(I thank Netgalley and Gilead Publishing for sending me the ARC in exchange for my honest review)
I’m nearly always interested by reading books about aliens, especially in everyday life, with a lot of practical details. In a way this book answered my wishes, in another it didn’t. Some points are never broached, or incidentally, as if of little interest, and it frustrated me while upsetting my need of coherence. That point, plus the lenght of a story that I found just about interesting, and the idea of mixing religion and faith in a very non European way (or what it felt like for me) made me stop this book at the half. The love story bored me too.
For the good points: the reading is easy, the main idea is good, the interactions between the main character are funny, verging on moving. Without my reluctance about the alien treatment I probably would have loved it. The background is fine, the idea of a begnin alien occupation is great, well exposed, with plenty of details; I really liked that aspect. The psychological incidence on the population is well thought too.
But I couldn’t understand the total lack of curiosity and information about aliens’ planets, aliens’ physiology, culture, language… And speaking about language, it was so weird to receive no explanation whatsoever about the fact that Nil – the alien – spoke English, or more so, was able to ear and speak at all. In fact he sounded very much like a foreigner dignitary (from India, America, Africa), perfectly instructed since a young age, speaking a precise and dignified English, a character from a romance or an old fashioned detective story. So, alien for his physical aspect, but not so much for his psychology.
I also found difficult the bear the narrator’s voice, most of the times. His systematic humour strongly reminded me of a sassy smartass teenager – while he must be about thirty something years old and is a sensitive, kind and cultivated man.
In the end a book I couldn’t recommend but won’t advise against it either. You probably will appreciate it if you like traditional banter between two reluctant associates, don’t mind about just outlined alien background, and are interested about a main character with a faith crisis caused by the coming out of intelligent aliens in our world (well, in the USA).