Saturday, May 25, 2024

I Hate It When Aliens Do That by Mark Cheverton

Happy Saturday! I just want to give everyone a heads-up that my posts are going to be a bit irregular the next days...although I'm going to try my best to keep things running as smoothly as possible. Our internet is down and won't be repaired until (earliest) end of next week...some fools climbed the poles and removed the wire (to sell the copper inside). This seems to be a problem in our area (rural) right now, and the companies have now decided to bury the lines instead. Which will take time (sigh). 

So, I'm taking runs into town, sitting at the local fast food places, and doing my best to hang in there until things are up and running again.

by Mark Cheverton
Middle Grade Science Fiction
198 pages
ages 8 to 12

New York Times Bestselling author of 28 novels...


Jimmy Turkelson, a relatively insignificant and always scared seventh grader, spends his days at Tower Middle School evading bullies and trying to avoid notice; a mouse hiding in the shadows when everyone feels like a cat. But when the Zanthoid spaceship lands outside his school, everything changes. It is the first wave of the attack. The aliens are invading so they can take every drop of water from Earth. Those who survive the unwinnable war will be left to perish on a barren wasteland after the Zanthoids finish stripping the planet of its resources. Only Jimmy, a collection of unusual friends, and a friendly alien named Gorgalsheef stand between the Zanthoid Empire and the destruction of Humanity. But when Jimmy comes face-to-face with the vicious alien commander, Kralwak, will he coward and run away, as Jimmy usually does, or will he stand and fight to save the world?




Aliens attacking the world is more than serious business, but even high stakes can be accompanied with giggles galore.

Jimmy is twelve-years-old and not exactly the most popular kid at school, but he does have a great fantasy and is determined to protect his eight-year-old sister no matter what…well, his mom would kill him if he didn’t, so that may not count. When a strange object falls from the sky and crashes into a lake near the school, odd things start happening.  The adults are acting more than strange, and his own teacher is rounding up all the kids together into rooms. Maybe, to cook them? After all, it is an alien invasion! It’s his job to save the world. Now, he just needs to figure out how and that with a rag-tag group of kids and an alien-escapee, and that while protecting his sister.

Imagination shifts into hyper-drive in this slightly ridiculous and oh-so-fast-paced read about a very unexpected alien invasion. The first pages/prologue set the tone as Jimmy introduces himself directly to the reader. He reveals that he’s in prison and gives a tiny bit of background to the entire situation. Then, the first chapter heads back in time and allows the reader to get a handle on Jimmy’s home and school life right before the aliens first land. There is a bit cliché introduction with Jimmy as the odd kid, who faces bullying and other school troubles, but that’s also where cliché ends.  

More than a few aliens are involved in the invasion, and each has its own appearance and qualities. There is a simple illustration of each alien as it appears in the story. These carry originality and hold a slightly humorous twist. This matches nicely to the tale’s atmosphere. While Jimmy and his friends face one unexpected moment after the other, every moment is also fun with quirky reactions and witty dialogue.

There are a few messages surrounding friendship, bullies, and pushing past one’s own comfort zone, but this read is mostly about fun.

Note: The flip-book is found only in the paper/hard copies of this novel. Ebook copies do include a link for those who want to see it...just digitally.

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