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WesternSFA



Camp Alien
by Gini Koch
DAW Books; $7.99; 598pp
Published: May 2003

This is book thirteen in Gini Koch’s hysterical high-powered SF series about the adventures of Kitty Katt-Martini, kick-butt heroine married to alien hottie Jeff Martini of Alpha Centauri.

The previous book Alien in Chief found Vice President Martini fighting the good fight against the home-grown terrorists who wanted to run the world (par for the course.) In the process, the current President Vince Armstrong is killed in the line of duty and Jeff becomes President.  Which makes Kitty Martini FLOTUS (the name makes Kitty think: I’m co-starring in a “Finding Nemo” spin-off as the chipper strip of seaweed that helps the gang save the day.

And what a terrific, distinctive, take-no-prisoners First Lady of the United States she is (and this is only in the first month!)  This novel picks up a few weeks after the events of the last novel. Jeff must oversee peace talks at Camp David with Israel and Iraq as one of his first big events as President. Kitty is working hard assigning her staff, helping Jeff with his staff appointments and getting everyone settled in the White House. As well as generally dealing, in her highly efficient way, with the aftermath of the previous events.

We meet Gustav Drax whose technology had a lot to do in Alien in Chief and we find out he is a Vata from Vatusus, a planet at the Galactic core, a technological genius, and number twenty-one in a line of twenty-one royal princes and princesses of the planet. And that John Wruck who was working with him is one of the last of the very old alien race simply called The Ancients.  They are a wonderful addition to the mix.

One afternoon Kitty and a group of her nearest and dearest go to Kitty’s favorite D.C. hangout, The Teetotaler.  And it’s here when all hell decides, as it does, to break loose.

Kitty and entourage are kidnapped by Jeff’s niece Stephanie who has firmly gone to the dark side; picking up where the last Mastermind (of Evil) left off, and is actively building androids and human-like robots in a continued bid to destroy Kitty and Jeff and all they love. They all end up at the Forest Haven Insane Asylum outside of D.C. It’s been long abandoned and as creepy as anything ever seen on the TV show Ghost Hunters. It’s a terrific setting for the action that takes place there.

Kitty and friends also need to find several of her team that are still missing in action from the previous book and this is where they find out what happened to them.

However, tying up loose ends at Forest Haven is not the end of the excitement in this book; we still have to deal with the Israeli-Iraqi meet-and-greet at Camp David---and here we have a reappearance of some old monsters we haven’t seen in a while.

Kitty and Jeff---poor kids--they never get a break!!

(Lucky for us readers!).

The dialogue is brisk and punchy, the action is fricking unrelenting and I was able to finish this book in three days (and that’s while working a day job!) The characters are meaty and snarky (everyone on Kitty’s Team are master snarkers) and the emotional level gets very high between the events at Forest Haven and the brouhaha at Camp David.

I’m sure I don’t have to convince you: Get this book! It will leave you breathless and dizzy from laughter and thrills. ~~ Sue Martin

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