Review: And All the Stars

Andrea K. Höst writes a credible alien-invasion story in her novel And All the Stars. The pacing is brisk, characters well-defined and believable, alien concept freshly original, and the writing is crisp, at times startling. And if this is a self-published book, as I suspect, Höst deserves a great deal of credit, because this is just the best damned SF novel I’ve read in quite some time.

Höst writes about a complex alien invasion in which there are many forms of alien that descend to earth, all with the intent of staging a series of life and death games, using human hosts like clothing easily discarded, all to determine the next ruler of their hierarchical clan system.

Caught in this invasion are a group of young people who learn to live and work together to at first escape, and eventually overthrow, their alien overlords, while dealing with their own physical transformation, induced by an alien infection.

As a pleasant aside, the novel is set in Australia, and doesn’t have a single American-centric moment.

My only criticism, and it is slight, is a lack of development as to how society’s infrastructure continues to operate when that society comes to a standstill. There is amazingly still power that runs refrigeration, lights, allowing batteries to be recharged. The Internet remains intact, without seemingly having anyone there to maintain servers and satellites and cables. Food choices for the ravenously blue-stained humans consistently revert to sugar-based foods, without scientific background as to why sugar could sustain such enormous physical output, something which flies in the face of conventional wisdom. And Höst’s society is remarkably dominated by youth. Rarely a person under 21 makes any significant appearance, which is another plausibility point given the depth of scientific knowledge required to understand and take down the alien invasion.

But, truly, I quibble.

This is a really great read, and as soon as you can, if you love SF, you need to acquire a copy.

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