Book Rating: ★★★☆☆ (3.5 / 5 stars)
How many of us have looked to the sky, wondering if someone else is looking back? Do they wonder the same things? Do they care? Calandra Menankar of Lathos has wondered this as well, and as one of the planet’s top astronomers she is delighted when she discovers a probe from a place called Earth in her solar system. Determined to make contact after reviewing the peaceful message inscribed on the probe, she ventures off to Earth with her boyfriend and pilot, Xttra, as well as Lance, Doni, and a few others. But when they arrive, this blue-and-green planet isn’t as welcoming as it appears.
In a sci-fi thriller filled with action, we are once again faced with our own morality: is Earth prepared to face the stars? The answers presented by Alien People is this: no. We’re too embroiled in war, too overwhelmed by fear, and too locked into our own beliefs. Earth is placed as a foe, seen through the eyes of the peaceful aliens who arrived, enamored with warfare and hatred, not peace. But Calandra is determined to see the good in humanity; and perhaps, having someone like that on the crew is key to their survival.
The story is paced like a classic sci-fi thriller movie. So much happens over the novel, but enough where we get a feeling for Calandra, Xttra, and Lance. Some of the characters do fall to the side, but this is reminiscent of any good action-packed movie or novel. The whole time I was on the edge of my seat, wondering if the aliens would survive, or if they would make peace with the “Earthians”.
And let me say, I was glad that the ending was not stereotypical.
Yet, while I know this is the first book of a series, I felt like there were a lot of loose remained in the air. What was the significance of their colleague who was injured and put into stasis? Why mention Calandra’s weak bones when they didn’t come up often? Shouldn’t her broken arm been more detrimental? Why did Calandra and Xttra jump head first into a stadium and ask about probe builders? Surely they would have researched more from afar or have a stronger protocol? (Which was actually a question the military operation on Earth asked as well.) And finally, what was Doni’s actual motivation? Sure, these are all questions building up to something greater, but I ended the book wondering about all of these…and more.
But perhaps that is just a ploy to get me to read the next one…which I intend to do.
Still, if you want a book that transports you to a theater, where you can pretend you’re watching a high-stakes, action packed sci-fi thriller, Alien People is definitely worth the read.
Note: I received a copy of this book at no cost in exchange for my honest review.
What’s it about?
A message from across the galaxy. A journey to a distant world. Will first contact bring new understanding… or death?
Calandra Menankar dreams of becoming her planet’s top astronomer. So when a probe from a place called Earth rockets into her solar system, she’s determined to uncover its secrets. And when the foreign craft transmits a message of peace, Calandra secures permission to voyage to the unknown orb despite brittle bones that could make space travel fatal.
Teaming up with her boyfriend pilot, Xttra Oogan, the two cross the stars towards the mysterious blue-green globe unaware one of their crew hides a sinister agenda. And when they translate the Earthian communications, Calandra and Xttra fear the probe may have led them into a deathtrap far from home…
Will traversing the Milky Way to a dangerous, new planet make both explorers wish they never left home?
Alien People is a thrilling and captivating science-fiction novel from bestselling author John Coon. If you like nail-biting action, high adventure, and ambitious characters, then you’ll love this immersive tale set in the same fictional universe as Under a Fallen Sun.