Review: Turbulence by Lyn Gala

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 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.

Man, did I get sucked into this story, this world and these characters or what?

You get the gist from the blurb right? I’m not going to go into what Turbulence is all about, read the blurb and you’ve got the basics. I want to tell you about all the things that make this so much more than sci-fi, M/M romance.

I love M/M romance stories. You know, the 100+ page stories about the relationship, there’s some angst, some self-discovery and then an HEA? Those? I love those. But, if you read too many in a row, it won’t matter how good they are, they are going to run together and that’s not fair to them. You’ve got to have a book that is going to give you more and take you somewhere else in there too. This is one of those books.

There is an incredible amount of world building and politics that needed to be explained but it never read like an instruction manual or a laundry list of rules and regs. The history and state of their world evolved organically with the story and I was never left confused as to why or who. After reading Claimings, Tails and Other Alien Artifacts I can see how Lyn Gala is a master of this. Being that the bulk of the story takes place on one spaceship, the Candiru, while the earth is at war, the situation has a monumental impact on the crew and every part of their lives. Knowing what is happening and learning about Jacqs’ past explains everything about who he is and why he acts the way he does.

So, Jacqs. One of the most memorable characters I’ve read. He’s big, he’s rough, he’s scary and he likes it that way. He keeps people at arms-length on purpose. He’s a simple man who has no tolerance for stupidity and indecision. Problem is, he deals with it daily as much of the crew on his ship are either fresh out of training and/or have never been to the front to experience the true impact of the war.

“Jacqs snorted. Stupidity didn’t deserve more of a response than that.”

A new captain is assigned to his ship and Zeke confuses Jacqs to no end. Their dialog is classic and I loved reading it. Jacqs is one of those characters who can be witty without meaning to be, brilliant on accident and insightful to the point of being scary. Unfortunately a lot of those qualities get buried in his gruff delivery and overall lack of social skills and no one really takes the time to know the real Jacqs. Fortunately for Jacqs, Zeke does come along and he does see and more importantly, he appreciates Jacqs for who he is. Scars and all.

What was so incredibly refreshing about the relationship between Jacqs and Zeke was Jacqs reaction to the fact that he wasn’t the het he thought he was. He didn’t freak out, get overly aggressive or push Zeke away. He went to Zeke and TALKED about it. What a novel idea and interesting concept. As an FYI - Sexuality in this world is very different and it was incredibly interesting to read about the dynamics, and that made Jacqs' reaction believable and completely normal for him. Jacqs is not the kind of guy to back away from something, so he barrels right in and gets a handle on who he is and who he can be for Zeke.

As the two become closer and Jacqs gets the major revelation about his sexuality, the reality of the war comes to the ship and the real tension and worry that the two have for each other is so well done and I got completely wrapped up in the mission. I really felt the confusion and stress that they were under when Jacqs finally made it back to the ship. The war they knew was changing and they had no clue what was coming for their future.

There is just so much crazy stress as the war seems to be coming to an end and not a favorable one for the humans. Thankfully Jacqs and Zeke did have some great stress relieving activity throughout and their chemistry together was off the charts. I loved that Zeke truly appreciated everything about Jacqs and those little moments as Jacqs was figuring that out were quite sweet.

I really had no idea how this was going to end. You really have to read it to get the full impact of their situation on what turns out to be their last mission. It was really well played out and I loved how it turned out for them. It was really an HEA for them and their world.

There are WAY too many great Jacqs quotes to pick out just one or two to give a taste of how he thinks. I do think this thought process about his sexuality sums up Jacqs well:

Jacqs didn’t rightly like self-introspection. It never led to good things. It didn’t even lead to mediocre things, not in his estimation. But, at the same time, he’d never run away from a fight in his life, not when it came to bullies in the camps, not when he’d faced off against the batfaces for the first time, and not when he had demons rolling around in his head. He battled them, and he either won or lost the fight, but he didn’t go hiding.


  1. Thank you so much. I had a lot of fun writing Jacqs, and this was one of those stories that just seemed to write itself. If anyone is a crossover reader with F/m, there is a sequel featuring one of the het couples from Turbulence. Drift picks up where the first left off, and Jacqs and Zeke play a big role in the last 20% or so.

    1. He's a great character and Zeke is his perfect match. I have my copy of Drift and can't wait to read it!

  2. Great review! I felt exactly the same. Jacqs is one of my most favorite characters out of all the books I have read. "brilliant on accident" <-- I love this. Describes him perfctly.

    1. Thanks JL! Jacqs will stay with me forever and always! ON PURPOSE :D