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Aliens Abroad
Aliens #16
by Gini Koch
DAW Books, $7.99, 640 pp
Published: February 2018

This is book sixteen in Ms.Koch’s Aliens series and I loved it as much as the others.

Quick recap: This SF series charts the adventures of Kitty Katt-Martini, kick-butt Earth heroine married to alien hottie Jeff Martini of Alpha Centauri.

In this tale: Our planet is finally ready to take off into the stars and join up with the galactic family Earth has become up-close and friendly with (mostly due to the hard work and snarkiness of Kitty and Jeff). The super duper spiffy spaceship the Distant Voyager is set to launch with all the attendant hoopla: Jeff and Kitty as President and First Lady of the United States lead the glittering crowd on a tour of the ship with the newly appointed crew. The press is there, the whole world is watching and then…suddenly…the ship launches itself, and the AI(which Kitty quickly names “Mother” because the ship is pretty bossy) is now in control and on a mission…with the President and Kitty, his whole Cabinet, and a great deal of the Martini clan, including children, on board.

This was not the plan.

Of course, we find out a distant cry for help has reached Kitty from a young being named Ixtha who needs Kitty to save her galaxy…well, actually, as it comes to be revealed, the whole universe is at stake.

Ooh, boys and girls, this is a wonderful adventure. Actually one of my favorites in the whole series. We visit several worlds in trouble as the ship tries to discover where Ixtha actually is…and she’s very, very far away.  Kitty untangles things in four different world/systems, all ostensibly utopias that have gone bad or are threatened, mostly from outside influences. (We meet up with the Super Consciousness’ again, Sandy, Grumpy and Dopey, especially.)  And Algar, Kitty’s “King of the Elves” actually materializes in this book as the Scottish-accented Ard Ri—the ruler of a small, tiny system.

We meet sentient planets and suns; discover some absolutely amazing worlds with big problems that Kitty with her unfettered acts of “crazy” is able to solve in the most astounding ways. With plenty of snark, plenty of tunes and the help of her huge inner circle of A-C’s, hybrids, cyborgs, humans, Peregrines, Poofs, and Hacker International, among others.

Ms.Koch’s imagination is astoundingly unrestrained here. The worlds and their inhabitants are mind-boggling. And all need Kitty’s particular brand of left-handed help. Her solutions are terrific and Kitty and her tightly-bonded group not only solve the various world problems with aplomb, but make lasting friendships as well.

What is desperately needed now, especially with Koch hard at work on volume seventeen, is a compendium/companion volume. Who is related to whom, what their skills are, the worlds we have visited so far and the structure of the various ruling classes of the numerous planets and systems…the bad guys and the good.  There are so many characters in the mix now, it is hard to remember who is who and how they are involved/related…

Nevertheless, seriously, this is one of my favorites of the whole series.

Wait ‘til you meet Cradus and Spehidon and…Super Bun! ~~ Sue Martin

For more books in the Alien series click here
For more books by Gini Koch click here

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