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Alien Proliferation, by Gini Koch
Genre: Science Fiction
Publisher: Daw
Published: 2011
Review Posted: 8/30/2013
Reviewer Rating:
Reader Rating: Not Rated

Alien Proliferation, by Gini Koch

Book Review by Joshua Palmatier

Have you read this book?

This is the fourth book in Gini Koch's Alien series. I've enjoyed all of them, mostly because they are so action-packed and because the characters are fun to follow. The plots are convoluted and over-the-edge in the believability factor, but the whole point is just to have fun. The books aren't intended to be taken too seriously.

The premise of this book is to introduce everyone to Kitty Katt and Martini's child. The birth pretty much happens right off the bat in the book, although the plot starts moving forward before that, because of course the evil doers are interested in Kitty and her child. In particular, in what kinds of powers the hybrid child might possess. And if there was any doubt that the child would have powers, that's answered pretty much right away as well, with things happening before their baby is even born. Once it becomes obvious that someone is after Kitty, the newborn, and pretty much any of the hybrids and ACs of any influence, along with Richard and Kitty's mother, the entire AC community goes into lock down, with most of the action following from that decision and the race to get any and all of Kitty's friends--and potential victims of the evil doers--into safety. But of course, harming Kitty's friends and loved ones to get to her is only the beginning, as the plot begins twisting and turning into all new directions, which I'd spoil by mentioning.

So, as already mentioned, this book follows the usual fun and high-octane action of all of the previous books. There's plenty of action, and plenty of twists in the roller coaster ride of the plot as it unravels. Readers have come to expect this from Gini Koch and the Alien books. One of the best features of the series (missing from most of the urban fantasy series I've read) is that as events unfold, Kitty's life also morphs and changes. This is only the fourth book in the series and Kitty's gone from being an advertising drone to leader of Team Alpha for the ACs, through a few relationships, although settling on Martini, getting married, and now having a kid. Things change, at a rapid pace, in this series. Most series seem content to just let the main character and friends move from case to case, with most of the relationships and such remaining static. In this book, Kitty has the child, and through the course of the book learns some good lessons about raising kids, how her relationship with Martini will have to adjust, and her role as part of the AC organization shifts as well. I like the sense that what happens to Kitty and her friends and loved ones changes the world around them and they have to adjust for it.

Also, although most readers will lament this, there wasn't the same level of romance elements in this book as in the previous ones. I was fine with not having the continual sex scenes. But that's just me. (I commented on not being interested in the romance elements in the previous books, if you haven't read those reviews.)

My biggest complaint about this book in particular is that the first half of the book isn't as active as the last half or the previous books. This is partly because Kitty has had the kid, and so needs to remain in one place to care for her. So for the first half of this book, she's trapped at the AC complex as it goes into lock down. Since she's the POV character, that means the reader is stuck with her, and so all of the real action is happening off screen and we (with Kitty) are learning of it all second-hand. This removes us from the plot in a way that lasted too long for me. I wanted Kitty to be more involved earlier on. Once she is directly involved, the pace and fun of the book picks up tenfold.

This book shifts Kitty's role into the next phase and sets up the fifth book rather well. Even with that slower portion in the first half, I'll certainly be reading Alien Diplomacy as soon as I get the chance. I need to catch up before Alien vs Alien hits the shelves later this year. For those who love high-paced, sci-fi action, with some pretty heavy romance elements thrown in, I'd definitely recommend this series.
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