Alien Body: First in the Phane Series
In Alien Body (sci-fi, 80,000 words), Physician Dave Booker is shocked to discover an alien living in his summer cabin. Phane, the alien, is an anthropologist from another star system. His shuttlecraft has crashed, and he must regain it before the mothership gives him up for dead. But Dave is dumbfounded by the alien’s appearance, a large, green tennis ball with two eyes on tentacles above his head. What would it be like to have a body like that? Does one's body determine how we think about the world, as the visitor claims?
Dave's ambitious boss captures Phane but he escapes. In a wild chase, Phane flees determined pursuers including the military, but it's not easy for a talking green tennis ball to hide. Dave realizes that Phane has much to teach humanity, but can he find his alien friend first and help him?
Plot/Idea: 8 out of 10
Originality: 9 out of 10
Prose: 9 out of 10
Character/Execution: 7 out of 10
Overall: 8.25 out of 10
Plot: The plot takes a simple concept and slowly branches it out into an epic tale. It's lovingly paced with sensible twists that truly make readers think.
Prose/Style: The tone here is delightfully thoughtful, light, and playful--even when things get dark. It makes the entire novel very readable and hard to put down.
Originality: While the core concept is quite simple, the truly original risks the story takes are unexpected and enterprising.
Character Development: While Janis verged on being a caricature, the overall character development is stellar. Each character has a distinct voice and perspective, and they are uncompromisingly themselves as they interact with the rest of their universe.
Date Submitted: August 05, 2019