Bolide Publishing Limited released S. E. Anderson’s debut comical sci-fi novel, Starstruck, on May 4. While the story was enjoyable and interesting, it felt like the author couldn’t decide between being humorous or deep.
In this novel, which is the first of a series, Sally is a sci-fi fanatic who’s failing at life until she discovers that aliens are real. She takes to the news surprisingly well and Zander the alien gives her life purpose by inviting her on the quest to find a missing ship before its owners blow the earth to smithereens. Can a woman who failed so devastatingly at being human become an asset to Earth by saving it from annihilation?
This book had fun moments. There were a lot of references to other sci-fi fandoms and the author created an interesting story line. However, while parts of the story were silly with nonsense, other parts felt like Anderson was trying to make a more meaningful point. It left the story feeling a little imbalanced.
Most of the characters were well-developed, but Zander and Blayde felt a little 2-dimensional. I realize they were aliens, but I felt like they could have used more depth. Sally, on the other hand, felt well-rounded and human.
I received this book in exchange for a review, so I’m not sure if I got an early draft, but there were a lot of missing articles such as “a” or “the.” There was also an entire chapter where a single androgynous alien was referred to as “they” which is a plural pronoun. I thought my head was going to explode. I kept thinking, “does the alien have two separately thinking and speaking heads?” Nope. Just an improperly used pronoun. I know this kind of stuff won’t bother a lot of readers, but as an English major, it gets under my skin.
Overall, this wasn’t a bad story. The plot was well thought out and characters were likable. If you enjoy sci-fi with a sense of humor, you might like this series. Just be aware that emotions tend to jump around a bit and you might have to overlook some grammatical errors.
3 out of 5 stars