“The Spaceship Next Door” is a fun book: witty, fast moving, great dialogue, original ideas, a twisty plot, aliens, zombies and a whole bunch of in-jokes for those of us who live and breathe SciFi and horror.
It’s told in a raconteur third-person style that heightens the amusement, keeps things from getting too serious and allows the parts of the puzzle to be nudged into sight at just the right pace.
The basic premise is that spaceship lands in the small mill town of Sorrow Falls, Massachusetts in the middle of the night and then,,, nothing much happens… for three years. Long enough for the good folks of Sorrow Falls to get used to having a spaceship next door and even to take for granted the strong Army presence that is guarding the ship.
Then things do start to change and it seems the end of the world is at hand. At least, it will be if sassy sixteen-year-old Annie Collins doesn’t help the thirty-something government agent who absolutely no-one believes is the reporter he claims to be, to solve the mystery of what the ship wants and what it will do if it doesn’t get it.
Annie Collins is the heart of this book. If you don’t like her, then the book will just pass you by. Fortunately, she’s very likeable. She’s open, friendly, preternaturally smart, always has a clever question to ask and is hiding a hugely important secret from just about everyone.
I was smiling almost all the way through this book. I listened to the audiobook version and felt entertained the whole way through. In addition to being witty, “The Spaceship Next Door” manages to twist a number of tropes around aliens and zombies and the reaction of the military to a space invasion in very clever ways. It makes constant reference to science fiction movies and books and I could almost see the author’s gleeful grin in my mind when he managed to include the line, “Take me to your leader.”
If you’re a sci-fi fan looking for a smile and a few surprises, come and spend a few hours in Sorrow Falls and let Annie Collins show you around.