Book Review: Gini Koch’s Alien in Chief

Posted March 22, 2016 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 in ChiefAlien in Chief by Gini Koch
is a Romance, Science Fiction
This edition was published by DAW Books on December 1, 2015 and has 560 pages.

Explore it on Goodreads or Amazon..

four-stars

Twelfth in the Katherine “Kitty” Katt science-fiction romance series and revolving around Kitty and her aliens. It’s been a year-and-a-half since Alien Separation, 11.

My Take

You really don’t want to miss this one. There are too many revelations and horrors in this. The unsuspected undercover spies, the battles with the different sides? groups?, and Cliff’s actions are the worst of it. But what will make you cry are those unwanted deaths. Fortunately, there are some pluses, not many, but a number of people are turning over a new leaf.

Koch does come up with some crazy scenarios, straight out of superhero comic books, and this one is a pip with the train attack, the bioweapon, the invisible commandos — what kind of idiot thinks that display is a good sales pitch? — and the motorcycle chase at the end was definitely Bond-worthy.

I love it, lol. Seems Raj has all the A-Cs watching TV shows so they catch on to Kitty’s cultural references, *more laughter* And Raj keeps being clever (and way too funny) when he announces how grateful the A-Cs are to Club 51 for helping out. Koch continues the cultural aspect through the hints Algar drops Kitty through the music that plays on her iPod. I do enjoy figuring out what Algar is hinting to Kitty from those song titles, as well as singing the lyrics in my head.

I do love how refreshing Kitty’s straightforwardness is, lol, especially when she is taking the bull by the horns, if the way she’s taking on Strauss is any indication. And, yeah, Strauss is really working it, trying to put any and all blame on the A-Cs. Nor is Cliff a slouch in this department. Kitty makes a good point about why the Mastermind has been targeting Chuck.

It’s plots within plots, and not all by the same groups — the ramifications will have you spinning.

The Story

When the Alpha Centauri Planetary Council requests a visit with the president and vice president, things look politically dicey. When the most dangerous prisoners in the most secure supermax prison escape with ease, things look bad. But when the Mastermind releases a virus that kills people in a week, things go to Defcon Worse fast.

As Kitty can tell you, it’s not easy being the wife of the vice president — especially not when he’s an alien from the Alpha Centauri system. And being a parent of preternaturally talented children, don’t even go there. But she and her A-C husband, Jeff, have learned how to roll with whatever life and the bad guys throw at them — they think.

The Characters

Ambassador Kitty Katt-Martini (Cyclone) is married to Jeff Martini (Cosmos), the vice-president of the United States and an A-C alien. Jamie (Cutiepie) is their very powerful daughter whose mind also provides a home for ACE, a benevolent superconsciousness created by Alpha Four to keep their exiled A-Cs on Earth. Mous-Mous is Jamie-Kat’s Poof. Charlie (Challenger) is the six-month-old baby with powers that include telekinesis. Their pets include the dogs — Dudley, Duke, Duchess, and Dottie; the cats Candy and Kane; Ginger the ocellar; and, Wilber the chocho. Kitty is still in contact with OtherJamie (from Universal Alien, 10). Stripes is OtherJamie’s kick-butt cat.

Charles “Chuckie” Reynolds (Playboy) has been a good friend of Kitty’s for years; he’s also the head of the CIA’s Extra-Terrestrial Division. He’s living at the embassy these days because too many people keep trying to kill him, and he’s still unstable from what happened to Naomi “Mimi” Gower, his A-C wife. Fluffy is his Poof and Cutie-Pie was Naomi’s.

Christopher White is Jeff’s cousin and a champion glarer, Olympic-quality. He’s married to Amy Gaultier-White who is pregnant. Paul Gower is Naomi’s brother and the Supreme Pontifex of the Earth A-Cs, the A-C religion. Alfred and Lucinda Martini are Jeff’s parents. Richard White is Christopher’s father, the former Pontifex, and Kitty’s partner in the field. Serene is Head of Imageering (with troubadour talents) as well as the head of their spy network. She’s married to Brian Dwyer, an astronaut and old boyfriend of Kitty’s. Abigail, Naomi’s sister, got all her powers back in Alien Separation. Mahin Sherazi is one of Yates’ kids and is an earth bender. Rajnish Singh is the public relations minister with troubadour powers.

Commander James Reader is head of Field; he had been one of the world’s top international male models, and is in a relationship with Paul. Camilla is an A-C spy deep in Titan. Beta Twelve Princesses Rahmi and Rhee are warriors.

Airborne includes…
Captain Tim Crawford is head of Airborne. The unmarried ones include Captain Jerry Tucker, Matt Hughes, and Walker. Joe Billings is married to Captain Lorraine; Randy Muir is married to Captain Claudia. Melanie and Emily will be dissecting the bodies; they’re Lorraine’s and Claudia’s mothers.

Denise Lewis runs the embassy daycare. Dr. Tito Hernandez is the embassy (human) doctor. Nurse Magdalena Carter is also Richard White’s girlfriend. Pierre is the extremely competent embassy majordomo. Doreen and Irving Coleman-Weisman have a son, Ezra. Doreen is the only A-C who has real diplomatic abilities. Walter and William Ward are security; Walter takes care of the embassy security while William is head of security worldwide. Melissa “Missy” Gunnels is security at Sydney base.

Kyle Constantine and Len Parker are Kitty’s CIA bodyguards. Malcolm Buchanan was assigned by Angela years ago to guard Kitty who thinks he has Dr. Strange powers. Burton Falk reports directly to Buchanan. Joseph is the head of Jeff’s Secret Service detail. Evalyne and Phoebe are part of Kitty’s Secret Service detail. Manfred, a troubadour, is part of Kitty’s A-C security. Bruno, the head peregrine, is another one of Kitty’s bodyguards. His mate, Lola, stays on childcare duty.

Mister Joel Oliver is an investigative reporter and trusted friend. Saving Bruce Jenkins‘ life has added him as another friendly reporter. Colonel Marvin Hamlin has been in hiding. Adriana is the granddaughter of Olga, the Romanian ambassador’s wife; both are good friends with Kitty and co. Prince is a police dog partnered up with Herman Melville, an old friend. Duke and Riley are more police dogs partnered up with “Larry” and “Curly“. Vance Beaumont (his Poof is Sophi) is the significant other of Guy Gadoire (Dove is his Poof) who is the head lobbyist for the tobacco industry.

Nightcrawler, a.k.a., Benjamin Siler, is the son of Ronald Yates, the first Mastermind, and Madeleine Cartwright. He’s in the assassin business with Kitty’s “uncles”, Peter “The Dingo” Kasperoff and his cousin Victor. Elizabeth “Lizzie” “Vrabel” actually Jackson, a.k.a., Quick Girl, is Siler’s adopted daughter who needs a refuge. She calls Siler Mister Dash sometimes. And she gets a Poof, Fofo.

Hacker International are…
…a group of computer geeks who include Ravi Gaekwad who is engaged to Jennifer Barone, an A-C. Stryker Dane has been friends with Kitty for a long while. Bogdana “Chernobog” is former KGB and probably the most brilliant hacker in the world. She’s now working with the A-Cs.

PTCU is…
…the Presidential Terrorism Control Unit. Angela Katt, Kitty’s mom, is in charge. Her dad, Sol Katt, was undercover as a history professor at Arizona State and is a cryptologist for NASA. Denise’s husband, Kevin Lewis is Angela Katt’s right-hand man in PTCU and the A-C embassy’s defense attaché.

Evander Horn is the head of the FBI division concerned with aliens. Tom Curran is the director of the FBI.

The White House
President Vince Armstrong and his wife, Elaine. Dr. Gabe Morin is the presidential physician. Ariel Hillel is his press secretary. Fritz Hochberg is secretary of defense. Langston Whitmore, the secretary of transportation, and Monica Strauss, secretary of state, both hate the A-Cs.

State Supreme Court Justice Quinn will do the swearing in. Wesley Green is the head of the Center for Disease Control.

Rail Force One is…
…the President’s railcar. Isaiah is the chef. Brandon is his apprentice. Eleanor is the pastry chef. Nathan is headwaiter while Lincoln is the waiter for the other car. The main dining car’s personnel include Shawn as chef, Janet as cook, Andrea the pastry chef, and Kenton as headwaiter while Wade and Duncan are the other waiters. Javier is steward, porter, chef, and waiter for Rail Force Two, the vice-president’s railcar.

Senator McMillan was the senior senator from Arizona, a friend, and one of the few honest politicians. Caroline Chase is Kitty’s sorority roommate, one of her best friends, and works for Senator McMillan. Caroline had been engaged to Michael Gower who was murdered. Representative Nathalie Gagnon has a Poof because she said it was adorable. Lillian Culver is the head lobbyist for defense contractors. Abner Schnekedy is her husband. Thomas.

Gideon Cleary was the opposition in the last presidential election; Cameron Maurer was his cloned running mate. He suggested The Cause (protecting campus co-eds from being attacked and raped, Kyle’s plan) as Kitty’s project as Mrs. Vice-President.

The Planetary Council envoys include…
Emperor Alexander from Alpha Centuari, the A-C home planet (Councilor Leonidas is one of Alexander’s advisors); Queen Renata of the Amazons; Felicia and Arup with the Cat People; Wrophy, Wahoa, and Willem rep the Major Doggies; Kitty’s Reptilian Soul Sister, Jareen (she left Jeenar, her husband, and Neeraj, their son, home for his Young Rites); Rohini and Bettini are the Shanatu (a.k.a., Penguin People) from the Annocusal Royal Family; King Benny is repping Beta Eight; Lakin of the Rapacians; and, those suspicious ones: Misorek from Alpha Six and Haliya from Alpha Five.

Cliff Goodman had been Chuckie’s best friend. Chuck thought. Cliff turned out to be the big bad, the Mastermind, and directly responsible for Naomi’s death. Stephanie was Jeff’s niece, a traitor to the A-Cs, and had dated Cliff. Her father, Clarence Valentino, was a traitor Kitty killed. Although, they did bring Clarence’s clone (TCC) back from Planet Beta Eight in Operation Bizarro World in Alien Separation. Sylvia Valentino, his wife, is thrilled to have a Clarence.

LaRue Gaultier is actually a shapeshifting Ancient who became a spy for her people’s enemies, the Z’porrah. Leventhal Reid had been the last Mastermind until Kitty killed him, although they did keep a clone.

Gustav Drax is a new player in town. “Huntress” is the nickname our side has given a female assassin. Ansom Somerall is chairman of the board of Gaultier Enterprises, and he and Janelle Gardiner and Quinton Cross are fighting with Amy over control of the board. He’s also tight with Susan Pearson Howells and John Howells, her husband, who are both lobbyists for the insurance industry. Amos Tobin runs YatesCorp. Thomas Kendrick runs Titan Security.

The Junior Skulls are…
…bullying kids of very important people. Elsa Van Dyke; Kingman Teague; Connor, Delilah, Leanne, and Remy Lee; Violet Carr; Nick Pearson (he’s the leader); Noah and Sophie Berkowitz (twins); and, Skylar and Stewart Hopkins.

The hate groups include…
Farley Pecker is the leader of the Church of Hate and Intolerance. Lizzie’s parents, “Old School” Russian spies, worked with Harvey Gutermuth, the head of Club 51, on a drug to kill A-Cs and humans.

The Crazy Eights were…
…imprisoned in the Super Max. Sam Travis had been a traitorous Secret Service agent; he’s now in CIA custody. Russell Kozlow is Chernobog’s son and another of Yates’ children. Nigel Kellog and Annette Dier are assassins. Darryl Lowe is an Air Bender. Rudolph Wruck is German and able to be VERY sneaky, slipping around in the shadows. Nerida Alfero is a water bender. Casey Jones was the stewardess from two failed attempts: Operation Drug Addict in Alien Tango, 2, and Operation Destruction in Alien vs Alien, 6.

Julio Lopez and Luis Sanchez are more assassins out of Cuba; Kitty met their Other selves in Universal Alien.

A-Cs are Alpha Centaurions who were exiled to Earth in the 1960s for their religious beliefs. Turns out, though, that A-C is actually based on the gods who created the system: the Anno and Cusal. Poofs are black hole universe animals who attach to whoever names them. They look all sweet and cuddly until they transform, going large, in charge, and quite capable of eating anyone. Algar is what Kitty calls “the Elves” and the other A-Cs call the Operations Team; he’s a black hole universe being on the run who came along for the ride when the A-Cs were exiled.

The Cover and Title

The cover is definitely not what I’d expect of Mrs. Vice-President, but exactly what Kitty would do. In rolled up jeans, red sneakers, and a black crop top, blonde hair flying with goggles pushed up on top of her head, guns blazing from both hands, Kitty races along the top of a burning Rail Force One, battling the goggle-wearing bad guys while helicopters drop more and flying beasts sweep the sky.

The title is sadly true as Jeff becomes the Alien in Chief.

four-stars

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