Saturday, March 21, 2015

Wicked Reads Reviews – Clockwork Pirate by Lyn Gala

Alex hid his unnatural attraction to men for many years. That changes when the pirate Beche takes Alex after capturing his ship. At first Alex believes his fate is death and the only question a matter of how he might die. However, the longer he is on the ship, the more he realizes that Beche hates the world because it is unfair in ways Alex never understood. As Alex begins to respect this strong, independent man, Alex’s dormant desires begin to reassert themselves.

Beche hates the titled classes and their government enforcers. They might have outlawed slavery on paper, but they never came to the islands to free him or his family. Since his skin is black, society has little respect for him. Beche expects no more of this latest captive, but soon Beche begins to realize that Alex is a naïve and beautiful man who values family and struggles with his own place in society. That poses an even larger problem because Beche does not want to send Alex back to a world that will mistreat him, but he has no place for a lord on a ship full of pirates.

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Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

Set in an era where taboos abound, Ms. Gala set up an interracial gay love story that feels natural. The progression of the main characters felt real, though a little unsettling at times. I found myself more drawn to the Captain out of all the characters as he has a strong will, as do I. I think the surprise for me, more than anything, was the sisters, the bigger one being the older sister, she is a character I would love to see a book written about. Well written story that doesn’t focus on the erotica to move the plotline forward, with a cast of witty characters that I would love to see in other books. A very enjoyable read.

This is the first steampunk novel I have ever read. It’s a genre I didn’t know much about and had no strong feelings about either way. However, I am a HUGE Lyn Gala fan, especially of her MM Sci-Fi romances, so I was more than happy to give the genre a try. Because of all of this, I cannot even begin to comment as to whether or not Clockwork Pirate is consistent with the steampunk genre because I have nothing to compare it to. What I can say is that I finally understood what it is as the descriptions of Aster’s contrivances enabled me to relate it to the Will Smith movie The Wild Wild West. Eureka! Finally a frame of reference. What I can say about the book is that it is consistent with the previous books of Ms. Gala’s that I have read and so I absolutely loved it.

I quite enjoyed the combination of the lorded class, high seas pirates, and astonishing inventions, even if it was all coupled with the prejudices, severely limited civil rights, and slavery consistent with what I am assuming to be the intended time setting of the 1800s. Much like Beche, I found Alex’s behavior to be uncharacteristic of the British aristocracy. His quick thinking allowed him to activate his sister Aster’s lock changing mechanisms, thus giving him a position from which to negotiate the freedom… of his crew. Alex’s unexpected behavior intrigued Beche enough that he spared Alex’s life. Although it caused Alex some distress, I enjoyed watching Beche come to terms with Alex’s gentle nature and found the womanly spirit discussion quite humorous and apt. What I found extremely intriguing was that while Beche had never before considered being with a man, he did not deny that he was drawn to Alex’s nature. Even though Beche did not fight his attraction for Alex, he did not push it either. Rather he allowed Alex to come to terms with the belief that his father’s “cure” was no longer effective and that there was nothing wrong with a man lying with another man, especially aboard the pirate ship. It is because of this that we are well into the book before there is any sexual intimacy between Beche and Alex and it does not occur until Beche is confident that it is what Alex truly wants. And it’s hot.

Aside from the well-crafted romance aspect of Clockwork Pirate, Ms. Gala does a fantastic job of creating a cast of characters that make up Alex’s family (by blood) and Beche’s family (by choice). Even though Alex’s presence on the pirate ship gradually shifts from captive to unofficial crew, the fact remains that he is being held and the author maintains a serious tone for that portion of the novel. However, when Alex’s sisters reappear in the novel, Ms. Gala infuses hope and humor into the storyline, which serves as subtle cue that Alex’s say over his life has been returned to him and she subsequently lightens the storyline accordingly. I loved Alex’s sisters – Philla for her strength of character and Aster for her intelligence – and I would love, love, love to see Ms. Gala write a sequel or two to this novel to give them their own stories, as well as Fabrice and Manuel. Will I continue to read steampunk? I don’t know. But if Ms. Gala writes it, it’s an automatic yes for me.

Lynsey “Lyn” Gala started writing in the back of her science notebook in third grade and hasn’t stopped since. Westerns starring men with shady pasts gave way to science fiction with questionable protagonists, which eventually became any story with a morally ambiguous character. Even the purest heroes have pain and loss and darkness in their hearts, and that’s where she likes to find her stories. Her characters seek to better themselves and find the happy (or happier) ending.

When she isn’t writing, Lyn Gala teaches history in a small town in New Mexico. Her favorite spot to write is a flat rock under a wide tree on the edge of the open desert where her dog can terrorize local wildlife. Writing in a wide range of genres, she often gravitates back to adventure and BDSM, stories about men in search of true love and a way to bring some criminal to justice… unless they happen to be the criminal. – Loose Id bio

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Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of Clockwork Pirate by Lyn Gala to read and review.

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