Five Reasons to Read Gini Koch's "Touched By an Alien"
Thanks to another win from a generous Galaxy Express promo giveaway, I got to read Gini Koch's Touched By an Alien. TBaA is full of action, humor, and hot aliens. And nasty aliens too. Care to guess which one our heroine, Katherine Katt, touches? If you answer "both" you're right, though she doesn't touch them for the same reasons : )
But I digress.
Five Reasons to Read TBaA:
1) A smart, funny, take-action heroine. When we first meet Kitty Katt (Yeah, yeah. I know. But Koch does a good job making you forget there are an abundance of "Kitty"s in SFR and UF these days.) she is standing on a street corner when some dude turns into a monster and starts killing people. Kitty doesn't run, which sort of surprises her. Instead, she attacks the monster. With her pen. At first, you think this woman is insane, but you come to see Kitty as someone who doesn't run from a fight. Her sense of humor is right up my alley, too. Snark and sarcasm? Oh yeah. But never in a cutting way. Well, mostly : )
2) Hot alien hero. Actually, all the good guy aliens are hot, males and females alike. But one is the obvious hero here. Jeff Martini is gorgeous (of course) and funny, a man on a mission who also knows how to bring out the best in people. He "gets" Kitty from their first meeting and tells her and her parents (more about them later) that he's going to marry her. She takes it as a player's line, but finds herself falling for him. Who wouldn't?
3) Nasty aliens. I won't go into an explanation here because the story about them, what they are doing on Earth, and why they need to be stopped, is better told by Koch : ) Suffice it to say, these baddies are at the head of the class when it comes to making your skin crawl.
4) The worldbuilding in this story is top notch. The combination of the familiar world to give the reader a solid base and the otherworldliness of the aliens is deftly explained and seamlessly carried throughout the book. Once I accepted the idea of Koch's world (aliens among us) never did I think "Oh, that couldn't happen." Within the context of the story, all the fantastic elements worked well.
5) Kitty's parents. Angela and Sol Katt play important roles in TBaA. They aren't just there to give Kitty a hard time about her choice of men, wistfully long for grandchildren, or become pawns in the villains plans. Oh no no no. Who they are and what they do is integral not only to Kitty's character, but to the story. I love both of them, especially Angela who has a few surprises for her daughter : )
One of the things that I was asked to address about TBaA was the first person POV. I have no problem with first person, and often write in it. Does it limit the reader's access to information and emotion? Maybe, and I think Koch is a tad guilty of having Kitty figure out complex issues involving the aliens faster than most of us would. But she is the heroine : ) First person is effective by giving you a more visceral connection to the POV character. Plus, by only seeing one side of events, when critical information is revealed we can see if the MC (and therefore we the reader) was right in how they perceived things. First person isn't for every reader or for every story, but it works well here.
Overall, Touched By an Alien is a well-paced, fun read. Go out and get it. The sequel, Alien Tango, comes out in December. I know what's going on my Christmas list.