Kc's Reviews > Alien in the Family

Alien in the Family by Gini Koch
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's review
Mar 21, 12

bookshelves: aliens, romance
Read from March 05 to 21, 2012

As if the first two books weren't crazy enough, now Kitty has to deal with marriage and in-laws coming to wreck things for her and Jeff. There is so much going on in this book, I don't even know where to start. There are subplots after subplots smeared all over these pages that it's hard to keep everything straight.

Let's just start with the simple stuff, then. Well, simple-ish. It's clear that interspecies marriage is next to impossible. Paul, if I remember correctly, is the only main character who's a halfbreed. The fact that so many more want to follow his parents' route is causing political and religious pandemoneum. It's a given that Kitty's and Jeff's marriage will be met with many challenges, from all sides of the playing field. How they manage to deal with each challenge that comes is amazing. Kitty, despite how many times she breaks down crying and has serious insecurity issues, manages to barrel on through them and makes it to the end in one piece.

The trials she faces shows she'll do whatever she can to be in Jeff's life forever and ever. She displays dedication that any woman could admire. Despite her faults, her weaknesses, she'll push herself to protect her man and the people she loves. And we know that Jeff would do the same, as he's shown in the previous two books.

But, of course, she can't do it alone. Not always. Kitty's support system really shows as she knocks back challenge after challenge, hand in hand with her best friends and loved ones. James really takes a shining in this book. He shows just why he and Kitty are so inseparable, and why it's a darn good thing he's gay instead of straight and stealing her from Jeff. He's more than just a pretty face, more than just another guy in her life, more than just a friend. The things he does to help her out, especially concerning her wedding, is phenomenal.

It's moving how much effort he puts into helping her out. Nothing can stop friendship, not even people after their lives. (As per usual.) I would love to have a friend like James in my life. I would want him at my wedding, too.

Another part of Kitty's support system are the unimaginable Poofs. I'll leave out all the spoiler details on how exactly they're awesome and simply say that I wish my cat was that awesome. My cat can't do what the Poofs can do. My cats are cuter, I'll say that, but in terms of skill and talent, they aren't quite so resourceful, least of all when it comes to alien butt-kicking. Their role in the book are surprising, especially when we wind down to the climax.

Apart from all that, an interest element that has shown up in this book is the element of chess. The application of the strategical and age-old militant game of war has been put into creative and interesting use. I didn't expect to be drawn into a board game metaphor when I started this book, but I'm not disappointed in its application.

While we're on the subject of war, we have to talk battle, and when we talk battle, we have to talk music, because Kitty is never without her soundtrack. The use of music has been a complete crack up for me. What I mean is, it's so appropriate and corny at the same time it's hard not to laugh at certain songs that are being used throughout the book (not necessarily just at the battle scenes). You have to know the music to understand why some scenes are so laughable, and put on your geek hat to appreciate why certain songs fit for certain moments. Epic cannot be described by a simple definition; epic is specific for each individual situation. You really have to understand Kitty to understand the epic juxtaposition of music and scene in this book.

And speaking of epic, I was surprised by how Kitty took part in the "boss battle." We've seen Kitty go toe-to-toe with the major baddie before, because that's just how things are done in the geek world, and this time she shows her skills in a different manner. It's not quirky wit, it's not panic-induced ingenious, it's pure skill. Kitty shows why she's a perfect four step and spent years training in self defense. I hope she shows more displays of skill and wit in the future books as well.

Now, let's take a moment to point out a few cons to this books. Large and packed with action though it was, I think there was just a little too much going on. As much as I loved the subplots and taking a moment to figure out what the greater plan was, I think there were too many times I had to literally stop and just take a break from this book because it was too chaotic. I know that there's a method to the madness and a reason why so much is going on, but there is such a thing as too much.

Like the comedy. This series lives for the comedy and the moments of complete inappropriate humor in the middle of a serious moment, but there were times when I could have done without the excess giggle and "dur." I have to admit I skimmed more quickly during some of the comedic parts because they seemed to drag on too long. I would have preferred a little more seriousness, or perhaps a condensed version of that same content.

There was several places throughout the book that could have been condensed or summarized with equal effect on the reader instead of drawing it out line for line between characters. There is a lot of talking going on in this book, more talking than actual narrative going on, and sometimes I thought it could have been the other way around. It's still possible to be comedic without sharing every detail, like the parts where people talk over Kitty when she's trying to make a suggestion and she fails to get their attention. (Though I admit the shirt technique was hilarious.)

Speaking of characters, there were parts where I thought I lost some of them in the madness of things. Since this book relies a lot on dialogue to get details shared, certain people have to talk. While it shoes the genius of someone's brain, or the lack thereof, I think there was some mixing of roles that made me think "this could have been narrated instead, instead of forcing a certain character to play this particular role in the conversation." Chuckie and Jeff are good examples. During certain conversations, they take on particular roles in contrast to Kitty, and their responses aren't always consistent. Sometimes their actions, not necessarily their words, seem inconsistent as well, more for the comedic effect or just to move along the plot than as genuine responses from the characters themselves.

There was a lot of fat that could be trimmed from this book and still achieve the overall effect or result that was being aimed for. But even with the fat, this has proved to be a fun and interesting book. Congrats to Kitty for making through it all, and finally getting her man.

Overall: 4.5 out of 5

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Reading Progress

03/06/2012 page 34
7.0% "I wonder if it's possible to give an A-C a heart(s) attack. They're pretty resilient, but they'e not indestructible. I'm waiting for the day Jeff goes the hospital for a normal human cardiac condition, as opposed to emphatic overload. Poor guy. I'd go nuts too if I had his family."
03/17/2012 page 156
34.0% ""Do they replicate in water or if they eat too much or something?" I never thought I'd see that reference in a book, but I was wrong. I have been proven wrong. I laughed when I read that and got a weird look for shattering the silence with my ill timed humor. I have much more to say but I'm running out of room on this thing so I'll shorten it. Summation: I'm cracking up with this story. And lastly: JAMIE!!! OMG!!!"
03/19/2012 page 274
60.0% "There's so much going on, subplot under subplot, that I often find myself stopping every few chapters to sort stuff out before I can continue. I certainly don't envy Kitty right now, considering what she has to deal with pre-wedding. I'm sure it'll all work out in the end, but until then, the chaos is so thick and emotions are so frayed it's amazing anything is getting done. I look forward to finishing this."
03/20/2012 page 444
97.0% ""Angel" by Aerosmith. Ha! That was so corny I think I nearly had respiratory problems trying to catch my breath after laughing so hard. <3 So much got done and it almost seemed like it was never going to end. But we're winding down and I'm glad things are drawing to a close. After all that's happened, Kitty and Jeff need to have their moment. 'Nuff said."

Comments (showing 1-1 of 1) (1 new)

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Celia i was going to give the first 3 books a bad review but reluctantly you are right. it is a fun interesting book though i would say there was a lot of information dumping. it was just coming too fast and too conviniently for me to actually take it seriously. i would have liked for kitty's character to be more believable instead of super woman who can do things she was never trained to do and become commander in just 1 day. but otherwise it was a good book for really light reading though am not sure am going to continue with the next ones

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