X-Files stuff, but with more gee whiz than shadowy brooding.



An adolescent finds an inquisitive alien one night and ends up on a hair-raising flying saucer ride. 

Terrio’s (Dinosaurs, 1994, etc.) sci-fi novel is a middle-grade/YA adventure whose narrative covers less than 24 hours. Paul Roberts is a 12-year-old boy in suburban Virginia whose dad does some elite work for the military (this becomes of crucial importance later). One night after an evening of space-battle video gaming, Paul awakens to a genuine E.T. in the family home. Calming the panicked Paul, the diminutive, slender male—mostly humanoid, except for catlike eyes—reveals that his name is Kilaah and he is simply curious about Earth and its people and will be taking a brief look around. Paul—who dubs the being EIBE, for Extraterrestrial Intelligent Biological Entity—talks the extraordinary visitor into giving him a ride on the requisite UFO parked nearby. While EIBE/Kilaah asks naive questions about human customs and speech, Paul gets a top-secret peek at astounding things that governments have been covering up for ages: the lost continent of Atlantis—humanity’s true origin—in ruins beneath the ocean, its power-source crystal still dangerously functioning, and a rival race of unfriendly reptilian aliens in triangular crafts monitoring the planet but with ill intentions. The story delivers more than just expository dialogue; very quickly, Paul, EIBE, and the flying saucer (which carries no fancy weapons) are in danger from human and E.T. threats alike. Readers hip to real-life pseudoscience/conspiracy literature will realize that Terrio makes up very little in this fast-paced tale, drawing from a wellspring of existing UFO folklore and terminology (“Fast-walker”). He takes such louche topics as cattle mutilations, alien abductions, and the whacked-out dream visions of cult figure Edgar Cayce and weaves the threads of supermarket tabloids into a coherent whole (somewhat better than many of the genre’s “nonfiction” authors do). Results can either be taken as a breezy and surprisingly heartfelt first-contact escapade for tween and teen readers or (cue scary theremin music) a novel-as-propaganda tool meant to persuade youngsters not normally equipped for critical thinking into believing all those entity encounters that author Whitley Strieber goes on about. But it’s hard to get mad at a raffish narrative that can’t resist a shoutout to the Tim Burton spectacle Mars Attacks!  

X-Files stuff, but with more gee whiz than shadowy brooding.

Pub Date: June 24, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-983253-28-7

Page Count: 201

Publisher: Time Tunnel Media

Review Posted Online: Nov. 11, 2018

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A first novel, this is also a first person account of Scout's (Jean Louise) recall of the years that led to the ending of a mystery, the breaking of her brother Jem's elbow, the death of her father's enemy — and the close of childhood years. A widower, Atticus raises his children with legal dispassion and paternal intelligence, and is ably abetted by Calpurnia, the colored cook, while the Alabama town of Maycomb, in the 1930's, remains aloof to their divergence from its tribal patterns. Scout and Jem, with their summer-time companion, Dill, find their paths free from interference — but not from dangers; their curiosity about the imprisoned Boo, whose miserable past is incorporated in their play, results in a tentative friendliness; their fears of Atticus' lack of distinction is dissipated when he shoots a mad dog; his defense of a Negro accused of raping a white girl, Mayella Ewell, is followed with avid interest and turns the rabble whites against him. Scout is the means of averting an attack on Atticus but when he loses the case it is Boo who saves Jem and Scout by killing Mayella's father when he attempts to murder them. The shadows of a beginning for black-white understanding, the persistent fight that Scout carries on against school, Jem's emergence into adulthood, Calpurnia's quiet power, and all the incidents touching on the children's "growing outward" have an attractive starchiness that keeps this southern picture pert and provocative. There is much advance interest in this book; it has been selected by the Literary Guild and Reader's Digest; it should win many friends.

Pub Date: July 11, 1960

ISBN: 0060935464

Page Count: 323

Publisher: Lippincott

Review Posted Online: Oct. 7, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 1960

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While a few weeks ago it seemed as if Praeger would have a two month lead over Dutton in their presentation of this Soviet best seller, both the "authorized" edition (Dutton's) and the "unauthorized" (Praeger's) will appear almost simultaneously. There has been considerable advance attention on what appears to be as much of a publishing cause celebre here as the original appearance of the book in Russia. Without entering into the scrimmage, or dismissing it as a plague on both your houses, we will limit ourselves to a few facts. Royalties from the "unauthorized" edition will go to the International Rescue Committee; Dutton with their contracted edition is adhering to copyright conventions. The Praeger edition has two translators and one of them is the translator of Doctor Zhivago Dutton's translator, Ralph Parker, has been stigmatized by Praeger as "an apologist for the Soviet regime". To the untutored eye, the Dutton translation seems a little more literary, the Praeger perhaps closer to the rather primitive style of the original. The book itself is an account of one day in the three thousand six hundred and fifty three days of the sentence to be served by a carpenter, Ivan Denisovich Shukhov. (Solzhenitsyn was a political prisoner.) From the unrelenting cold without, to the conditions within, from the bathhouse to the latrine to the cells where survival for more than two weeks is impossible, this records the hopeless facts of existence as faced by thousands who went on "living like this, with your eyes on the ground". The Dutton edition has an excellent introduction providing an orientation on the political background to its appearance in Russia by Marvin Kalb. All involved in its publication (translators, introducers, etc.) claim for it great "artistic" values which we cannot share, although there is no question of its importance as a political and human document and as significant and tangible evidence of the de-Stalinization program.

Pub Date: June 15, 1963

ISBN: 0451228146

Page Count: 181

Publisher: Praeger

Review Posted Online: Oct. 5, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 1963

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