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Ralph, by Christopher Steinsvold is an Alien invasion science fiction novel with a very strong dose of comedy thrown in. Besides the comic aspect, due to the author having a PHD in Philosophy, there is also a good deal of processing the human thread of existence going on.
Markus is called in on a one of the biggest worldwide investigations ever when somehow DRINK DIET COKE is written on the moon in giant letters. They cannot discover the cause, but Markus gets a name for himself, which means he becomes one of three individuals present when a friendly Alien named Ralph shows up, on the White House lawn, in a giant Campbell's soup can like an Andy Warhol vision of otherworldly invasions.
Ralph oscillates between being sweet, odd, and funny to slowly enlightening the earthlings to grander universal concepts of thought. However, things take a darker turn when the humans are told that an evil race of aliens is going to be invading their planet in three days.
I would like to tell you more, but there is a serious amount of suspense built through this book and I would hate to ruin the surprise, let's just say the invading force is as insane as they are dangerous.
I enjoyed the thought processing aspect of this novel. Steinsvold takes on a serious task outlining what such an advanced being would say about how one should live their life. I would say he tackled the issue well and many of the ethics outlined are thought provoking.
Downsides with this one might be that it focuses on different things than people are used to. If you want some summer blockbuster alien invasion, this might not be for you. Although it does have those scenes in here. This is more of a Douglas Adams trip. The author took his time with this and filled out the whole picture, which is needed, but also stretches out the novel a bit.
A great thought provoking and funny book, which are two things I enjoy seeing in a novel. Very original. I have been seeing good things from Medallion Press this year. They are finding better and better novels. I hope both Medallion and Steinsvold keep up their superb work.
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