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Alien Diplomacy, by Gini Koch
Genre: Science Fiction
Publisher: DAW
Published: 2012
Review Posted: 5/24/2013
Reviewer Rating:
Reader Rating: Not Rated

Alien Diplomacy, by Gini Koch

Book Review by Joshua Palmatier

Have you read this book?

I really enjoyed this book in the Alien series, more than the last few. This one had a little more focus for me, and the plot was a little less chaotic and the people easier to follow, which is a good thing. It was still a fast-paced, convoluted, wild story like the others... just more fun than the others because it was just that tiny bit calmer.

The main premise is that Martini and Kitty have now become the Alien diplomats, moving to DC where they are out to protect the rights of American Centaurians at the political level, leaving the fighting of supermonsters to others. Kitty is forced to take diplomacy classes, while the others struggle to fit in. But of course, no sooner do they reach DC than someone tries to kill Kitty... or are they really after her daughter? Or perhaps they're after Mr. Joel Oliver, their favorite paparazzi?

Things move quickly from exploding limos to a connection to the recent rumors of super-soldiers being created down in Paraguay (mentioned in previous books) and some kind of assassination attempt to be made at the President's next big ball. Only no matter Kitty and Martini do, they can't seem to find out who the target is--whether it's Kitty, their daughter, or any one of the high-powered politicos who will be at the party, including the president himself. The race is on see if they can unravel the evil-doers plot before everything goes boom.

As I said, I enjoyed this book more than the past few in this series, mostly because the plot was less chaotic than the others, so a little easier to follow, and because the book was more focused. There were tons of people, but we weren't bouncing back and forth between them, so it was easier to keep track of everyone and remember who they all were. I really think it just came down to the focus--there was one main thread with mentions of a few tangential plots.

Part of the reason this focus worked is because, unlike the previous books, the group was investigating an assassination. They were working off of something they knew was going to happen. In the past, they were always simply reacting to things and trying to catch up. Here, they knew what was going to happen, they just had to figure out who, what, why, and when. I also think the book worked better because it took some dangling plot threads we'd heard about in previous books and tied them together, so some of the chaos was resolved. So instead of making things more and more complicated by introducing more and more threads, this book took some of those and closed them off. So it felt like the book had better resolution.

At the same time, it was still the fast-paced roller coaster ride of fun, humor, action, and sex that you expect from a Gini Koch novel. It's over-the-top antics with nice touches of humanity threaded throughout and the story itself evolves from book to book. The world changes, rather than having everyone back to normal and the status quo at the end, as happens in many urban fantasy series of this sort. I continue to enjoy the series and intend to read the next book from Gini Koch.
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