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Alien Collective, by Gini Koch
Genre: Science Fiction
Publisher: DAW
Published: 2014
Review Posted: 3/9/2015
Reviewer Rating:
Reader Rating: 9 out of 10

Alien Collective, by Gini Koch

Book Review by Joshua Palmatier

Have you read this book?

This is the ninth book in the "Alien" series by Gini Koch.  Basically, the series is an action-packed, fast-paced romp mixed with sci-fi tropes, tongue-in-cheek humor, and some smattering of romance thrown in for kicks.  (The earlier books in the series were heavier on the romance elements.)
The premise of this book is that Jeff Martini, Kitty's husband and Representative of New Mexico who also happens to be an alien, is being wooed as the next Vice President.  Of course the anti-alien politicians react negatively to this, bringing all of their factions into play.  Bio-weapons force the ACs from their main bases in DC, seeking refuge with allies, while attacks begin on their bases in New Mexico.  Meanwhile, Kitty gets visited by another all-powerful alien intent on investigating ACE's activities on Earth with the hopes of dragging him off planet permanently on charges of interfering.  The ACs need to find out what's going on before Jeff is taken out of the picture permanently . . .
In this book, many of the plot threads that are set up in the previous few books finally come to head, such as the search for the other Yates children with special powers, the loss of the ACs research and data, etc, while moving Jeff Martini farther up the political chain.  It's nice to see some of those plot threads finally being "tied off" so to speak, although as we've learned in the past, something the "finished" plotlines aren't really finished after all.  There's a lot going on in this series and too many threads make it nearly impossible to follow.  (I admit in a few earlier reviews that I simply gave up trying to follow some of them and just read for the action.  The more recent books in the series have handled the multiple and various plot threads much better than those earlier books.)
Overall, I enjoyed this book in the series.  My biggest complaint is that I could have done without the visiting superpower plot thread.  It felt . . . odd.  It didn't gel well with the rest of the plotlines, and those plotlines were plenty for a single book all on their own.  I didn't see why that thread had to be introduced here, why it couldn't wait for the next book . . . or the book after that.  Perhaps there's a reason that I'm not aware of that is introduced in the next book.  In any case, the other plots were plenty to keep me occupied and reading here.  One of the things I like about this series is that things change in each book, both with the characters and the world itself.  Jeff Martini is moving up the political chain, so their circumstances continue to evolve.  The world now knows of the existence of the ACs and so is being forced to adjust to a larger universe.  All of these things introduce new potential plot threads, rather than having each book be a reiteration of the previous books in the series, just with a different monster (which is what a lot of the urban fantasy series seem to do).
So, another good entry in the series.  Perhaps not as good as some of those in the past, but a good book nonetheless. 
Joshua Palmatier/Benjamin Tate
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