A humanoid but catlike alien crashes near Sedona, Arizona, and attempts to make first contact with humans in Korolev’s SF novel.
Kedi M’Tschaka is a Mehari alien scientist whose craft falls to Earth—a planet that the Mehari call “Tellus.” He heads to nearby New Age hotspot Sedona, where the apparently spaced-out inhabitants are open to the notion of extraterrestrials. The alien, whose features resemble a feline’s, finds shelter with a mystical books–and-crystal retailer named Crystal Hopkins and her conservative Christian boyfriend, Dennis Parker. They both try to help the leonine creature fix his ship and get back to his home planet. However, Kedi doesn’t realize that his accident was deliberately arranged by rogue members of the Confederation of Planets to force a first-contact situation on Earth; otherwise, these members believe, humanity will fall victim to its own self-destructive, ecologically destructive ways—and become prey for the Apacians, the bulbous-headed, big-eyed gray aliens of Roswell lore, who covet humanity’s real estate and DNA. A more immediate menace, however, is a squad of power- and glory-hungry American soldiers attached to a secret “Majestic” unit that routinely covers up the existence of aliens. The author’s tone strikes some comic notes—allergies to cats recur, for instance—and fans will appreciate shoutouts to Larry Niven’s feline star-warriors, the Kzinti, and author Dean Koontz. An intriguing subplot explores the notion that, as a second-class male citizen in a matriarchal race, Kedi has hefty cultural baggage that he carries along with him. Too often, though, the narrative lapses into strident denunciations of the military-industrial complex and the corrupt authorities who suppress the truth about alien spacecraft. There are also admiring tributes to real-life author Richard C. Hoagland and MUFON, aka the Mutual UFO Network, who study alleged sightings of UFOs. Overall, it will be literary catnip for paranormal-podcast disciples.
Flighty alien antics featuring action, humor, and a saucerful of UFO–conspiracy theories.