Shannon (Giraffe Days)'s Reviews > Alien in the Family

Alien in the Family by Gini Koch
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's review
Dec 23, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: 2011, romance, sci-fi
Read in December, 2011 — I own a copy

Six months after accepting sexy alien Jeff Martini's marriage proposal, Kitty and the other Alpha-Centauris (A-C's) learn that a beacon has been triggered, alerting the A-C home world of the impending marriage. Why should it matter? Unknown to Jeff and his cousin, Christopher, they are the last direct male heirs to the ruling monarch on Alpha Centauri. That's right, Kitty's marrying royalty, and it looks like the home world is sending a delegation to discover whether Kitty is worthy.

Only, naturally, it's not that simple. Multiple plans are afoot, and because of the impending invasion, the A-C division has been taken over by the CIA: namely, Kitty's best friend, Chuckie Reynolds. Throw in fanatic assassins, an inter-galactic plot, a visit to Alpha-Centauri and a lavish weddings and you've got a typical weekend in the life of Kitty Katt.

The majority of this book was true to form: fast-paced, high adrenalin, complex and multi-layered, with engaging characters, serious fight scenes, and some very cool new aliens. Kitty finally faces her love for Chuckie and deals with her guilt, and Jeff is dealing with his jealousy problem. But I still missed the lighter-hearted Martini - I guess, as you get to know someone, it stands to reason you're going to see the less fun side of them too, but it's more the public scenes where Martini always seems so angry and hostile. He doesn't get much opportunity to show his smarts either, when he's around Kitty and Chuckie. This mostly upsets me because I like Jeff A LOT, much more than Chuckie who is so smug and high-handed. (Oh, and why don't the Dazzlers find Chuckie appealing? He should be exactly their type, right? Hope we find out!)

I wasn't so keen on the long wedding preparations, which took a chunk of the book at the end; it's wonderful for on-going character development but wasn't very interesting to me. I'm not a big fan of weddings, and it just highlighted to me the unrealistic side of this series, which I've been doing such a great job of ignoring until now. Like, how similar the Alpha Centauri customs are to western Anglo customs. I get the psychology behind making the aliens familiar rather than, well, "alien", but it's still a bit of a cop-out. Also, Kitty's supposed to be a feminist - there's always the comment about her reading the Feminist Manifesto - and yet before the wedding she says, I must stop calling Jeff "Martini" because now I'm going to be a Martini too! (I forgot to mark the page so I couldn't find the exact quote, I'm paraphrasing here.) It was one little sentence but it threw me for a loop. I wouldn't have expected Kitty to just automatically change her name. It wasn't even a topic for discussion. Kitty's an educated, intelligent, independent woman with a great role-model for a mother. It didn't gel.

But overall, Alien in the Family was fun, exciting, gripping and intense. Kitty is still lots of fun, and the world of aliens and master-plots continues to grow. If the plot seems full of holes and too confusing at times, stick with it: the questions do get asked and it does all make sense eventually, as Kitty and Jeff figure things out. Oh, and there is a serious mention of God in this volume, but such is the nature of the story and the scene's context, that it didn't bother me much or feel too tacky.

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