Book Review: Gini Koch’s Alien Diplomacy

Posted April 5, 2013 by Kathy Davie in Book Reviews

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

Book Review: Gini Koch’s Alien Diplomacy

Alien Diplomacy


by

Gini Koch


romance, science fiction that was published by DAW Books on April 3, 2012 and has 425 pages.

Explore it on Goodreads or Amazon.
three-stars

Other books by this author which I have reviewed include Touched by an Alien, Alien Tango, Alien in the Family, Alien Proliferation, Alien vs. Alien, Alien in the House, Alien Research, Alien Collective, Universal Alien, Alien Separation, Alien in Chief, Alien Nation, Camp Alien

Fifth in the humorous Katherine “Kitty” Katt science-fiction romance revolving around Kitty Katt, one of several new ambassadors in Washington, D.C.

My Take

I think Kitty’s right. It’s safer out on the frontlines battling aliens and horrible monsters than navigating Washington politics! This one is klutzy compared to the earlier ones. Sure, all the previous stories have been about some evil being/organization wanting to take over the world, but Koch has given the previous stories interesting twists. This one? Not so much.

Although, I suppose one could consider politicians evil beings who want to take over the world…?

It feels more as if Koch is getting a bit tired and just couldn’t think of a good twist or she was in a hurry. There were also all the little oddities that kept adding up, that didn’t make sense. Kitty just trusts anyone who wants to be friends with her. She’s clueless about the limo. Has no sense of security. She’s supposed to so handy to have around because she thinks like the bad guys, and yet she helps her enemy set her up. Even I could see all the clues clanging away! Kitty’s so tuned in to Jamie-Kat’s likes and dislikes, and she just ignores her in this incident? C’mon… You’d think she was just an average human wife when you look at all the things she misses. The security screw-ups that you’d think a group of guys practically brought up in security wouldn’t be making.

And what’s with the taxi drivers? If they’re legit, why not come out with it? Talk about a dumb approach to people who are already feeling skittish. I did like the bus chase.

It took awhile before the primary conflict was introduced, although, when I think about it, all the small annoyances, glitches, bombs, and attacks did spring from the main bad guys. It just takes so long that I forgot about the connection. Whoops.

“I did like Senator McMillan’s assessment as to why he’s serving in government:

‘I know my own mind, my own heart. I know that what I’m doing, I’m doing for the right reasons, to protect and serve my constituents, this country, the world at large. But I don’t know and can’t know my opponents’ hearts and minds…haven’t yet found someone I trust with the job more than I trust myself.’

That as long as he’s needed where he is and there is no one to step up, he’ll continue to serve.”

You know, I just don’t get the prohibitions about leaving the Poofies behind. They’re so useful.

I’m torn between rolling my eyeballs at Kitty’s almost-purposeful diplomatic blunders and the irritating instructor. A nice touch, giving Kitty her mom’s support in this; and I did enjoy that bit of “revenge” Kitty got in the end. A minor touch, but, oh so satisfying. Of course, Kitty, Jeff, and Christopher are going nuts with their “promotions” to the diplomatic corps; all three are sorely missing the action. Then Papa Sol pops the news that he and Mom are moving to D.C. So much for Kitty easing the Martinis out.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s still a really funny story, just too full of stupid mistakes on the part of the A-Cs.

The Story

Kitty is failing diplomacy class and it seems as if everyone is out to get her, her hubby, Jamie-Kat, and everyone else in the embassy. God knows they keep finding more and more bugs every time they turn around!

The politics and the backstabbing that goes on…well…all I can say is, I can’t wait to tuck into Alien vs Alien.

The Characters

Missus Ambassador Kitty Katt Martini is a mommy! An enhanced mommy right along with daddy. She and the Alpha-Centurion (A-C) Ambassador Jeff Martini, the new head of the A-C Diplomatic Corps, are the very proud parents of the very powerful Jamie Katherine, their new baby girl — Kitty named her for Reader. Daddy is still very jealous and possessive — times two now. The Poofs still adore Kitty and have expanded their circle of love to include Jamie Kat; Poofikins is Kitty’s and Harlie is Jeff’s Poof. Richard White was the Supreme Pontifex and still Christopher’s dad; now he’s enjoying the retired life with occasional forays into action with his new partner, Kitty.

Commander Christopher White is Jeff’s cousin, an Imageer. Toby is his Poof. Through some, um, misadventures, he’s enhanced too. He’s also hooked up with Amy Gaultier (Alien Proliferation, 4), one of Kitty’s best friends from high school, a lawyer. Amy breezed through diplomacy class…bitch. Paul Gower is a half-A-C/half-human and can read dreams and memories; he’s ACE’s habitat and the new Supreme Pontifex. Commander James Reader is a gorgeous former supermodel, who is in a relationship with Paul and promoted to Head of the Field for Centaurion Division; Kitty considers him one of her best guy friends. Gatita is Reader’s Poof. ACE is an alien entity, who thinks Kitty walks on water, and lives inside Paul.

Embassy support includes (they all showed up in Alien in the Family, 3):
Kitty gets new drivers in this: Len and Kyle from the Trojan football team are now CIA agents. Walter is a surviving brother with no A-C powers who is now in charge of security at the embassy; his brother William has imageering powers and is the assigned liaison between Imageering and the embassy. Dr. Tito Hernandez is Kitty and Jamie-Kat’s doctor and has moved to the embassy with the Martinis. Pierre, a.k.a., MC Peterman, is a fabulous hairdresser and a friend of James’ who will be joining the embassy team as their Majordomo Concierge. Thank god! Kitty needs all the help she can get.

The various human government types include:
Charles “Chuckie” Reynolds, a.k.a., Conspiracy Chuck, has been Kitty’s best guy friend since high school when he was a geeky brainiac. He’s the head of the CIA’s ET Division, working to keep the A-Cs from being forcibly turned into a War Division and starting to accept that Kitty loves Jeff. The poof, Fluffy, has adopted Chuck.

Angela Katt is Kitty’s mother, head of the Presidential Terrorism Control Unit (PTCU), and the first non-Jew, non-Israeli in the Mossad. Sol Katt, Kitty’s dad, is taking a sabbatical and working on their move to D.C. Kevin Lewis is Angela’s second-in-command and has been reassigned to the embassy with his family; Denise Lewis is his very hot wife with their equally gorgeous young son. Aunt Emily is Angela’s best friend and willing to come out of retirement to “train the entire A-C Diplomatic Corps” in etiquette.

Alpha Team members include:
Reader; the pregnant Serene (Ronald Yates’ daughter and a full-A-C), the new head of Imageering, married to Brian Dwyer (Kitty’s old boyfriend); Captain Tim Crawford, who has been promoted to Kitty’s old position as head of Airborne; Paul; and, Kitty.

Airborne members include:
All five of the Top Gun Navy pilots — Captain Jerry Tucker, Hughes, Walker, Joe Billings (married to the very-pregnant Captain Lorraine), and Randy Muir (married to the about-to-pop Captain Claudia). Both girls got promoted into Reader and Tim’s old positions.

Michael Gower is Paul’s younger — player — brother with no A-C powers and is a NASA astronaut (we met him, Brian, and Serene in Alien Tango, 2). Fuzzball is Michael’s Poof. Their sisters are Abigail and Naomi with expanded powers too. Melanie and Emily are Lorraine and Claudia’s Dazzling moms who keep popping in to help on the medical end of things. Gladys Gower — she’s Richard’s half-sister married to Stanley’s brother, Harold — is Head of Security with a high level of sarcasm. Doreen (she’s not concerned about her parents’ disappearance at all) and Irving Weisman attend the President’s Ball as well.

Alpha Centaurions from A-C include:
Alexander, the king of Alpha Four and Jeff’s cousin, and Leyton Leonidas, his chief councillor, are leery of some very odd humans they believe Chuck has sent over. Victoria is Alexander’s mother, the Queen Mother.

Other humans who are involved include:
Nurse Magdalena Rijos-Carter is very curious as to what is going on. Especially when she recognizes Peter Keller the would-be assassin as the Dingo, who usually hangs with his cousin, Vic Keller. Antony Marling is the head of Titan Security which has pretty much sealed up the contract to take over policing from the Washington, D.C. police department. Typical politicians.

Amy’s father’s second wife, LaRue Demorte Gaultier, was the brains behind it all Alien Proliferation, 4; she’s fled Earth orbit. Mister Joel Oliver is their pet paparrazo from World Weekly News with some useful contacts whom we met in Alien in the Family. Darcy Lockwood is the instructor for the Washington Wife class.

Olga Dalca is the MS-suffering wife of the Romanian ambassador, Andrei. Adriana is her granddaughter. Caroline Chase is Kitty’s sorority roommate who works for Arizona’s senior senator, McMillan; his wife Kelly is a sorority sister. The McMillans attend the President’s Ball as does Caro with Michael.

Fellow students (and their significant others in the Cabal of Evil) at the Washington Wives’ class include:
Eugene is the only other classmate not doing well; he’s the husband of the new Senator Lydia Montgomery. The snotty classmates who seem to be stuck in the bullying phase from high school include: Abner (married to Lillian Culver, a “top lobbyist for some major defense contractors”); Marcia Kramer (a bimbo married to Illinois Senator Zachary Kramer); Jack Ryan who even looks like a car salesman but thinks he’s the prototype for Tom Clancy’s political thriller character is married to Pia, a CIA agent; Vance Beaumont is in a secret relationship with Guy Gadoire, a tobacco lobbyist; Nathalie Gagnon-Brewer is a model too absorbed in playing Angry Birds, but still managed to marry a rich vintner, Edmund Brewster, the newly elected California representative; Malcolm Buchanan is a bit standoffish, but always seems to be around; and, Leslie Manning pretends to be in a relationship with Bryce Taylor — in truth, she’s in the closet with Marion Villanova, the Chief Aide for the Secretary of State and he’s “supposedly only the personal assistant to Langston Whitemore, secretary of transportation. Vincent Armstrong is the senior senator from Florida. Madeline Cartwright is the Pentagon liaison. Esteban Cantu is the head of Antiterrorism.

Bernie is bringing Jordan to the Mommy and Me class where she befriends Kitty. Raul is her husband. Moe (just call me Ishmael, a.k.a., Officer “Melville”) and his dog Prince, Larry, and Curly keep showing up everywhere.

Ronaldo Al Dejahl is Yates’ son and bent on revenge. The Pontifex, Gladys, Alfred, and Serene are all Ronaldo’s siblings.

Dazzlers are how Kitty collectively refers to the A-C females because that’s what they do, they dazzle everyone with their beauty, intelligence, and compassion. Imageers manipulate images electronically and in front of you and can learn all about a person simply by touching an image. Empaths feel emotions. Poofs look like “tiny, fluffy kittens with no ears or tails, but with shiny black button eyes”, who can morph into Jeff-sized, very, very protective critters. Once you name one, they’re yours for life. Since Jamie-Kat’s birth and Christopher hooking up with Amy, there’s been a lot of procreating going on — the Poofs only reproduce during royal events.

The Cover and Title

The cover is consistent with earlier covers in that it’s a collage of the disasters that Kitty and Jeff meet throughout the story in our nation’s capital. It’s interesting that such an over-the-top comics-type story has such subdued covers…

The title is straightforward. The team has been “promoted” and expected to practice Alien Diplomacy in Washington, D.C., a concept that is alien to all of ’em, LOL.

three-stars