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Males in this society are only allowed to stay in the settlement if they are useful, and they can be killed if they do not stay in their place. This is refreshing, and it gives the males a good reason to do what they do. The females call the shots, so males amuse themselves by having sex with one another. It's also not simple. Timen has to learn a new language, and Gredar tries to learn Timen's. At times their dialogue sounds like Tarzan and Jane trying to discuss politics, and it can be a bit laughable, but I respect it for not taking any shortcuts.

Timen does get better, but he is alive at the mercy of Gredar's mother, and Gredar is allowed to keep Timen in her house complete at her whim. The other females in the house are also a danger to Timen. It takes time for Timen to earn a place in their society, despite him being male, and I like that.

The author put a lot of effort into this, and it shows. Despite the weak descriptions, I still felt for Timen and Gredar, and I liked seeing them together.

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Both are in danger in different ways, and it's refreshing to see that. The relationship really does go both ways: Gredar protects Timen, and Timen does pay him back. Until the ending Timen's reason for going home is so contrived I wondered what everyone was upset about. The solution is so simple: if Timen is happy here, he should stay. Granted, life would have been difficult in a world that wasn't to his scale, but that seems like such a flimsy reason to send him home.

Also I wish more attention had been drawn to what happened to the first human colony on this planet years ago, why the Terran government didn't bother to find out what happened to it, and why the colonists attacked the Day-neh in the first place. And why do the space ships have cloaking devices? Doesn't that eat up a lot of power? And the scanner Timen has; shouldn't that require recharging after a year of operation?

Ah, it is far from perfect, but it is still on the good side of imperfect. For all its flaws, it is a good read. This is a fabulous story which doesn't give in to sci fi cliches or cute alien stereotypes. It's a real, emotional story which left me crying and clutching my cat. WARNING: There isn't a happy ending, and while it's appropriate and I commend the author for staying true to the story, I still have to warn other readers that you're likely to finish this book feeling depressed.

There are also some very This is a fabulous story which doesn't give in to sci fi cliches or cute alien stereotypes. There are also some very disturbing scenes including rape and abuse. The human, Temin, is mistaken for an unintelligent beast, and kept as a somewhat irritating pet. Most of the abuse Temin endures is through misunderstanding and not intentional cruelty. The rape is absolutely intentional, but happens off page so the reader only has to deal with the resulting injuries. Finally one of the cat people, Gredar, realizes Temin is much more than a dumb animal, and his circumstances improve as a result.

The relationship between Temin and Gredar is the main focus of the book. It's a touching story which also includes several interesting sex scenes. They are unusual due to differences in physiology between the two different species, but not terribly hot. This book is more about engaging your emotions than your naughty bits.

You'll laugh, you'll cry, you'll scream in outrage. At one point I wanted to eradicate the entire cat race in outrage for the wrongs done to Temin. By the end, I wanted their unique culture protected from human damage. Hats off to Ann Somerville for such good writing. This isn't an easy story to read, and many may not find it rewarding. This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers.

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To view it, click here. Beautifully written, well plotted, character driven - and logical to the point where the two main characters do NOT end up together because there is no logical happy ending for them. This book has one of the worst titles and an awful cover. On the surface, the similarities between the two books are obvious; a futuristic spaceman crash lands on a planet populated by alien beings who resemble oversize earth felines.

The hero is captured and enslaved to one of the creatures as a 'pet'.

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This is where the similarities end. I Was an Alien Cat Toy is a far more complex study of what defines intelligence and 'humanity'. The heroes struggle to both communicate and then carve a place for their relationship to flourish is moving and ultimately painful when the social and political realities of the book force them to part.

An absolute tearjerker. This is a fun, funny, sad and challenging read. Temin crash lands on a planet with large, bipedal cat like aliens called the daiyne. He is mistaken for a monkey like pet and suffers greatly until he is given to Gredar. The story is about Temin and Gredar's friendship. Temin is fighting to be recognized as a sentient being and Gredar is just trying to survive in a matriarchal society. Since humans and daiynes speak different languages, the conversations might be a bit trying for some readers some This is a fun, funny, sad and challenging read.

Since humans and daiynes speak different languages, the conversations might be a bit trying for some readers some examples: Gredar no sorry. Clan learn make pots singing. Good story. However, I thought the dialog got in the way a bit. Also, the shefting profanity was shefting overused even if they were shefting made-up words. I needed something uplifting after that last bookclub book and this definitely fit the bill!

Ultimately a love story, but also a story of survival and acceptance. Hot animal sex with giant cat people and cats who have a human as a pet. Hee Hee. It was good-ish, but I thought that, given the plot, the title was really melodramatic. I mean, the parts that might have dealt with abuse were really skimmed over.

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We're told second hand about it, but it's not really as compelling for that. It seems to just dive into Temin finding Gredar was that his name? The rape scene was abbreviated and the implications skimmed over. Yeah, he was somewhat traumatized, but he kind of just Overall, I feel like this kind of wanted to be dark fic, but in the end, it wasn't. And then when he just left G behind It wasn't really resolved. It was like the author resisted having 'em develop feelings for each other, and then they do, and then they separate.

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I also have to say that while the broken grammar was part of the style, it got to a point where it was incredibly exasperating to read. It's rare that I put a book I've read through and rather liked in my dnr shelf, but I really don't think I want to reread this for fun. It just Melodramatic at times, annoyingly so. This is a rather tame exploration into this sort of genre. It's nice-ish, but ultimately, seemed more like a fluff read to me.

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The more dark stuff probably shouldn't have been fade-to-black or happened-before. That would have helped with the impact. Honestly, I'm not saying this is bad, because it wasn't, but if you're searching for something more disturbingly visceral on a profoundly deep level, then I recommend What Worse Place Can I Beg in Your Love. It's short, but really packs a punch. That one, though, do not be fooled by the rather innocuous blurb.

Overall, this book wasn't bad. Prolly better for those who want a more tame "dark" fic. The idea that the daiyne can read Terran writing, though Sure, maybe Gredar could realize the scratches are regular and purposeful, but not what they would stand for. It'd be like if I tried to read Korean. I'd know the characters stood for something, but not what they stood for and definitely not what corresponding sounds go with what symbol. The idea of these cat-people being able to speak English I mean, I guess we aren't given a lot of indication of what sounds these cat people are capable of making, but I'm pretty sure it says they converse with growls, purrs, chirps.

The names, also, now that I think of it The weird thing about names is that they're usually literally those sounds, even if they mean something else. Like the Kirin thing. I'd think Temin should have been able to pick up that they kept referring to him as "Kirin" eventually, even if he didn't know it meant "bald one. Other than those lapses in logic they're pretty big things, but Homer does the same thing in The Odyssey.

Not that that's any excuse, but it happens. A lot The language thing is kind of a big deal, though. It's actually starting to bother me quite a lot since it's featuring so much. Which is highly unfortunate, since I'm apparently only about a third of the way through rereading. The hygiene thing And they have fur. All over. Including their hands. They love hygiene and they don't have utensils? Ah, well I suppose claws might suffice? I dunno. It feels like they ought to have more utensils than just knives The leather washcloth things.

I'll admit I don't know much about leather, but using leather as washcloths sounds really Does leather even absorbs water? In a non-clammy way? Cuz it is dead animal skin. I suppose they wouldn't really have anything else, but it still seems I didn't like the ending very much. It seemed too much like running away from the issues and ignored a bunch of overarching problems with lying about the existence of the daiyne. Just you watch. It feels like that kind of thing. Oct 13, Beth doesn't write enough reviews rated it it was amazing Shelves: scifi , loved , m-m. What a deceiving title!

I passed over this book many times on my recommendations list due to the title. We've all been tricked into reading self published fanfic, ficlit or whatever it's called. The poorly conceived, badly written crap that wants to be erotica romance but is actually not even porn. I'm also not partial to alien porn, which is what I thought this was. I was so completely and terribly wrong! I owe the chance to experience this amazing read to Goodreads and the reviewers who convin What a deceiving title! I owe the chance to experience this amazing read to Goodreads and the reviewers who convinced me to take a chance.

Such an amazing, lovely, enriching story! Temin is a space transport pilot carrying cargo between planets when his engines fail and he is forced to crash on an uninhabited planet that colonization had previously failed for unknown reasons centuries before. After surviving the crash he finds the engines sabotaged with no repair possible. Using solar charging he sets up a distress signal he feels has no real chance of reaching beyond the ionization fields surrounding the planet. I found Temins first attempt at hunting hilarious. A space pilot with no concept of roughing it trying to hunt an ape like creature on an alien planet did not turn out well to much amusement to the reader if not Temin.

Suddenly Temin finds himself captured and knocked unconscious by a cat like creature and awakes to find himself a pet to an unknown race of creatures much like cheetahs of old earth but humanoid as they walk upright, have homes, families, jobs and a society. Temin, with no way to communicate, naked and much smaller and weaker than these creatures nearly dies more than once and makes himself a nuisance rather than being the curious pet they expect him to be.

Because of this Kadit, his owner and matriarch of the clan gives Temin to her son Gredar. What follows is an amazing story of friendship, loyalty and honor. Two enemies crash land on a planet and for survival must learn to understand and trust each other to survive. There are elements of that here. Temin must learn to trust Gredar if he is to survive.


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The story of Temin and Gredar is told from both their points of view so we get to experience the growing relation between Temin, the alien curious new pet and Gredar the new owner of a nuisance oddity. After Temin is nearly killed by another clan member He is finally able to make Gredar understand he is a person with a language. The horror Gredar feels over what Temin has endured as a pet and oddity plus the savagery and betrayal of the other clan member is where the real relationship begins to build. We the readers learn the language of the Daiyne cat people with Temin while Gredar learns Standard English.

The world building is brilliant as Temin learns how to survive and trust in this alien landscape where everything is to big and dangerous. The characters are so well written you begin to feel as much a part of the clan as Temin does, from Kadit the matriarch, Jelin the clan medic and Gredars twin to Martek the clans historian.

I could go on and on but I don't want to ruin the experience for other readers. There is drama, betrayal, danger and sex, all woven together with friendship, honor, loyalty and love. Real love, familial, friendship and in their own way romantic love. More than once I was brought to real tears that made it hard to continue reading! This is going up to the top of my 'to be read again' list right along with Anne McCafferys' Dragonriders of Pern series and Diane Gabaldon's Outlaner series for escapism of brilliant world building, fascinating characters and dramatic storytelling.

I'm off to find more of this author's work! After several vicissitudes human and cats get to know and appreciate each other and a special relationship is forged between the human and one of the cats. There is nothing kinky in this: the aliens may be catlike but they are sentient and just as clever as humans. All this story is beautifully told. The author manages to convey the believable feelings of a man stranded in the middle of nowhere with no hope of getting rescued and the perspective of a curiously alien society.

As far as catpeople are concerned their behaviour is clearly patterned along the lines of our terrestrial cats lion prides come to mind but those patterns also serve as a basis for a nicely developped alien psychology, believably different from ours. The love story is warm and intimate, nicely done. I can only find two flaws in this book. Second, Ms Somerville's writing, elsewhere perfectly neat, becomes a little clumsy when trying to write down the attempts of the characters to speak each other's language.

As it happens often it did get in the way. There are some sex scenes, explicit but plot related and never indulged upon, which is always fine with me but could disappoint readers looking for hotter stuff. Ultimately, however, I would have passed it by without a second thought. Not my cup of tea, I would have thought.

And I would have been so much the worse for having thought so. In the end, what I got was immensely satisfying…. The plot is, at its core, a science fiction and fantasy staple. What separates the wheat from the chaff in this genre, however, is execution and that is where I was an alien cat toy excels. Pyr Temin is our stranger, a pilot who, on a routine inter-galaxy supply mission, runs into trouble with his engines and crash lands on U, a planet which had once been home to a seed-colony of humans that had gone missing some years before. Surviving the crash, Temin determines that his ship was sabotaged and that the damage makes returning home on his own impossible.

Yet, the hunter becomes the hunted and the primates scatter as a low growl fills the air. The next time we see Temin is several day later, after he has been made a pet in the home a Kadit, the matriarch of a clan of Daiyne, the cat-people who inhabit this world. Temin is not, Kadit has decided, an ideal pet, far too boisterous and too much trouble for her. And this is where the story truly begins. It was also where I married my permanent tribute to redheads and discovered the joys of manly loving men. I had put up over a million words for free — quite a number of long novels — on the web before I realized that unless I tried pro publishing, no one was going to take me seriously.

So, after a couple of false starts, I managed to have Interstitial accepted by Samhain Publishing, I have since published four more novels and novellas with them, but I am now going back to self-publishing, since Smashwords make the process painless and I do as much promotion myself which ever way I go. The many incredibly talented and generous fanfiction writers who made me realize that a writing could be fun b gay romance could be hot and interesting and c I had a bit of talent and so could keep an audience entertained.

I learned a lot from them and their encouragement, especially about how to structure a story, writing habits to avoid and how to make language work for maximum impact. Learning to Dharn is your latest release: would you care to share a bit about the story with us? I love stories about people coming together across divides — cultural, religious or whatever. In Learning to Dharn , Kelten is a privileged middle class city dweller, thrown into a desperate situation by an attack by murderous criminals.

Kelten takes a while to realize his assumptions and hearing privilege are the things stopping him learning how to communicate with his rescuer. There are too many landmines of privilege when one is a hearing person. What about the genre interests you most? Each book teaches me something new about my attitudes, and hopefully leaves me and the reader enlightened. What interests you most about writing speculative fiction? Do you write full time? If not, how many hours per day do you try to dedicate to writing?

I write when I have energy and inspiration. Looking back, is there any one person or one thing that influenced you to begin writing creatively? How long have you been writing? No one person. I can definitely think of one person who turned me off writing for over twenty years because of her mockery. Outline, though I often deviate. I try to map out scenes, especially when the energy to actually write defeats me. Do you revise and edit as you go along, or do you write start to finish and revise after?

Bit of both. I always advise writers not to get hung up on le mot juste — just bung a word, a placeholder, a scene marker in, and move onto the next. I write linearly though. I store up trivia and that gives me a starting point for research when I sit down to work on a story. How much of yourself, your life experiences, and the people you know manifest themselves into your characters?

All of it. But I transmute the material. How long does it usually take for you to complete a book you would allow someone to read? Impossible to answer. I wrote my first book which is , words long in three months, but Learning to Dharn has been stewing for a year. If so, do you have any exercises you use to get beyond it? Yes, and no. If you write without passion, it shows.