Midwest Book Review
Review of Aliens Got My Sally, by D. Donovan, Senior Reviewer
If this book’s unusual and eye-catching title Aliens Got My Sally isn’t indication enough that the story will go far beyond the usual alien abduction piece, its subtitle should cement this anticipation: UFO Pulp Fiction for the Modern Mind. With these two elements in mind, readers embark on a romp through a strange world where aliens are just one of the oddities of life:
QUANTUM BIOLOGIST SALLY JACOBS will discover how freaky the universe can be when a corner of it opens up and swallows her whole. That won’t be because she took a few minutes at the campus café, or because that made her late to observe tonight’s lunar eclipse with a friend. It won’t necessarily be because she follows this deserted shortcut to avoid the shadowed parking lot where carousing fratboys smash car windows, or because of the towering rebreathers that roar against urine-tinted sky. Sally’s fate will unfold in part because four out of five infants on this overheated planet are born dead, because half of all humanity goes to bed starving, and because like everyone else, she wears a breather mask to keep the poisoned atmosphere from killing her.”
The premise is simple: if intelligent life in the cosmos develops only infrequently, how can it expand to embrace the universe? Theories about space travelers who have influenced mankind’s development abound; but Aliens Got My Sally takes matters a step further by adding multiple dimensions, technological promises, and expanding intelligence networks into the equation of two friends and their universe-changing experience.
One doesn’t expect a thread of humor to run through hard science fiction, but a sense of play is definitely here from the start as biologist Sally’s abduction places her in a situation that contrasts her experience with ironic observation:
Clouded in incandescence, Sally tries to retreat. But when she finds herself unable to move, paralyzing fear rises to choking terror. She vanishes from the ordinary universe, along with the green-eyed raccoon and every living bacterium within 20 meters, hating, hating, hating it that her only part in this cosmic discovery is that of the screaming blonde.”
The novel is billed as speculative fiction, but to try to cast it in a particular genre is to negate its unique originality and voice. Aliens Got My Sally sizzles with elements of intrigue, a host of characters who hold their own special interests and objectives, and aliens who are not too far off from human beings in some ways, while impossibly distant in others. And what’s Sally’s near-genius friend Anna doing investigating an alien mine shaft in hopes of making discoveries she’s not sure she actually wants to consider, anyway?
As Anna works, her mind races to a dead certainty, that millions of years ago visitors from the stars landed on Earth to do a little prospecting. She sees the driving forces that brought her to this place and to this moment, fashioned from a dozen scattered parts. She knows they’re long gone, those excavators from a spacefaring culture, but her hindbrain has her scared witless because she does not want to meet anything strange. Not alone, not down here in the dark. Please.”
As Anna and Sally uncover secrets of the universe’s nature – such as the fact that consciousness is reality’s glue – readers receive a healthy dose of science, humor, action and intrigue, and fuzzy and unfuzzy logic as alien captors and their own contrary natures coalesce into a vivid, engrossing read that’s hard to put down and impossible to predict. In this world, one woman’s abduction is just the opener to a journey that holds promise for all mankind.
Fans of speculative fiction, sci-fi, alien abduction, first contact epics, humor, and literature will all find much to like in the refreshingly wry and compellingly original story Aliens Got My Sally, which traces not only Anna and Sally’s shared awakening, but the key decision they’re faced with: Can they reveal their overwhelming discoveries without a degenerate world order hindering all that humankind could become?
D. Donovan, Senior Reviewer, Midwest Book Review April 2017