Saturday, July 7, 2012

REVIEW: Gini Koch's Alien Diplomacy

Book: Alien Diplomacy

Author: Gini Koch

Series: Katherine "Kitty" Katt

Publishing stats: April 3rd 2012 by DAW (USA)

Genre: Science Fiction

Cover Blurb: Being newlyweds and new parents is challenging enough. But Jeff and Kitty Martini are also giving up their roles as super-being exterminators and Commanders in Centaurion Division while mastering the political landscape as the new heads of Centaurion's Diplomatic Corps. Enter a shadowy assassination plot and a new set of anti-alien conspirators, and nothing will ever be the same...

First line: “Missus Martini, can you please explain the proper way to greet a visiting dignitary from China when you are also in the company of dignitaries from Japan, Russia, Thailand, and Bangladesh?”

What I liked: What I've always loved most about this series is its humour. Whether Kitty is thinking through the evil plot, changing diapers, or chatting it up with the Big Bad there's always a sardonic and ironic tone that can't be missed. Of particular amusement is the interaction between Kitty and her uncle-in-law, former Pontifex Richard White. Imagine Mel Brooks' take on a retired James Bond partnered with a female Deadpool, up the sarcasm to eleven, and you've got a pretty good idea on how this partnership works and, damn, but its funny.

What I didn’t like: I think the past books spoiled me because this book...well, with everyone being shuffled about job-wise, there just wasn't as much interaction with the secondary characters as I'd come accustomed to. I was disappointed. In the previous book, Ms. Koch has done a remarkable job balancing page time between established friends and family and new characters, both good and bad. A lot of Diplomacy, however, was given over to the new with what felt like mere glimpses slipped in of such beloved characters as Reader, Christopher, Lorraine and Claudia. Not that the new characters weren't awesome - Olga and Senator Macmillan in particular were fantastic - but I regretted not having the banter and interaction I'd come accustomed to in the past books.

Overall: If I had to sum up the overall theme of this book with one word, it would be frustrated. The characters were frustrated on several levels. The transition into their new roles rough and awkward; everyone realized the necessity and accepted the responsibilities their new jobs entailed, but between trying to live up to expectations of one kind or another and dealing with the actual demands of their jobs the overall impression was that they'd run away screaming if they could. The Bad Guy Plot was largely unknown resulting in, you guessed it, frustration. Multiple assassination attempts, the appearance of several poorly disguised strangers and clues and hints that only lead to questions and no answers only add to the frustration. I honestly have no idea if this is a good or a bad thing - I guess it depends on the reader. Personally, this was not my favourite in the series but it was by no means a bad book, quite the contrary in fact.

Would I read this author again:
Yes - there has yet to be a book in this series that has not made me laugh and, really, what's not to be loved about that?

My rating: ♥♥♥/5

To purchase the book for yourself, you can find it at,,, or The Book Depository. Enjoy!

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