Wednesday, 17 July 2013
Alien Blue - DeAnna Knippling
Title: Alien Blue
Author: DeAnna Knippling
The Book Depository
“Alien Blue” by DeAnna Knippling is a rather complex Science Fiction story that tries to incorporate elements of humour in a manner reminiscent of Douglas Adams. The plot itself followed the arrival in a small New Mexico town of an alien (inside a human surrogate) called Anam. His arrival unveils a potential conspiracy by his fellow aliens who are trying to convert all of mankind into their surrogates. When bar owner Bill Trout is pushed into hiding Anam from his fellow aliens, he soon finds himself at the centre of a storm in which he is unsure on who is now alien controlled and who isn’t.
To be honest I went into this book with high hopes, it sounded interesting and I have enjoyed many other humour-centric science-fiction novels. However, it just felt flat to me and I didn’t actually find much in the story to make me laugh and overall it was actually a rather dark story at times. That isn’t to say the plot itself isn’t intriguing or creative because besides the rather generic invasion of the body-snatchers premise there were some rather interesting elements to the story and a very complex and twisting plot. The use of the blue beer that is alluded to in the title is also something I hadn’t seen before and was completely different to what I was expecting which was a pleasant surprise.
Unfortunately there are various issues with the plot beyond the lack of humour, the first of which is that it appears to start mid-story. As I read the initial chapters it basically felt like I was reading a sequel with references and comments that didn’t make much sense to me. For example, I still don’t understand how Bill Trout seemed to just quickly reach a conclusion that Anam was an alien due to some clicking noises. There was no reference or reasoning from what I had read up to that point to explain why someone would think of aliens.
Another issue is the rather large amount of characters that the reader is subjected to, all of which seem to be referred to in different manners as the story progresses. Sometimes it is by their surnames and the next it will be by their forename. This just led to me getting slightly confused at times as this big ensemble cast and complex, twisting plot line were hard to keep on top of. It just meant that the various deaths, alien control elements and other attempts at dramatic moments didn’t really wow me as I had spent too much effort trying to understand what was actually happening.
Finally, the ending itself was a disappointment to me as it just left to many open ends and didn’t really conclude anything of importance. With all the effort I had put in to try and follow the plot I was not happy to see that I didn't get any proper reward.
Overall I am a little bit split on this novel, the creative elements were quite interesting to follow and I think there is an entertaining story at its core. However, for a book that was meant to be based on humour, I failed to find it funny and the various other issues highlighted above meant that I didn’t find myself fully enjoying the reading experience. To be honest, I am in two minds now about if I want to read the sequel as I would like to see if any of the loose ends are tied up but I am not sure I want to put the effort in to try and unravel what may be another highly complex and meandering story.