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4.09  ·  Rating details ·  732 ratings  ·  93 reviews
Xenophobia is set in Malawi, Africa, with US soldiers acting as peacekeepers to stop a civil war erupting. When an alien spacecraft arrives in orbit, America is thrown into turmoil and US troops are withdrawn from hotspots around the globe to provide support at home. Malawi descends into chaos. Xenophobia follows a band of US Rangers that stay behind to get doctors and pat ...more
Paperback, 396 pages
Published June 22nd 2013 by Createspace Independent Publishing Platform
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4.09  · 
Rating details
 ·  732 ratings  ·  93 reviews

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Montzalee Wittmann
By: Peter Cawdron
Narrated by: Holly Linden, J. T. Johnson
I almost forgot how wonderfully thrilling Cawdron's books are! The first part of the book had me terrified of the realistic action of rebel forces fighting against doctors and civilian populations in Africa. Then there is the added threat of an Alien ship. What will the idiots on Earth do or are the Aliens dangerous. Then part of the group the book is following is caught by nasty rebels that has trapped an Alien in a basement and
Jun 23, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wow. Cawdron is one talented fellow. This was both an enjoyable read and a story that stuck with me for a few days after I finished it. A terrific first contact story, blending white knuckle action with seriously deep philosophical questions. Like Monsters by the same author, this is another book I will certainly come back to again and again.
Jul 04, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I thoroughly enjoyed this one. In fact, I lost big chunks of time over two days of reading it. Don't start this book when you're in a hurry!

This is a story of first contact gone very wrong. The plot is complicated, with a lot of things going on at the same time. I found it engrossing, to say the least. While there is no lack of action, there is also a great deal of exposition, all both informative and entertaining, and woven into the story very well. There's a lot of food for thought here. Sadly
Aug 20, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audible
I only picked this book because I needed one that started with the letter X for an A-Z challenge. My friend Sarah had started the audiobook and said that the narration was great so I went that way too. It's a great story by itself but the audio production is fantastic. It's full of really cool sound effects, great accents, and just overall great narration.
Dec 28, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: newbie-author, sf
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 31, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio
4.5 stars. The narration on this was absolutely awesome. It was more of a production that included voices, someone who was quite brilliant with accents, and sound effects that were absolutely amazing. Especially when the alien was whipping it's tentacles around. Spiked tentacles. As for the book itself, I really loved the story and it took several turns that were so unexpected that I was really surprised. It was a book with a vision and a book with a message. I loved every minute of it and would ...more
Mike Franklin
May 15, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
When an alien spacecraft unexpectedly arrives in orbit the UN peacekeeping force is pulled out of Malawi allowing it to collapse into the civil war the UN has just about been managing to keep the lid on. Are the aliens friends or foes? And with no common language to allow meaningful communication do the UN or any of the world’s governments dare gamble on them being friendly especially when much of the human population are terrified of them and attacking any of their draft on sight.

Peter Cawdron
Lisa Hapney
Jun 27, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was a great first contact story, I really enjoyed it and it was accurately named. It was gritty, sweaty, realistic and moved at a good pace. I mentioned in another review recently that I like a story that can be introspective without sacrificing excitement and action and was glad to see that this story had managed to do just that. I also like a story that requires you to think and I wasn't disappointed in that area either. Xenophobia certainly delivered by investigating not only our fears o ...more
Graeme Tindale
Feb 27, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Being both a sci-fi and adventure story fan, I find myself reading the two genres hoping that any given story will include both. Often I find a routine military-based story whether in the future or the present that is somewhat predictable, somewhat interesting and a pleasant read. I hit the jackpot occasionally when I get a story that fully engages the reader with a well-developed plot and which happens to take place in the future and also includes these two genres. This is the case with this st ...more
John Hancock
Aug 22, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I'm fast becoming a fan of Cawdron. I enjoyed his "little green men" and now this. I don't like to spoil in my reviews, especially when that would really hurt your enjoyment of this, so I'll talk in general terms.

The military unit at first seems to be flat stereotypes, mainly from their nicknames with each other at the beginning, but as you progress in the book, their characters unfold like a delicious origami creation. All the characters are multidimensional but I only mention the military esco
Mar 02, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I thought this book started well but quickly went downhill about halfway through. Basically a "first contact" story that was intriguing at first because it blended a war-torn setting with alien visitors. The character development is pretty good, but the author fairly often goes into transparent and tedious dialogues about war, environmentalism, naturalism, etc. This tendency gets more frequent in the latter half until the final chapters *SPOILER ALERT* becomes so much so that I ended up just ski ...more
Brenda Fryland
Nov 26, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Last third of the book was awesome! I knew this was a first contact novel and expected to read about aliens right from the start. however the author wrote it as more of a character study forbthe first half. for me., too muchbtime spent in the mind of Bower., the female lead and charity doctor. there was action then too. but man against man. last third gets five stars from me but slower start knocked it down. the aliens and their world are ingenious--bravo Mr cawdron!
Mar 12, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Cawdron's work is amazing! This first-contact tale is "real" in the sense that it is believable. It is creative; as the cover photo suggests, we are not looking at gray humanoids with sideways eyes. It's scary, from multiple perspectives, while also hopeful, with a fair amount of awe. The only criticism I could raise is that it ended.
Colette Chadwick
Mar 12, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Peter Cawdron is highly knowledgeable in the scientific and military aspects of this story. He is also very descriptive, and with an exceptional perspective that reveals the fears of mankind. All that makes this a wonder read. I loved that he used an Africa war zone, with the U.S. Army peacekeepers as a backdrop for an earth invasion.
A well written story, a great plot, and strong characters.
Anna Risko
Sep 21, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Xenophobia is a well thought out book.
The parallel stories of conflict were great ways to show how struggles may occur when you don't understand others.
I loved how we, the humans, are thought of almost as we think of dolphins. Intelligent, with limits.
It was a great science fiction read that will stay with me for a long time. And a book I plan to reread again.
Jun 03, 2014 rated it did not like it
Aliens and first contact is why I got this. Unfortunately that takes a back seat to lots of long philosophical diatribes and opinionating. I couldn't get through it.
Justin Pigors
Jun 27, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was great novel with a unique premise and very interesting characters. I really enjoyed reading this and I highly recommend it to anyone.
Jan 22, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-19
I went into this book expecting to find a story about first contact between an alien species and humanity but left wondering about humanities ability to coexist with itself. This was my second book by Cawdron and I'm enjoying his writing style. Both books start with a straight forward plot and then events unfold that catch me by surprise.

Xenophobia starts with the introduction of a doctor working in Africa with Doctors Without Borders in the midst of a brutal civil war. Events transpire that cau
Nov 14, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

Another deeply thoughtful, provocative novel by a man of science with the heart of a thousand poets. Can I give him ten stars? Or maybe a starship so big it contains its own stars!?

First Contact isn't anything humans had visualized. No Hollywood aliens gobbling us up with triple strips of razor sharp teeth. No freaky "grays," no big-eyed, skinny necked probers, and no lizard people. No ET phoning home but kind of close. Thank goodness the book includes drawings because few people coul
Jeffrey Oliver
May 05, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Thought provoking... say the least. Peter appears to have a fairly deep knowledge of biology and medicine, as do I. So, perhaps my review is not particularly objective. But this novel has clarified many ideas for me; whereas I have dwelled on the uniqueness of individuals, Peter asks to “zoom out” and look at the value of the diversity of all life on this planet. It is intellectually staggering, and humbling.

OK, for a few critiques: a semi-automatic machine gun is an oxymoron,the thing you
Andy Coleman
Sep 28, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

Another "first contact" book by Peter Cawdron - how many ideas does he have for how this might happen? Keep them coming because it's the most interesting aspect of the alien genre!

The first third of this book is more Blackhawk Down than E.T., with the aliens only on the periphery. But then... contact. And from there, it's all about the aliens. The last few chapters really play with the idea of what these aliens are all about, and it is quite different from what you've migh
Colin Alley
Jul 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019-books
Mr. Cawdron has a great facility for telling stories of contact/interstellar interaction, that, while obviously works of fiction, evoke a visceral human response. Xenophobia was quite an interesting read, and consumed a good chunk of my weekend, as it was also full of ‘hooks.’ Comparisons to the movie ‘District 7’ could be made, but the overlay of alien interaction with intra-human conflict and turmoil sets the stage for a multivariable ride through awe, disgust, fear, and intrigue.

I’ll definit
Kayla Torres
I think the author isn’t a “mature writer” yet. What I mean by that is the fact that you can tell he has a passion for writing, imagery, description, and spelling things out for his audience.

The ideas he wants is really interesting but it’s just not at the right level. As many artists, he will continue to grow and expand his abilities and become a fantastic writer. It’s about progress and he is making some.
Feb 08, 2018 rated it liked it
I am still reading this book and I am SO VERY FRUSTRATED I am at the part where the aliases save Elvis. Doc how about saying THANK YOU! Throughout this book she continues to be clueless. She got Elvis injured and Bosco killed. She SUCKS as a protagonist. I'll continue and hears hopping she gets her head out of her ass and starts listening to the professionals who are putting their lives on the line while trying to save her life.
Don Oberg-Hauser
Dec 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I really liked this book. I liked the protagonist as a non-violent doctor in a violent situation being able to move beyond fear to understanding and acceptance. I liked how he described the whole 'event' of alien contact and how people responded in different ways. Rather than provide a "universal translator" device, he has a more realistic process of motions and words to learn how to understand each other (aliens and humans). It's a satisfying read with an optimistic ending.
Aug 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a fantastic book. About so much more than "aliens" ... it's about human beings and the planet we share (or "should" be sharing and caring for). I loved it ... very much.

“You have humbled nature. You have removed the natural checks on growth, but you have done so with reckless abandon, without regard for your planet and the diversity of life around you. You have lost sight of your place in nature.”

Truth. Especially valid and important every day, always.
Kay Smillie
Apr 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
My introduction to Peter Cawdron and a first contact novel set in a background of rebel forces fighting the government in Malawi which heightens when a large alien vessel arrives leading to US peace keeping troops being withdrawn from Africa. Despite the appearance of multiple alien spaceships in the sky it is business as usual for the rebel troops and a vivid picture is drawn. Different from the usual first contact stories and I will be checking out other books from this author.

Ray Smillie
Nov 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Interesting premise

This book contains an interesting premise about our surviving as a species. There are interactions of both earthly enemies as well as alien observers. Human interaction is put on a trial of sorts and how successful he species is given the outcome remains in some doubt. Read this interesting novel to determine how exactly we fare. It is good in a different kind of sci-fi book way.
Gary C
Jul 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

This is a great first contact story: exciting story line, believability, interesting characters, really “alien” aliens, and it just gets better as it goes along. Get it and read it! As always, Cawdron’s work provides a lot to think about even after you finish the book. He is becoming one of my favorite authors.
Chris The Story Reading Ape
Human Nature laid bare...

Another masterclass on a first contact scenario where humankind demonstrate their stupidity and brutality against each other, even in the face of a perceived alien invasion.

See my review also at:
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“Morals rarely keep pace with technology, and collective intelligence can drop away. As life becomes more abstract, more divorced from reality by technology, it’s easy to lose sight of what’s right and wrong.” 1 likes
“If anything, technology allows us to be dumb without consequence.” 1 likes
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