Sam never knew his parents. In fact, he’s never met another human—or seen a sunrise, smelled a flower, or eaten a regular meal. All of that is about to change.
It’s night in the desert, but he doesn’t feel the cold. The sky is clear, and the stars twinkle at him. He has never seen the sky from Earth before. Everything looks so strange. So . . . alien. He shakes his head in wonderment and laughs. He can’t stop smiling. This is Earth!
There is a building ahead. Other people will be inside. His heart skips a beat as he takes a step forward, the rocks crunching under his bare feet. He has dreamed of this moment for as long as he can remember.
But that which can be found can just as easily be lost again. It would have been better had Sam’s arrival gone unnoticed. But the artificial life form known only as the Authority is not one to miss such things. Nearly as old as time, and almost as powerful, the Authority was built by an ancient civilization as both an enforcer and a war machine, the destroyer of worlds. It has been watching Sam his entire life. Watching, and waiting, and judging. And now, it has decided that it’s time to act.
Plot: Beann’s alluring sci-fi novel tells the oddball story of a woman who comes into contact with alien intelligence and ends up on an adventure, all the while with the fate of the world as we know it at stake.
Prose/Style: While the pacing and focus here are somewhat inconsistent, Beann’s writing is clean and flows nicely. The exposition is clear and often tinged with a hint of refreshing humor.
Originality: The story of two brothers raised to be different species is decidedly unique. The author introduces a number of strange, distinctive characters and a clever resolution, ingredients that allow the novel to stand apart from more familiar stories of alien encounters.
Character Development: Mustafa is interesting and well-rendered, while Maria is less intriguing, feeling too often like a passive observer without true agency. Supporting characters are sufficiently differentiated and serve the story well.
Date Submitted: April 02, 2020
I used to read sci fi all the time in my youth, before gradually drifting off to the realms of urban fantasy. But this book reminds me why I loved the genre so much.
The Earthlings Brother is full of wonder, tension, and flashes of horror all skilfully interwoven with moments of humour.
On the face of it, this is a story about a being that ends up on earth and is chased by both the US military and an all-powerful non-human entity, the Authority.
But at its core it is about being a stranger in a terrifying and sometimes unwelcoming world, and what it means to be human, even if technically you're not of this planet .
This particularly applies in the case of a certain odd-looking alien (no spoilers) who you'll end up adoring.
The relationship between Sam and his 'brother' Mustafa is fabulous, from their child-like wonder of Earth and Earth customs (the Walmart scene had me chuckling) to the genuine fear that one or the other of them would be captured or killed.
Beann has really honed his writing style in this book. He does a good job of establishing various supporting characters, so much so that I badly wanted to punch one of them in the face. And the story draws obvious parallels with the discrimination faced by immigrants in today's world.
All the way through, you are rooting for the good guys and the ending, when it comes, is very satisfying.
If you like sci fi adventures, you'll love this.
5 stars, highly recommended.