Archive

Posts Tagged ‘alpha centauri’

Book Review: Touched by an Alien by Gini Koch (Series, #1)

March 17, 2011 1 comment

Man and woman hugging in front of flames.Summary:
Katherine “Kitty” Katt manages to get released early from a dull day of jury duty only to find herself confronted with an angry man who sprouts wings and starts flinging knives from their tips toward everyone in the vicinity.  Kitty attacks and stops him and quickly finds herself sucked into a world she was unaware existed.  A world of alien refugees defending Earth and themselves from a bunch of fugly alien parasites.  She soon discovers her ordinary parents are more involved in this secret world than she would ever have dreamed.  On top of that, she’s increasingly finding herself falling for one of the alien hunks who announced his intentions to marry her almost immediately upon meeting her.

Review:
I received a free Kindle edition of the second book in the series, Alien Tango, last year and read it without realizing at first that it was part of a series.  I immediately fell in love with the world and Kitty and decided I needed to go back and read the first entry in the series.  This reverse approach definitely gave me a different perspective on the story, but it certainly didn’t make me love it any less.

What makes this series epically entertaining is well-established in this first entry.  First, the paranormal element is aliens in lieu of something more widely used.  Everything has the clean, secret government agency tinge to it instead of the dirty mafia feel many other paranormals elicit.  The aliens are aliens, yes, but they’re also a secret government agency.  Imagine Men in Black only the men in black are all aliens.

Second, Kitty Katt is a heroine who clearly epitomizes the modern woman.  She can take care of herself, but that doesn’t mean she doesn’t like having a man around too.  She’s smart, witty, sassy, and sexy, but she has her flaws and weak spots too.  She has sex on the day she meets a man, but she’s still aware enough of social norms that she takes care to attempt to hide that fact from the majority of people around her.  On the other hand, she herself doesn’t regret that act in the slightest.  She so clearly reflects what it is to be a modern American woman that I can’t help but applaud Gini Koch.  I hope to see more heroines like Kitty Katt in the near future.

The action itself is vastly entertaining, particularly if you enjoy scifi.  The fugly parasites are imaginative, disgusting, and frightening simultaneously.  The Big Bad is scary and crafty.  The solution to the Big Bad is seriously entertaining.  I honestly cannot say enough good things about the scifi in this book.

Overall, Gini Koch’s Kitty Katt series has not failed to leave me glued to my iPod screen yet.  It’s sharp, modern, unique, and vastly entertaining.  I practically throw copies at lovers of paranormal romance to read, but also highly recommend it to fans of scifi and modern heroines as well.

5 out of 5 stars

Source: Amazon

Buy It

Book Review: Ethan: Site 39 by Otis V. Goodwin

January 26, 2010 9 comments

Book cover--purple light hitting a black and white planet.Summary:
In the near future Earth is destroyed by an asteroid.  Luckily for humanity, a group of people had already departed for Alpha Centauri to colonize the two stars found there.  After losing contact with the few survivors, the Centaurians believed Earth to be uninhabited.  Five thousand years later, their descendants return to an Earth that has recovered from the chaos caused by the asteroid to begin the work of reinhabiting it.  When Ethan, one of the colonists, stumbles upon a residence dug into a mesa made of granite, everything the Centaurians believe about what occurred on Earth in relation to the asteroid is challenged.

Review:
I really wanted this to be a good book.  First I’m a big supporter of indie and self-publishing, as I often find the stories more creative and thought-provoking than those published by big publishing houses.  (See my review of Vow of Silence for evidence of that).  I also thought it was an intriguing scifi storyline.  Unfortunately, Goodwin can’t write.

Oh, he can come up with a great idea for a story, but his writing is terrible.  First, he tells us instead of showing us.  For instance, he’ll say things like “Ethan was thinking how worried he was,” instead of, you know, letting us see Ethan’s worried thoughts.  Whole parts of the story that would have been fun to read in addition to making the book longer he sums up by telling us about it in a couple of sentences, such as “They talked about their planned future together” instead of letting us read the conversation.

Not that I would have wanted to read the conversation anyway, because the dialogue is atrocious.  Every character sounds like an automaton.  They never use a contraction or a simile or anything really that makes a human sound human.  Goodwin tries to explain this as language changing, but even when we flash back to see characters from the time of the asteroid, they speak in exactly the same robotic manner.

The book blurb says that Goodwin is retired from the military, and it frankly shows.  In some ways, this is good.  The military portions in the asteroid flashback are clearly written by someone who knows the military.  However, mostly it’s just a rabid conservatism showing.  We’re talking a world in which the small population of humans rebuilding all automatically fall in love with someone of the opposite gender and that love is automatically, wholeheartedly returned.  It’s like the man never got past the fairy tales told to little girls to realize that that doesn’t happen perfectly for everybody in real life.  Real life just doesn’t work out that perfectly for everyone.  It makes all of the characters unbelievable, whereas having one true love situation would be believable.

Of course, there is no saving the wretched female characters.  Goodwin seems to be only capable of writing the completely helpless sobbing woman or a woman who is essentially a dude with boobs.  God forbid a woman be strong and feminine simultaneously.

I feel kind of bad saying all of this, because his overall storyline really is good and creative.  It’s what kept me reading the book in spite of cringing and rolling my eyes.  What Goodwin should have done is acquired a writing partner who could write his storyline on the sentence level well.  Then he would have had a great book.  Unfortunately, he didn’t do that.

2 out of 5 stars

Source: Free copy from book promotion agent via LibraryThing‘s EarlyReviewers Member Giveaway program.

Buy It