Recommend by: Riley
Since I bought my first e-reader and discovered the vast array of books that are not available in the bookstore, series books have a limited place on my shelf. After a handful, if that many, I usually move on. So why am I reading Alien Indiscretions, the ninth book in the Clans of Kalquor series? As the series continues, the story just keeps getting better.
Ninth book. As far as book recommendations go, the fact that I read #9 in the series speaks well of books 1-8.
In Alien Indiscretions, there is a Prologue that does an excellent job of summarizing the events of leading up to this book. I will attempt to summarize the summary here. Warning, if you have not read the series, there are spoilers here. Skip the next three paragraphs to avoid most (but not all) spoilers from books 1-8.
The evils of war have reduced the population of Kalquor to mostly males, very few females and a very low birth rate. They form clans made up of three males – Dramok (leader), Imdiko (caregiver), and Nobek (protector). The lucky clans also have a female – the Matara (caregiver). In reality, extinction is imminent. Earth pops into the intergalactic scene and Kalquor recognizes a genetic cousin and possible salvation. Earth is not pleased.
Earth is a male controlled, religiously repressed world where women are second-class citizens. Because of this, it is not difficult for a few clans to woo human women into joining their clan, but an outright abduction of Earther females fuels the flame that eventually leads to war. Technologically superior, Kalquor is greatly out-numbered by the humans, so they decide to take the war to Earth. The leaders of Earth elect to destroy their own world rather than allow it to be taken. Kalquor does everything it can to help the survivors. Many of the women choose to go to Kalquor to become Mataras.
Back on Kalquor, there is a significant contingent that would rather not intermix the species. Others are dissatisfied because they don’t have a Matara. And still others have a political agenda. This third group is on a mission (witch hunt) to find out who ordered the initial abduction of the Earther females.
There you have it. Now, Kalquor is a political fuse box just waiting to be ignited. In previous books in the series, the political situation was slowly taking shape. In Alien Indiscretions, Kalquor is to have a day of reckoning. Back at the beginning of the Kalquor story, when the mass abduction took place, I didn’t like it – even though I sympathized with the Kalqorians and even though the abducted women eventually found a better life. So dealing with that event in Alien Indiscretions seems a natural progression of the Kalquorian story.
Dramok Diltan is a fascinating character. Born into a wealthy family, he felt the need to prove his own worth. Successful, ambitious and devoted to the Empire, Dilton will struggle with his role in exposing the parties that gave the abduction orders. At the same time, his appearances-are-everything attitude is at odds with his attraction to the Earther Cecilia. With Cecilia, or Cissy, what you see is what you get and she is reveling in the freedom she enjoys since leaving earth. Cissy and Diltan are oil and water. Luckily, Dilton has clan mates, Nobek Rolat and Imdiko Wal, that a) are also attracted to Cissy and b) like to remind Dilton that he needs to come down off of his high horse. The interaction between the loving clan mates and with Cissy was fun. And sexy.
When it comes to sex scenes, Ms. St. John does not hold back. Creative and erotic, these interactions also develop the relationship between clan Dilton and their potential Matara Cissy.
The relationship development cycle is the part of this series that I would call cookie-cutter. That is to say, the relationship between the clan du jour and their potential Matara develops in much the same way. They meet, have sex, get to know each other, have sex, fall in love, have sex, there is peril and there is rescue and finally, there is more sex. Ms. St. John does a great job of making each love story new and thrilling. But to be honest, if each story in this series had nothing more to it, I would never had made it to book 9.
Throughout this series, Ms. St. John has given much thought to the ongoing situation with Kalquor and its dying race, Earth and its survivors, and the interplanetary issues that plague them. The effects of war and the aftermath of the conflict have provided a variety of relevant situations that have contributed to great plots. As the series has continued, the plots have become more complex and the number of pages per book seems to keep increasing. At 532 pages, Alien Indiscretions treatment of an intricate political environment is complete and satisfying. Confession time. As the story progressed and I got more and more involved in the plot, there was an increased tendency to quickly scan the sex scenes to I could get back to the main story.
If you have not read any of the Clans of Kalquor series, the Prologue of this book will get you caught up so you don’t have to read 1-8. However, if you want to read some of the earlier books in the series, I recommend, #1 Alien Embrace, #2 Alien Rule, #3 Alien Conquest, #6 Alien Redemption, and #7 Alien Refuge. These five books all deal with major characters and relevant events leading up to Alien Indiscretions.
After reading #9, am I still into this series? Oh yes. As long as Ms. St. John continues to deliver creative, interesting and dramatic plots as in Alien Indiscretions, I’ll continue to read the series. When #10 in the Clans of Kalquor series is released, I’ll be adding it to my shelf.
In addition to the Clans of Kalquor series, Ms. St. John is writing the spinoff Clan Beginning series, chronicling the history of each of the clans that star in the main series. The most recent, Clan and Crown, is the story of the Imperial Clan Clajak that figures largely in Alien Discretions.
On a special blog, Ms. St. John publishes twice weekly installments of Shalia’s Diary. Shalia is an Earth woman making the trip to Kalquor after being rescued on Earth. The older installments have also been bundled into e-books.