade. Neither of them suspects that a chance trade and a few pots knocked off a table could lead their lives and their fates to intertwine.

Note: This free story is a prequel to the story of Ondry and Liam that details how they met. As such, it’s not a romance.

Despite the note, I did find this very romantic and sweet. No sex, yes, but there is budding feelings and loving care enough to make me swoon. The book includes the following stories, some which have been published elsewhere (web) and some new. We get Liam’s POV, Ondry’s POV, and even one from a Grandmother’s POV. All of which give extra depth and dimension to the beginning of an already awesome story.

Even though this is a prequel, I think it’s best read after having read book one of the series at least… although it was just as good for me having read the complete series already. I absolutely adored the addition insights into Liam and Ondry’s. The first and longest story in the anthology is aptly titled “The Beginning,” and it shows us their initial meeting! This one shows Liam as he was when he first arrived on the planet and began to learn about Rownt and trading. I adored the way the trading worked, and the details of it we are given fascinated me to the point I wanted more. Plus the words Liam used to describe Ondry phyiscally the first time he met him were quite enlightening. I won’t say more on that, but if you are as curious about Ondry’s appearance as I am, I highly suggest you read this now.

The next story, “First Sight,” we get cover the same time period and, indeed, some of the same events, but this time from Ondry’s POV. I found this perfect. Even though the same things were going on, seeing them from the other side gave the scenes so much more depth and understanding. Reading these back to back also made it very clear the difference in these two’s thinking, and in Rownts and humans. Explanations of why Ondry reacted as he did to what Liam said and did in the first story, as well as the difference in language between what Liam thought he was saying in Rownt to the way Ondry actually heard it. And nuances of both Ondry’s action and the reactions of those around them of which Liam was only vaguely aware. I loved this so much.

Story three, “Slow Attractions,” shows an integral event from book one which was written all from Liam’s POV now in Ondry’s POV. Again, the amount of additional depth and understanding this gives is phenomenal, and I loved it. Despite the note on the blurb, I felt like in this one we do see romance… not sex or even a touch, but the caring that Ondry displays touched my heart big time. Oh to have someone take note of feelings and moods and to just care that much. Perfect and a must read for fans of book one.

The final short is from a Grandmother’s POV and is titled “Headstrong.” Again this goes over events from the first book but from a different POV that adds depth. The title itself refers to how the grandmother thinks of Ondry, and we learn early on that this particular Grandmother really is Ondry’s genetic grandmother and gain insight into Ondry though knowing something of his mother’s personality which he has obviously inherited. This is short, but yet it let me see how the Grandmothers think of both themselves, their duty, and how they see humans. Her wisdom and caring came across quite clearly. And the whole scene was so very touching that it had me in tears. No romance? I beg to differ with that statement.

If you’ve read any of this series before, I cannot recommend this free anthology more. It adds so much depth, and I adored each and every story. Five stars across the board.

I adore what we see on this cover… never all of Ondry, but the delicious peeks this time of that tail and his neck tie in wonderfully with the additional insights into him we get in the book.

Note:This free story is a prequel to the story of Ondry and Liam that details how they met. As such, it’s not a romance

Free at:  Loose id

Book Details:

ebook, 79 pages
Published February 9th 2016 by Loose Id
Edition LanguageEnglish

SeriesClaimings 0.5