Saturday, January 16, 2016

Kindle Spotlight -- The Spaceship Next Door

Today we have a recent novel from Gene Doucette: The Spaceship Next Door.
The story takes place in Sorrow Falls, Massachusetts. One day, a mysterious spaceship touches down in a field. The sleepy town immediately becomes the center of attention as the government tries to get a handle on this unexpected development.
Flash forward three years. The ship has simply sat idle all this time, and has become a fixture of Sorrow Falls. 16-year-old Annie Collins has accepted this and currently lives a quiet life in the town with her mother. One day, however, a reporter named Ed Somerville comes to town to supposedly do a story on the ship (or "Shippie" as Annie and her friend Violet call it). Except it becomes obvious to everyone that this guy's no reporter and he's actually working with the military. Nevertheless, an intrigued Annie agrees to show him around town so he can interview the colorful residents.
But as Ed and Annie get to work, strange events begin taking place. For one thing, dead people are spotted roaming the town, accosting locals and asking the ominous question "Are you?" Annie suspects Ed knows more than he's telling, but he's reluctant to divulge any further details. As the apparent zombie attacks increase in frequency and intensity, Annie presses Ed to reveal what he knows. But she may not be ready for the shocking truth.
The Spaceship Next Door is a witty and refreshing take on the alien invasion idea. Annie is a wise-cracking teenager with a well-developed sense of humor, and the quirky residents of Sorrow Falls help to bolster the comedy in this story. Furthermore, Doucette has done a fine job of realizing his world; this feels like a real town with real people.
But for all its levity, Annie's situation ultimately turns out to be very serious because of something I won't spoil here. I think Doucette handles this very well in the story.
Also, the nature of the aliens is smart and I certainly wasn't expecting it. Doucette should be commended for thinking outside the box on this one and giving us something other than your average malevolent extraterrestrials.
All in all, The Spaceship Next Door is a nice surprise.

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