I first saw an ad for this book on Blackfive.net and thought this novel looked interesting – yet another book about what would happen if aliens tried to take over the world. Since I am a sucker for that kind of TEOTWAWKI no matter what the genre – aliens, zombies, nukes, plagues, I gave this a second look.
I am glad I did.
To Defend the Earth (TDE) uses a different technique to tell the story of an alien invasion. The chapters are arranged chronologically with the discovery, preparation for, and initial battles with the alien invaders. Each chapter, however, is written from the perspective of a different person and with a different plot focus. Sounds like something that wouldn’t work well, but the varying backgrounds and chapter focuses mesh together very well.
My favorite chapter is the first – Presidential Briefing, where the new incoming president learns of all the new threat and determining how to prepare. It is a good summary of how we might discover incoming alien vessels, determine their intentions, and how leaders might react to the news.
Close behind, chapter six – The French Interrogator’s Alien details how a intelligence officer builds a relationship with a captured alien. The interplay between the human and alien is very fresh and funny at times, and the best “crossing the cultural divide” dialogue I have read in a while.
I would love to tell more about some of my other favorite sections of the book, and a few of my minor criticisms (like using nuclear weapons for propulsion), but to speak too much more would start to really spoil the book’s outcome. This is far from the B- grade story your wallet fears wasting money on. So ask your library for it or go to Amazon and buy, as I did. You won’t regret it!