Tracy St. John
New Concepts Publishing [link to buy]
Rating: 2 out of 5 Paddles
Alien Salvation is Tracy St’ John’s fourth novel in the Clans of Kalquor series. The Kalquorians are threatened by extinction. In the past, something happened that either eliminated all their females or rendered them incapable of breeding. Their only hope is Earth; by some quirk of genetics, they can breed with human females. The oppressive religious theocracy, however, views sex with aliens are a deadly sin. That human woman willingly mated with the imperial clan (a bonded trio of males) did not go over well, to say the least. Rather than lose the war with Kalquor, they nuked the entire planet, rendering it soon to be uninhabitable.
That’s where our story starts. Kalquor has sent ships to Earth to try to rescue as many humans (as well as native fauna and flora) as possible, as well as search for the Empress’ family. Bacoj, Japohn and Vax, clanmates, end up out of the search area due to a piloting error, where they meet Lindsey and her parents. Lindsey, at first, offers to have sex with them for food, but the feelings of love aren’t far behind. But Lindsey has a secret; she is the Empress’ sister, and keeping the secret could have dire consequences. Will this budding love survive secrets, long ingrained prejudices and Trangoon (scavenger barbarians) attack?
This book has lots of potential. Once you accept the ability of aliens and humans to breed successfully (not a stretch since Star Trek’s Spock), one can see the well thought out design of the story universe. Unfortunately, there are problems. Technically, things could have been improved. There are many places where word choice and punctuation could have been improved. For example, “Lindsey’s stomach flopped at the possessive look he gave her then it tumbled a few times over when she saw identical expressions on the other two.” A comma or two would have been nice.
Even harder on the reader is the uneven spacing of paragraphs. I’ve long gotten used to the idea that paragraphs can be delineated by either indentations of spacing between them. There are places, however, where the amount of space between two paragraphs is two or three times what it is elsewhere, leading the reader into thinking perhaps there was a section break or a scene change when there wasn’t. It almost looks like page breaks from another document type that were inadvertently preserved in the pdf book.
There were problems for me with the erotic content as well. Don’t get me wrong; there was plenty and it was suitably explicit. It was just too…flowery. I was reminded of the language of old romance novels in places, where sex was described in such flowery language as to be rendered acceptable for mainstream publishers back in the day (yes, I know I’m dating myself). Tracy, this is BDSM erotica, and I, at least, want to see terminology vastly more explicit than “her sheath” and “his rod.” This is especially true when your BDSM is of the milder variety.
Lastly, as religious person myself, I’m finding it a bit tiring for sexually repressive societies to always be coming from religion. There has been sexual repression stemming from non-religious reasons and it would be nice if authors would at least explore some of those. Don’t fall into the trap of believing that only the anti-religious read erotica. Religiously repressed sexuality is fast becoming a tired chestnut (and for me, already is one).
Over all, I give Alien Salvation 2 paddles, and that only because of the well thought out universe. For those who want flowery erotica, you might bump that up by one.