Monday, April 18, 2016

REVIEW: Alienated

Author:  Melissa Landers

After aliens from distant planet L'eihr contact Earth, leaders from the two planets start negotiating an alliance. The L'eihr have advanced medical knowledge, including a cure for cancer.  Cara, a high school senior, and her family have been chosen to host one of the first L'eihr exchange students. Aelyx will stay in the United States with Cara'a family. Two other exhange students are coming with him. Eron will stay with a family in China, and Syrine will stay in France.  Cara's family welcomes Aelyx and stands by him, even when anti-L'eihr protests begin. The protests start to escalate into threats and violence, and there is even a proposed L'eihr Expulsion Act. Nobody suspects that the three L'eihr exchange students sent to Earth are on a mission to sabotage the pending L'eihr alliance with Earth. Aelyx begins to have second thoughts about destroying the chances for an alliance when he begins to have feelings for Cara. He is torn between his mission to prevent any humans from ever settling on L'eihr and  protecting the human girl that he loves.

I enjoyed this book. The plot is relatively predictable, but I enjoyed the developing relationship between Aelyx and Cara. But, I think L'eihr people were just a little bit too similar to humans for the story to really be believable. At one point, Aelyx even tells a story about a myth on his world that some  L'eihr  people actually came to  Earth and stayed, bringing the trait for blue eyes into the  gene pool by reproducing with humans. I rolled my eyes a bit at that. If alien life ever did contact Earth, what are the chances that their DNA (if they even have DNA) would be compatible enough for reproduction with humans? Or that they would look like humans? Pretty slim chance there.....    But, if Aelyx had been an 8-foot tall green tentacle slime monster, the romance angle of the plot would have been off-putting.  So I suspended my momentary skeptical reaction to his human-like appearance and behavior, and just enjoyed the story.

The anti-L'ehir group  (HALO - Humans Against L'eihr Occupation) and several mean-spirited high school classmates of Cara's were really annoying characters. They reminded me of old news coverage from the 60's when black students were first allowed to attend high schools in the south that had been white-only schools. Protestors screaming nasty, racist crapola over bullhorns. Violence. Bigoted idiocy.   I kept thinking about that as I read about protests and threats of violence because L'eihr students were on Earth. That part of the story line was totally believable. Human beings can really be bigoted douche bags sometimes. If we can treat other human beings like crap, just imagine what we would do if aliens really did make contact with us?  If they survived idiots trying to kill them out of fear, then I could see similar protests of "aliens go home'' exactly like portrayed in this book.

All in all, a good read....a few plot issues here and there....but I stopped myself from being too hyper-critical. The story kept me entertained, so I didn't feel it was necessary to wonder about alien DNA. :) The cover art is really well done! I don't usually read books about high school, or romances with aliens, but the cover art pulled me in and I made an exception. Glad I did....I enjoyed the book!

My rating 7/10
Ages 16+ , a few curse words and sexual situations, but nothing graphic

No comments:

Post a Comment