Book Review: Aliens Abroad by Gini Koch

Posted May 25, 2022 by Kathy Davie in Book Reviews / 0 Comments

Book Review: Aliens Abroad by Gini Koch

I received this book for free from my own shelves in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Aliens Abroad by Gini Koch
Genres: Action, Adventure, Humorous, Science Fiction
Published by DAW on February 6, 2018
Pages: 651
Format: eBook
Source: my own shelves

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Also by this author: Alien Collective, Universal Alien, Alien in Chief, Alien Nation, Camp Alien, Alien Education

Sixteenth in the Katherine “Kitty” Katt hilarious science fiction, romantic fantasy series and revolving around the really expanded family and friends of Kitty Katt-Martini.

My Take

A chunk of the start is spent in catching us up in the series: the number of aliens who are refugees on Earth from various galactic wars, Jeff is president of the US, ACE resides in Jamie, Lizzie’s parents and current “parent”, all the other multi-verses with their own Jamies, Kittys, etc.

Koch uses first-person protagonist point-of-view from Kitty’s perspective, which exposes us to Kitty’s superpowers, as she confronts pride, revenge, and greed as she goes about saving various planets and their peoples with Kitty making friends everywhere she goes. It’s all that acceptance she’s got going on, seeing everyone as people. Wouldn’t it be great if we could see everyone that way. It’s also why Mother put Kitty on Communications.

I love that Kitty is so ticked off with the superconsciousnesses and gets a really amazing bargain.

Action Girl Kitty is all about sentient beings being people no matter what they look like, moves to music, and gets plenty of hints about what to do (or not) from Algar. She’s not the only action however. Her core group sees plenty, and Mother keeps everyone on board hopping as well.

Yep, it’s still funny, but omigod, Koch has really leapt into fantasy-sci fi land on this one. And her glee about her FLOTUS super power started to become annoying, even if it was fun!

That about-face from Mephistopheles is hard to wrap my brain around.

Kitty is practical, requiring ten times the number of bathrooms the guys think are necessary for the spaceship. Good thing, since there are way more passengers than anyone ever expected — thanks to a couple of young’uns!

Ooh, I love that power source for the Distant Voyager! If only we could get it to work on our cars, lol.

It’s a tour of parts of the galaxy and a long voyage of encountering hostile planets with violent populations, rescuing others, and gathering allies. SuperBun’s planet is quite the oddity, although Helix Prime does give it a run for its money. I like the idea of it being a tourist destination, lol.

The prose is running with plenty of slang, and positive Kitty is mother, superpower, and snark fest, lol. The politicians along for the ride are not positive with lots of whining. The kids are gleeful. Mother is dictatorial until Kitty has had a chance to work her wiles on her.

What can I say, it’s fun, humorous, and has lots of gadgets — the way to my heart, lol

The Story

The Distant Voyager is a huge achievement for the US, for the world, a ship that can explore the galaxy. It’s at the ship’s christening that everything goes wrong.

That’ll teach Kitty to promise Jamie and Charlie a vacation! Especially when Ixtha tells everyone the fate of the galaxy is at stake.

The Characters

Katherine “Kitty” Katt is married to Jeff Martini, a gorgeous alien from the Alpha Centauri system. She’s also the First Lady of the United States, Queen Regent of Earth for the Annocusal Royal Empire, the Galactic Delegate representing Earth on the Galactic Council, and known as the Warrior Queen Shealla on Beta Eight. She also has Dr Doolittle skills. Harlie and Poofikins are two of her Poofs. Duchess is Kitty’s pet pit bull. Charles Reynolds has been Kitty’s best friend since ninth grade, is the smartest guy in the room, and is the current director of the CIA.

Jeff, an American citizen, is now the president of the United States. Their gifted children include the six-year-old Jamie with telekinetic, telepathic, and empathic Gifts and is the host for Fairy Godfather ACE, a superconsciousness returned to Kitty and the A-Cs through Naomi “Auntie Mimi” Gower-Reynolds‘ sacrifice (she’d been married to Charles, and Jamie is her goddaughter). Mous-Mous is Jamie’s Poof. Their two-year-old Charlie is also telekinetic. Mine is his Poof, lol, although Murphy also signs on.

Sixteen-year-old Lizzie (Alien in Chief, 12) is their ward; Fofo is Lizzie’s Poof. Benjamin Siler, a highly trained assassin with his own gifts, is Lizzie’s adoptive father and the current American Centaurion Defense Attaché.

Nadine Alexis is their live-in nanny. Francis Alexis, Nadine’s sister, is Kitty’s double; Craig Rossi, an A-C, is Jeff’s double. Colette Alexis, another sister, is Kitty’s press secretary. All three Alexises and Craig are Troubadours. “Uncle” Pierre is the White House majordomo and Kitty’s fashion consultant. Rajnish Singh is the chief of staff and an A-C troubadour. Vance Beaumont is Kitty’s chief of staff. Akiko is the fashion designer who makes all of Kitty’s clothes.

Walter Ward, an A-C, is the head of White House Security and Malcom Buchanan, a.k.a. Dr Strange, is Walter’s boss, the head of Team Tough Guys, and assigned to protect Kitty and Jamie (Alien Diplomacy, 5). Colonel John Butler and Cameron Maurer are part of Team Tough Guys. Len Parker, Kyle Constantine, Evalyne, and Phoebe are part of Kitty’s Secret Service detail. Keith is the head of Jamie’s Secret Service detail that includes Joseph and Rob?? Dr Tito Hernandez is the inventive White House Physician (Alien in the Family, 3).

Mom, Angela Katt, former Mossad, is the head of the Presidential Terrorism Control Unit (PTCU); Sol Katt is Kitty’s dad. Uncle Mort is the head of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Brigadier General Marvin Hamlin is good at spotting conspiracies.

Kevin, Mom’s right-hand, and Denise Lewis have two children: twelve-year-old Raymond and Rachel. Denise is in charge of the embassy daycare. Doreen, an A-C, and Irving (a total science nerd) Coleman-Weisman have a son, Ezra. Nancy Maurer is caring for her grandchildren thirteen-year-old Chase/Chance and Cassidy.

Secretary of Education Marcia Kramer had been married to Zachary Kramer (Alien Education, 15). Marcia’s kids include Mason, Maverick and her stepson Clinton. Nathalie (Alien Diplomacy, 5) is the Secretary of Transportation. Elaine Armstrong is the previous president’s widow and the current Secretary of State; Vince had been her husband. Evander Horn had been the head of Alien Affairs at the FBI and is now Secretary of Homeland Security. Carlos Garcia is the Attorney General. Alvin Wong is Secretary of Agriculture. Jessica Freeman is Secretary of Housing and Urban Development. Murray Moskowitz is Secretary of Energy. Jordan Harris is the Secretary of Treasury. Scott Davis is the Secretary of Interior. Jack Gibson is the Secretary of Veteran Affairs. Ernesto Iriarte is Secretary of Labor. Julie Cruz is Secretary of Health and Human Services. Fritz Hochberg is the vice-president. Caroline Chase, another of Kitty’s besties, is the aide to Senator Donald McMillan, Arizona’s senior senator.

These Alpha Centaurions were . . .
. . . exiled to Earth for their religious beliefs. Kitty calls the female A-Cs the Dazzlers because they’re so gorgeous and brilliant and are more interested in men with brains than looks.

Christopher White is Jeff’s cousin and married to Amy. They have two kids: Becky and Jeffrey (JR) Richard. Toby is Christopher’s Poof. Terry had been Christopher’s mother. Alfred and Lucinda Martini are Jeff’s parents. Sylvia and Marianne are Jeff’s sisters. Stanley and Erika Gower had been Naomi’s parents. Jonathan. Twelve-year-old Kimberly Price is another of the kids. Paul Gower, Jeff’s cousin, was a dream reader and the A-C Head of Recruitment, although he’s now the A-C’s Supreme Pontifex. Richard White is the former Pontifex and is Kitty’s partner. Serene Dwyer, a closet troubadour, is the A-C Head of Imageering and the head of the secret A-C version of the CIA. She’s married to a human, Brian Dwyer, an astronaut and an old boyfriend of Kitty’s. William Ward, Walter’s older brother and an imageer, is the Head of Security for all of American Centaurion and is based at the Dulce Science Center in New Mexico. The late Gladys Gower had been the original head of security. Melissa “Missy” Gunnels does security at Sydney Base. Viola, Carmine, and Romeo are the head of security? at Caliente Base. Camilla is a rare A-C who can lie naturally; she’s married to Rhee.

Abigail Gower-Tucker and Mahin Sherazi (she is a hybrid with earth bender power; Alien in Chief) are Embassy Cultural attachées. Clarence “the Clone” Valentino is Stephanie’s father but allied with Kitty and company. Sidney and Louise Valentino are siblings.

The critters include . . .
. . . Peregrines who are Alpha Four Attack Peacocks on Steroids who can blend and protect the A-C royal family on Alpha Centauri and on Earth. Bruno and his mate, Lola, are Kitty’s peregrines. George and Gracie are Walter’s peregrines; Teddy is Walter’s Poof. The Poofs, brought by Algar, are cute, cuddly furballs who can get large and in-charge. Ginger is an ocellar and Wilbur is a pig-dog from Beta Eight (Alien Research, 8). The least weasels, the royal mascots of Algarria, are the newest addition.

Hacker International is . . .
. . . a group of computer hackers with Awesome Geek Skills, hired to do the government’s dirty work. Their leader is Stryker Dane, a.k.a. Eddy Simms, Big George Lecroix, Dr Henry Wu, Ravi “the Geek” Gaekwad (he’s married to Jennifer Barone, an A-C), and Yuri Stansilav, a.k.a. Omega Red. Chernobog is the world’s top hacker, and while part of the group, is actually under house arrest. Jeremy Barone is Jennifer’s brother.

Olga Dalca is the wheelchair-bound wife of the Romanian ambassador; Adriana is her granddaughter to whom she is teaching everything she knew as a spy.

The Distant Voyager is . . .
. . . Earth’s first inter-galactic spaceship and designed by Gustav Drax (Alien in Chief), a self-exiled Prince of Vatusus where they commune naturally with all things electronic, based at Andrews Air Force base. The crew includes Commander Daniel Chee, Brian Dwyer, and Airborne, which includes Tim Crawford, the head of Airborne whom Mother appoints as Commander, who’s married to Alicia; Matt Hughes; Chip Walker; Randy Muir (he’s married to Claudia); Joe Billings (he’s married to Lorraine); and, Jerry Tucker (he’s married to Abigail Gower). Lorraine and Claude are captains on Alpha Team. Commander James Reader, a former model, gay, and Kitty’s other best guy friend, is married to Paul Gower. The ship IA is Mother, the HAL computer who takes over the ship. Mossy is one of the people who have hidden on the ship; he’s a brigadier general in the Turleen Air Force on the planet Tur, although in Alien Nation, 14, Mossy was one of the leaders of the Mykali with Muddy the general.

Bahrain
Prince Wasim is eighteen and a senior at Skidwell (Alien Education, 15); he’s the grandson of King Raheem. Wasim and his father are hoping Lizzie will marry him. Naveed Murad is his personal bodyguard.

Ali Baba Gadhavi is/had been a notorious crime lord and is now an ally.

The journalists
Adam Johnson, a retired baseball player, is a co-host along with Kristie Rodriguez, a voluntary cyborg, on Good Day USA (Alien Education). They’re now on Team Kitty. Both of them have roles in the movie about Kitty, Code Name: First Lady, that was made by Jürgen Cologne. Bruce Jenkins is the Tastemaker (Alien Collective, 9). Mister Joel Oliver is now a top investigative journalist who is always accompanied by the formerly Kitty-hating Belli, an African grey. Dion Callen France is the photographer/cameraman both Jenkins and Oliver use.

The Anciannas, a.k.a. the Ancients
John Wruck is a shapeshifting Ancient.

The Free Women of Beta Twelve are . . .
. . . Amazonian shapeshifters ruled by Queen Renata. Princesses Rahmi and Rhee are warriors and Renata’s daughters.

Alpha Four is . . .
. . . the Alpha Centaurion planet where Alexander, the emperor of Alpha Four and Jeff’s cousin, rules. Leonidas is a councilor.

Jareen is a Feliniad, a cat Person from Beta Fifteen. The Vrierst now live on Jupiter (Alien Nation, 14).

The Sovereign Nation of Algarria is . . .
. . . a micronation. Al Garrison is their emissary meant to end the war between the United States and Algarria.

Ignotforsta is . . .
. . . a planet of apes — Kitty names them the Real Naked Apes — and are part of the Apatan system. Wheatles Kreaving is aboard the Eknara, a science vessel, investigating a disastrous neutron wave. Setah Momac is the ship’s doctor. Bremelos Merplon is the ship’s navigator. Grentix Wheekus is the science officer.

Cradus is . . .
. . . a moon made entirely of metal and the Cradi are under attack. Its uninhabited planet is Sephidon — both moon and planet are sentient. Crion is their sun. Their first contact is Fathade, and her mate is Feoren. Serion and Sciea, a C-3PO person, are siblings. Cavus “the Terminator” identifies as asexual. Pheo is their spaceport. It’s the Orange Scourge that is so dangerous to them.

It was in Universal Alien, 10, that Bizarro World was encountered where Other Me (Kitty) and Other Jamie were encountered. Kitty’s married to Chuckie and their other kids include Charlie, Max, and another little brother. Stripes is still there also.

Other Superconsciousnesses . . .
. . . are the builders of galaxies. Sandy and the Seven Meddling Superconsciousness Dwarfs have been laying down rules for ACE and Naomi Gower (Alien Research). Grumpy and Dopey are battling each other. Lilith had been an evil superconsciousness, but appears to have turned over a new leaf. Uma had been possessed by Lilith. Space Lucinda is another turned-superconsciousness that allies with Kitty.

The DreamScape is a realm that connects all beings through their dreams. Gates are an A-C technology that allows for instant transport. Algar, the Ard Ri, is a being from the Black Hole Universe who is on the run because he’s a Free Will Fanatic. The A-Cs don’t know he’s the Operations Team, a.k.a. the Elves. Troubadours affect people with their voices, expressions, body language, etc. Sheila (she’s into languages) and Amy Gaultier-White are Kitty’s best friends from high school. A Designated Survivor (DS) is a rotating position for the Cabinet to ensure someone will be around if the country’s leadership is killed off. Z’porrah power cubes allow you to go anywhere you can think of. Neil deGrasse Tyson and his wife are a Dazzler Celebrity Dream Couple.

Enemies

Stephanie Valentino, another A-C cousin, went over to the dark side. She’s allied with the Tinkerer. Mephistopheles was one of the big bad whom we first met in Touched by an Alien, 1. Yates Corp. The Anti-Mother is Mephs’ mother and tucked into Yoko Ono, a sentient star. Hellboy is a giant red monster faun. Hate groups include Club 51 True Believers and Farley Pecker‘s Church of Hate and Intolerance.

Nazez is a planet where . . .
. . . SuperBun is the head bunny. Peter is the snuggly bunny. There are also miniature elephants, squirrels, horses, gigantic snakes, and evil Santa. Lord Dupay, a.k.a. Dopey, wants to save the universe. Grumpy transplanted the tree-people for whom Neela is the leader. Harvey will be the combined Dopey-Grumpy. The planet on which the tree-people, the Dawar, ended up was called Tropea, a.k.a. Night World and Planet Black. Hixxx is the sea serpent, the leader of the Ezkot on Nazez.

Helix Rime is . . .
. . . the planet ruled by the Sheep Man, a.k.a. Mad Lord Johpunnt, who requires a long title e.v.e.r.y t.i.m.e you mention his name. And that boy is mad! Luhgremn is the capital city. Roanach is a sheep and part of the Outer Guard. Clorence is a possum. Telzor is the Captain of the Guard. The planet they keep attacking is Helix Noblora.

Helix Noblora is . . .
. . . Ixtha’s planet?? It’s the planet Helix Rime keeps attacking, and I think it’s part of the system Kitty refers to as the Cradle of Life. Kitty does have an interesting theory on this system. Ixtha is the one who contacts Kitty through the DreamScape, terrified that her system is in a galaxy-ending situation.

The Z’porrah belong to a Federation of Planets and have been the enemies of the Ancients for eons. The Superiors, whose star exploded hundreds of years ago, consider themselves gods. “Mama Mephs” does not have anything good planned.

The Cover and Title

The background of the cover is a range of teals with an abstract mountain range and a full moon above. From the roll-up in the bottom right, it appears to be a poster for one of the Code Name movies. In front of it is the blonde, long-haired Kitty in a pale gray Chanel-like jacket and tight fitting gray dress with thigh-high gray boots. She’s facing us but looking up to the right and holding a formidable rifle. At the very top is the title in turquoise and yellow. The author’s name is right-justified just below the title and in white.

The title refers to all those Aliens Abroad our earthlings encounter on their journey to find Ixtha.

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