Review: Touched by an Alien

Touched by an Alien (Katherine "Kitty" Katt, #1)Touched by an Alien by Gini Koch

My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

Quick take: I had a love/hate relationship with this book. Most was love, but there were aspects that had the Scoff-O-Meter turned up high. But overall it was an amusing sci-fi romp!

Book Description:
     Marketing manager Katherine "Kitty" Katt steps into the middle of what appears to be a domestic dispute turned ugly. And it only gets uglier when the man turns into a winged monster, straight out of a grade-Z horror movie, and goes on a killing spree. Though Kitty should probably run away, she springs into action to take the monster down.
     In the middle of the chaos a handsome hunk named Jeff Martini appears, sent by the "agency" to perform crowd control. He's Kitty's kind of guy, no matter what planet he's from. And from now on, for Kitty, things are going to be sexy, dangerous, wild, and out of this world.
Review:
I'd like to start by saying that this book has a gorgeous cover. Artist Daniel dos Santos--who is known for his work on the Mercy Thompson series's US covers--is freaking brilliant. I must say that I absolutely judged a book by its cover in this instance; it drew me in immediately. Gini Koch is one lucky author to have scored his talent for her debut novel.

The cover is pretty encompassing of the book's contents, as well: Armani-suited aliens, monsters, big explosions and romantic drama! All starting from the first page, when protagonist Katherine Katt is abruptly and accidentally introduced to the secret existence of aliens on earth. Whatever "normal" life she's lived up to that point quickly becomes quite irrelevant.

It's no surprise that author Gini Koch pokes fun at the Men in Black franchise in this series starter; she was probably preempting the inevitable comparisons. But this book feels most like something of a cross between MiB-like shenanigans and a superheros/supervillians story. One should expect a lot of action, comedy and wildly dramatic intrigue.

There were some aspects of this book that rankled a bit, though quite frankly I'm surprised they didn't put me off considerably more, as is usually the case. For one, there's a fair bit of information overload ("info dump" if you will). By and large, the wealth of details introduced were relevant to the story--making for a very complex plot--but in a handful of instances, the info really could've been introduced in future books. Numerous characters were introduced by name and implied as important in Kitty's life, only no never come up again. Critical revelations were piled upon each other, so complex as to border on confusing. I tried to take notes for a while, but eventually just gave up. ^_^

Other things that chafed a bit (but again, not as much as I would've expected) were the pop culture references and the frequent smart-alec banter. Think of any episode of the show Gilmore Girls. Funny dialogue, but occasionally just a bit TOO wry; do people really talk like that all of the time? ^_^ Though really, I suppose it was just a matter of excessive wit at unlikely, unnecessary moments that bugged the most.

Funnily enough, though...the easy, lively banter was also one of the things I really enjoyed. So was Kitty's witty inner voice. There were a few laugh-out-loud moments, and many instances where I had a big smile on my face as I read. A lot of it had to do with the interactions between characters.

Ultimately, I found the book to be just plain fun, more than anything else. The action scenes were highly visual and engaging, and the characters were supremely amusing. There were plot twists a-plenty, with some sizzling romantic intrigue to top it all off! The foundation has been well-laid here, and I'm most assuredly looking forward to the next book.

2 comments:

  1. It is just plain fun! I love it! While I can see that including pop culture can date a book, for me it made it feel more real. Like Kitty and I were friends and she was retelling this amazing story to me over cocktails after a rock concert.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Heheh. indeed, Kitty's voice was very familiar-feeling. She's one SF/F heroine I'd love to meet. ^_^

    ReplyDelete

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