For years I have heard the saying, “Do not judge a book by its cover.” This is something I thought I had adopted as a way of life, and yet for years I was making a judgment on not just a book, but a series of books, based not just on the covers, but on the titles. For that all I have to say is SHAME ON ME!!!
Touched By An Alien is the first story published in 2010 by Phoenix author Gini Koch. It is also the first in a series of the Katherine “Kitty” Kat Alien novels. The minimum recommended age for reading this is 17 years. Oddly enough the recommended MAXIMUM age for this book is also 17. To that I say “PSHAW!!!”
The book introduces us to Katherine “Kitty” Kat (and as the book almost immediately says, her parents have a sense of humor), and from the moment we meet her we are off and running! In short order she is introduced to, what would make some conspiracy theorists stand up and shout “I told you so,” a government cover-up that Aliens have been, for the most part, co-existing peacefully with humans on Earth for some time. She learns that these peaceful Aliens are all drop-dead gorgeous, super athletic, and some are gifted with special talents allowing them to perform covert operations in defending the planet against threats, not only from outer space, but on Earth as well.
Koch takes what some might view as a daring risk by telling the stories in the first person. However, in doing so she only helps to make this book an incredible read. Koch is admittedly a pop-culture guru, and in telling the story in first person she is able to insert many of her favorite pop-culture references (ranging from rock music such as Aerosmith and The Ramones, all the way to hilarious comments about Scooby-Doo) that serves to help flesh out Kitty into a fully realized character. There have also been so many sci-fi novels in the past that require for the reader to have a full understanding of the universe the story takes place in and therefore performs what I call the “info dump.” We get none of that here. There is some level of “world building” that is being done however seeing everything through Kitty’s eyes allows us to learn about this bigger world (and bigger universe) at the same time as she’s learning about it. We get to grow with the central character, and as she becomes emotionally invested in other characters and her ever changing surroundings we get the enormous pleasure of sharing that ride with her.
Another flaw that I have found with so many books is that sometimes it takes a few chapters in order to set its players in place for the story to effectively take off. Touched By An Alien does not do this. It seriously hits the ground running and within the first few pages of the first chapter I found myself so engaged in the book, both with its humor and exciting adventure, that I could not put it down.
The book does contain some highly sexual moments so it is best that this be read by someone who is at least a young adult, otherwise Touched By An Alien is something that I would recommend to anyone who enjoys fast and fun science fiction adventure with a healthy sense of humor and plenty of pop culture jokes.
Touched By An Alien is available in the iTunes store as well as Amazon.com in both print and for the Kindle. Also, if you’re interested, we here at TGGeeks had the pleasure of interviewing Koch for our show and you can find it at TGGeeks Webcast Episode 7.