Archive for Katherine Allred

Close Encounters – Katherine Allred

Posted in Books, Romance, Science fiction with tags on February 3, 2011 by Cara Marie

I borrowed Close Encounters, which Tammy talked about at book group, because I am kind of intrigued by the science-fiction romance thing, and was hoping this would be more the urban fantasy kind of romantic than the paranormal romance kind. I should have realised from the way the second book featured a different woman in the same universe. Or, actually, I was told straight out by one of the other book group members that I probably wouldn’t like it, but I took it anyway.

I just can’t think of any good reason why I shouldn’t like romances, given I like things with romantic subplots. But I guess these things aren’t the same.

The main character is a total Mary Sue, and I don’t mean that in a bad way. She’s, like, totally strong and fast, and a babe, and all she and the other amazing Genetically Engineered People are totally persecuted by the rest of society (which, okay, but it’s very they hate me ’cause I’m special). She is even more special than the other GEPs because she was created by a rogue scientist!

I am pretty much for that, and I like that at the end she didn’t really give up her life’s work for love, and ended up with a promotion in effect.

And I quite liked some of the other characters, like the scientist and her giant cat companion. I always enjoy a good cat companion.

But the things I didn’t like:

  • Soul bonds. Or, I thought it was all fun and games when she had that tingly feeling when she met his eyes, I thought, ha, she’s just Recognised and she doesn’t even know it! You would think I might be into soul bonds, considering I grew up on Elfquest. But then, the Wolfriders were sending all the time anyway, and there wasn’t the same possessiveness.
  • Protagonists who are too stupid to realise that they’re getting married. The wedding’s being planned for like a hundred pages and she doesn’t get it.
  • The friend she makes who’s all like, oh man, this planet’s so perfect, I wish I could totally hook up with a hot alien like you. And then she does!
  • How exactly are planning on breeding with aliens anyway?
  • There’s a bit of a creepy Noble Savage thing going on, which doesn’t completely get mitigated by the reveal at the end.
  • Have you got the impression there might be some bad science in this book? There’s some bad science.
  • Turns out I really object to magic crystals, even if they are only magic because of tiny alien hive minds. The alien thing doesn’t stop it being magic! Don’t you get your magic in my rocks!
  • Why is all the food so damn delicious??

I did actually enjoy the whole mystery behind the Buri, and I might’ve liked this book more if the middle two-hundred pages had been cut. And it does have a proper SFnal premise (magic crystal deux ex machina excepted). But most of the book was just really not for me.

It’s kind of funny that I’m the one who borrowed these books, when the woman who seems to like actual romances turned them down on account of them being sci-fi. I’m pretty sure she would have appreciated this book more than me.