Rating: 3.5 stars
Assimilation, Love, and Other Human Oddities is a book that is best described by its title. Taking place months after the first book, Liam is progressively assimilating into the Rownt culture. There's lots of love between him and his alien partner, and humans continue to present as an oddity to said alien.
While the book remains to be an angst free read from beginning to end, I couldn't help but feel a bit bored at the lack of conflict and growth between the love interests. In the first book, Liam and Ondry got together. Book two doesn't add much to this love-struck couple as they navigate through their d/s relationship. Or another way to put it is that there's nothing new here. There's no BIG MISUNDERSTANDING. No second guessing. Just...nothing, but a lot of loving. So if you don't want a story that rocks the boat, then you're in for a treat. I just prefer a little more friction in my fictional relationships.
So if there's no conflict between our couple, that must mean it comes from some external element. And yes, that's definitely the case here as the human race continues to demonstrate their stupidity. The book spends much time in highlighting even more differences between humans and Rownt, how much Liam thinks more like a Rownt than a human, how humans just don't make sense, etc. After a while, I just kind of lost interest at the constant reminder that humans act rashly and don't make sense x 10. Even the main conflict of the story didn't feel like much of a conflict due to how much stronger, better, and more technologically advance the Rownt are (which we are constantly reminded throughout the story).
Yet despite all my complaining, Assimilation, Love, and Other Human Oddities was still a pleasant read. It was nice to get into Ondry's head space, as Liam was on the dull side for me. The writing was clean and the world building was definitely above average. Everything wrapped up a little too neatly for my taste, but I would still consider this a pretty good read.
Overall, Assimilation, Love, and Other Human Oddities is a good sequel if all you want is more of Liam and Ondry and not much else.