…we're keeping our name but expanding our offerings!
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 came together in an interesting way. It started out as Firefly fan fiction, when a fantastic someone requested a story about Joss Whedon’s Firefly crew member Jayne during the Love Has No Boundaries event for the M/M Romance Group on Goodreads. Lyn Gala took the prompt and turned it into what would become my favorite story of this year’s event: The Only Way In Is Out (100 pages, get it for free here).
My love for that novella has a lot to do with the fact that I’m a Firefly fangirl. Addict. Crazy. To the extent that my hatred for Fox for canceling the show after only one season knows no boundaries and will be everlasting. For those who, oddly enough, have never heard of or watched Firefly and the conclusive film Serenity, you can find a few clues to Jayne’s personality in my review for The Only Way In Is Out. To answer your question: Yes, I think it’s necessary to be familiar with Firefly and Jayne’s character to appreciate what Gala did in The Only Way In Is Out. Chances are that you won’t get along with our Jayne here otherwise. Gala may have renamed him Jacqs; he still is a pretty special guy.
The novella barely stilled my hunger, so imagine my excitement when Gala expanded it into a book of no less than 340 pages! As it turns out I still like the original story best. Sure, Turbulence is well-written, has a couple of nice alpha on alpha sex scenes and the kind of testosterone fueled wrestling scenes that this author always does so well. But overall, some of the magic was lost for me in the extended part and I found that I had to really push myself to read on.
Pinpointing what precisely caused this…. Jacqs’ personality as well as that of his love interest Zeke seemed to have changed rather dramatically in the extended part. If you, like me, are delighted when you come across unconventional heroes in your M/M, chances are that you will be a tad disappointed when the tough and boorish MC, who has only just discovered his sexuality, changes into a guy with mushy tendencies. There’s hand holding, there’s thinking about ‘the man he loves’ and both men worry about each other like mother hens. I had hoped their fling would take a more amusing and interesting direction. Don’t tell me sharing a bunk with a Jacqs doesn’t have more potential than turning it into a butterflies & daisies experience!
What got to me most though, was the… lack of humor? Firefly is a series that made me cry from laughing so hard, not in the last place because of Jayne’s hilarious, politically incorrect character. He may be a dim-witted asshole, at least he is incredibly funny because of it. Since Turbulence is based on this very series and character, making comparisons is unavoidable. And unfortunately, those aren’t in Turbulence’s favor. Without Firefly’s signature humor, Jacqs simply is too bland a character for me to really enjoy reading about.
Still, there’s no doubt that Gala is a fantastic writer who has written a bunch of impressive works (for example; have you read Claimings, Tails, and Other Alien Artifacts yet? You should!). And although this book didn’t live up to my expectations completely, its world will probably make the hearts of science fiction fans beat faster. Then there’s of course the Firefly factor. If you loved that series, I would definitely recommend reading The Only Way In Is Out and, if you like what you read, see for yourself if Turbulence works for you.