Author: Lyn Gala
Publisher: Loose Id
Pages: 118,260 words
Characters: Corporal Jacqs Glebov and Commander Zeke Waters
POV: Limited Third Person
Sub-Genre: Science Fiction & Space Opera
Corporal Jacqs Glebov is a simple soldier who wants a bunk, decent food and the company of other battle-hardened men and women who understand the realities of fighting. Instead he’s stuck patrolling a remote corner of the border with cadets straight out of boot camp. They don’t understand him, and he sure doesn’t have an ounce of respect for them.
After a field promotion, Earth sends Commander Zeke Waters to the Candiru for some practical experience in a leadership role. Instead, Zeke falls in lust with the adamantly heterosexual Jacqs. The way Jacqs fights and the way he sees the world draws Zeke closer, even if common sense tells him to walk away.
Even if they can find a way to find to reconcile their sexual differences, they are both still soldiers. The war will eventually take them away from each other unless they can find a way to escape the rules that have defined their lives.
Turbulence is a sci-fi fantasy where humanity is at war with a bug-like space faring species. And possibly losing.
The first part of the book is more about sexuality, human nature, and discovering you aren’t who you thought. I loved the research Lyn Gala put into finding out the different types of sexuality and how it affects a person’s actions. There’s also a glossary of the terms at the back, which I found really good. It certainly cleared a few things up nicely. This first part was also released as a part of the Goodreads MM Group’s 2013 prompt challenge, which is where I first read it.
The second part of the story is more action, and about the hard choices and decisions that are often made during war time. It’s a really deep look at humanity, society, and ethics wrapped up in a fun, roller coaster ride of a read.
Ms Gala’s main characters were strong, flawed, and realistic, with the background characters almost being a bit stereotypical to show the range of personality types, how they cope with difficult situations, and the difference between someone who’s untested vs tested in hardship.
I really loved Jacqs. He’s not especially clever, and comes across as a bit of an intolerant sleaze to begin with, but he does see things in a very “this is the way things are so you’d better buckle down cope” way. He also tends to solve problems with his fists rather than words, but I think that just makes him endearing, as does his ethics. As you read further, you see more and more facets of his personality.
Zeke is another war dog, but rather than keeping his ideality, he’s learned to just do his best and not start fights that won’t really change anything in the end. The tension between the two is very sexy, and I would really love to see more of these characters.
I have to admit, I have quite a few favorite sentences, but one of the early ones from Jacqs’ has to be: “Well, fuck. One of these days he had to learn how to schedule trouble for the last day of leave instead of the first.” My favourite from Zeke is said to Jacqs: “You know what, never mind. I am officially resigning myself to being pleasantly surprised by everything you do, Jacqs Glebov.”
This book is a real page turner, and I would strongly recommend it for anyone who loves alpha males (two of them), strong personalities, a bit of angst (in a Jacqs Glebov way), and some tricky problems.
After reading this story by Ms Gala, I ended up also reading “Claimings, Tails and Other Alien Artifacts” (which is BDSM), and re-reading her short “The Monsters Below” which was a part of the “Contact” anthology from Dreamspinner a few years back. On the surface, both are very different stories, but they, too, deal with hard choices, discovering yourself, and how society treats those it deems as “unfortunate”. If you like Valentina Heart’s stories, you will like Ms Gala’s, and vise versa.
Reviewed by: Alison