Author: Lyn Gala
Publisher: Loose Id
Rating: 4 stars
Type: Sequel Novel
Purchased by reviewer
Blurb: Allie always enjoyed casual sex with crewmates, but the war never let her get too close to anyone. Now the war is over, and shipmates lost. Somewhere Allie lost some part of herself, too. But no matter how hard she tries, she can’t escape the gentle touch of Shank Lacroix, her favorite lover. He insists on standing by her and helping her find the missing pieces. The problem is that the old pieces don’t fit anymore. Allie wants more even as she fears her changing beliefs and sexual appetites.
Shank knows the signs of a person carrying too much guilt and anger. Allie is in danger of emotionally self-destructing. Shank knows he has to save his beautiful and dominating Allie and help her find herself again. In his youth, he went on a vision quest to find his path, but right now, spiritual quests don’t have much to offer him. However, he does hope a quest to find their missing crew might help them find themselves and their love before it’s too late. That is assuming that Command doesn’t catch them trying to desert their posts and execute them first.
Review: Allie Grah is unable to move past the sacrifice made by two fellow crewmen of the Candiru. Her life is on hold, and her relationship with Shank is falling apart. When the Candiru is ordered to return to port to be decommissioned, Allie decides it’s time to rescue her fellow crewmen, Jacqs and Zeke. Shank comes up with a plan to get Allie, himself, and three other crewmen from the Candiru away from the ship and into friendly hands that can help them with their intended rescue. Allie knows after all this time it may be a suicide mission with nothing to recover but the remains of their friends, but it is the right thing to do. As it turns out those friendly hands Shank has lined up are Pirates. Friendly Pirate hands. Shank thinks the idea is great given that he grew up on the Pirate ships among their families. Even though Allie and Shank, along with their fellow deserters Ben, Copta, and Becca, are facing being held captive by Shank’s unhappy Pirate family, Allie again feels like she has control over her life and her relationship with Shank becomes strong and a source of comfort for both of them. Allie is taken aback when she learns just how much faith Shank has in their relationship. He allows her to speak for him with his family. This is very significant in Pirate families and Shank’s mother, Anpaytoo, is not amused. Shank made some very poor relationship choices in the past. Anpaytoo is convinced he’s doing so again with Allie. The whole meet the parents thing does not go well.
Anpaytoo has lined up the perfect ship for them to steal. And it just so happens to have Shank’s horrible ex-girlfriend on it. Claire is a pretty foul person who deserves to have her ship stolen. She’s also pretty easy to steal from. Well, as easy as stealing from armed people can be. There is, however, an unforeseen problem. There is an agent from Security Central who allows himself to be taken hostage. He claims it’s protect the peace between the humans and “bats” and not restart the war. Uh-huh. Shank, Allie, and their crew members find themselves deep in the space of their former enemies while trying to evade Command, Security Central, and their former enemies and not restart the war thus destroying the treaty that saved millions of lives. Easy-peasy. What isn’t as easy for Allie is the realization she’ll have to give up the life she had before she deserted from the Candiru. Her only way is forward and that means living with Pirates in their gender segregated society. It means a life with Shank, and his mother, and the possibility of children. Upon reaching the planet where Jacqs and Zeke were left they find them not only alive but healthy and relatively happy. After finding their friends it doesn’t take long until they find out why their “hostage” from Security Central was so willing to be taken, and they hear an offer they find they can’t refuse.
Drift can certainly be read as a standalone novel, but the contrast in the main characters of Turbulence and Drift are what make this such a compelling story of character growth. Allie Grah is a complete contrast to Jacqs Glebov. Like a Bizarro version. While Jacqs struggled with people accepting he actually had an accurate view of the real world and its horrors, Allie struggled with the fact she was rather naïve and didn’t necessarily comprehend things could run along smoothly in ways she hadn’t encountered or didn’t understand. Jacqs journey of learning consisted of accepting a surprising internal discovery of his own sexuality, whereas Allie had to accept an external world based on gender specific roles. They even chose opposite love interests. Shank was from a Pirate family while Zeke was a military hero.
I struggle with how I feel about the ending of this story. One one hand I feel it was wrapped up nicely with enough remaining strings available to be picked up in the future. On the other hand I feel it was wrapped up almost too nicely in a way that magically solved all their problems. I love that Allie has reservations about the lifestyle she is going to embrace, but the veneer of the Security Council in some ways nullify the shades of grey she’s forced to grapple with. I certainly wouldn’t go so far as to call it a Deus ex Machina ending nor would I say I hated it, but after all the unanswered questions raised about a society with distinct and effective gender roles I did feel let down.