Out of Print reviews: Alien Taste by Wen Spencer
The Particulars: Science Fiction, Roc, out of print but available as e-book
The Source: The Book shelf
The Grade: B
Ukiah Oregon and his senior partner, Max Bennett, are summoned by the police to the home of four college students. Three of the coeds have been hacked to pieces and the fourth is missing, presumed kidnapped into the nearby Schenley Park. Wired for sight, sound and global position, Ukiah starts the desperate search for the missing woman. Deep in the dark rainy woods, he finds her – insane, armed and deadly. His fight for his life marks his entry into a secret war between aliens.
I picked uo this on a whim, since I was in the mood for something that wasn’t romance or fantasy. And this fit the bill.
The science fiction element in this one starts small, but it grows as the stakes rises. It was fascinating to follow how Ukiah gradually discovers his own past and his father’s people. I really liked how the Pack clung on to their humanity, while the Ontogard didn’t even try. The Pittsburgh was so believable that it sometimes elt like I was in Pittsburgh, walking next to Ukiah as he tracked down the missing woman.
The plot was fast paced, and filled with action. I really liked that when you started to think that Ukiah couldn’t get in more danger something else happened that increased the danger. It was interesting to follow how he reacted to the increased danger. I’ll admit that I wouldn’t have been as calm as he was. I also really liked that he paid a price when he got injured.
Another interesting aspect was how Ukiah interacted with his friends and family in the book. I loved how Ukiah showed his love to his mothers and sister. It wasn’t that he spoke the words, but he worried about their safety, and made sure he was there for them. Then there was Max and the history they shared, and how that had cemented their friendship.
I also appreciated that Ukiah looked through Indigo’s hard outer shell, and appreciated her ability to focus.
That said, I felt that the romance between Ukiah and Indigo happened too fast.They met, and 10 hours later they made love to each other for the first time. Their romance is sweet, but it would have been nice if they moved a bit slower.