A light, fun sci-fi tale set in a world that’s worth revisiting.



Debut novelists Todd and Tim Wynn offer a fun, immersive sci-fi romp about aliens on Earth and the government agencies that deal with them.

In this story, aliens who come to Earth illegally are a regular problem. Sometimes they’re just tourists, and if they abduct someone, it’s only to create a vaccine to help them adapt to Earth’s environment. They also hide their ships and appear human—even if they sometimes have odd traits, such as pupils that look like bow ties. Stewart Faulkner and his team at a misleadingly named government agency called the Limestone Deposit Survey Group are charged with finding these trespassers, and they often confiscate their ships until they can pay the necessary fines. The group includes a technology expert named Gregory “Web” Webster, some muscle known as the New Guy, and a new recruit named Mindy Craddock. As the story opens on Mindy’s first day, they meet aliens who are definitely not tourists. These trespassers are part of a scout team that helps prepare sites for royal visits, and they’re trying to find a young woman named Sara, who’s lost her memory. The Royal Expeditionary Armada, Unit 4, is led by the capable Dexim and his sister, Lyntic, and also includes tech specialist Tobi and junior member Jin. Complicating everyone’s missions is Karl Bruner from the Alien Research Agency, another governmental group charged with proving the existence of aliens. The fact that the government runs agencies for both hiding and revealing UFOs is just one of the amusing quirks of the Wynn brothers’ book. Readers may make comparisons to the Men in Black movie franchise, but the similarities fade as the action progresses and each character develops. Outwardly, at least, there are no villains in this story; it’s a comedy of misunderstandings that’s well-plotted and filled with oddball characters, both human and alien. Perhaps the authors didn’t fully trust their own handiwork, as they include a list of character descriptions and a glossary that are hardly necessary. Overall, the prose is clear and never confusing, even with the large cast and extensive back stories.

A light, fun sci-fi tale set in a world that’s worth revisiting.

Pub Date: Oct. 18, 2014

ISBN: 978-1502804341

Page Count: 344

Publisher: CreateSpace

Review Posted Online: May 9, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2015

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A thrilling and satisfying sequel to the 1969 classic.


Over 50 years after an extraterrestrial microbe wiped out a small Arizona town, something very strange has appeared in the Amazon jungle in Wilson’s follow-up to Crichton’s The Andromeda Strain.

The microparticle's introduction to Earth in 1967 was the disastrous result of an American weapons research program. Before it could be contained, Andromeda killed all but two people in tiny Piedmont, Arizona; during testing after the disaster, AS-1 evolved and escaped into the atmosphere. Project Eternal Vigilance was quickly set up to scan for any possible new outbreaks of Andromeda. Now, an anomaly with “signature peaks” closely resembling the original Andromeda Strain has been spotted in the heart of the Amazon, and a Wildfire Alert is issued. A diverse team is assembled: Nidhi Vedala, an MIT nanotechnology expert born in a Mumbai slum; Harold Odhiambo, a Kenyan xenogeologist; Peng Wu, a Chinese doctor and taikonaut; Sophie Kline, a paraplegic astronaut and nanorobotics expert based on the International Space Station; and, a last-minute addition, roboticist James Stone, son of Dr. Jeremy Stone from The Andromeda Strain. They must journey into the deepest part of the jungle to study and hopefully contain the dire threat that the anomaly seemingly poses to humanity. But the jungle has its own dangers, and it’s not long before distrust and suspicion grip the team. They’ll need to come together to take on what waits for them inside a mysterious structure that may not be of this world. Setting the story over the course of five days, Wilson (Robopocalypse, 2011, etc.) combines the best elements of hard SF novels and techno-thrillers, using recovered video, audio, and interview transcripts to shape the narrative, with his own robotics expertise adding flavor and heft. Despite a bit of acronym overload, this is an atmospheric and often terrifying roller-coaster ride with (literally) sky-high stakes that pays plenty of homage to The Andromeda Strain while also echoing the spirit and mood of Crichton’s other works, such as Jurassic Park and Congo. Add more than a few twists and exciting set pieces (especially in the finale) to the mix, and you’ve got a winner.

A thrilling and satisfying sequel to the 1969 classic.

Pub Date: Nov. 12, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-06-247327-1

Page Count: 384

Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Nov. 25, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2019

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A kicky, kinky, wildly inventive 21st-century mashup with franker language and a higher body count than Hamlet.

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Manic parodist Moore, fresh off a season in 1947 San Francisco (Noir, 2018), returns with a rare gift for Shakespeare fans who think A Midsummer Night’s Dream would be perfect if only it were a little more madcap.

Cast adrift by pirates together with his apprentice, halfwit giant Drool, and Jeff, his barely less intelligent monkey, Pocket of Dog Snogging upon Ouze, jester to the late King Lear, washes ashore in Shakespeare’s Athens, where Cobweb, a squirrel by day and fairy by night, takes him under her wing and other parts. Soon after he encounters Robin Goodfellow (the Puck), jester to shadow king Oberon, and Nick Bottom and the other clueless mechanicals rehearsing Pyramus and Thisby in a nearby forest before they present it in celebration of the wedding of Theseus, Duke of Athens, to Hippolyta, the captive Amazon queen who’s captured his heart, Pocket (The Serpent of Venice, 2014, etc.) finds Robin fatally shot by an arrow. Suspected briefly of the murder himself, he’s commissioned, first by Hippolyta, then by the unwitting Theseus, to identify the Puck’s killer. Oh, and Egeus, the Duke’s steward, wants him to find and execute Lysander, who’s run off with Egeus’ daughter, Hermia, instead of marrying Helena, who’s in love with Demetrius. As English majors can attest, a remarkable amount of this madness can already be found in Shakespeare’s play. Moore’s contribution is to amp up the couplings, bawdy language, violence, and metatextual analogies between the royals, the fairies, the mechanicals, his own interloping hero, and any number of other plays by the Bard.

A kicky, kinky, wildly inventive 21st-century mashup with franker language and a higher body count than Hamlet.

Pub Date: May 12, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-06-243402-9

Page Count: 288

Publisher: Morrow/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Feb. 9, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2020

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