Monday, January 19, 2015

The Fifth Beast by Michael Kirchhoff #fantasy #bookreview

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The Fifth Beast

Written by Michael Kirchhoff 

Genre(s): Dark Fantasy

The aliens have arrived. They don’t want to conquer the Earth, they just want to lease it.

These visitors have brought their secret war to Earth, dramatically altering the lives of three unwitting humans: Benjamin, a lonely soul consumed by an irrational amorous obsession; Armin, a hippie ex-priest whose exotic new girlfriend is significantly scalier than he’s used to; and Sheila, a grieving grandmother whose efforts to understand the circumstances of her granddaughter’s bizarre death could expose the machinations of an otherworldly political conspiracy.

This inevitable clash of cultures could result in nothing less than a redefinition of existence itself. Hilarious and horrifying, The Fifth Beast is a story about murder, intergalactic espionage, and strange dietary preferences. 

Michael Dalton's Review

This is a good book that I ultimately enjoyed, but also one that took _way_ too long to get going.

The plot revolves around an offbeat alien encounter that reminded me a lot of Alan Dean Foster and Douglas Adams, though I wouldn't rank it in the same class as either author. There is a lot going on here (almost a bit too much at times), and it shifts back and forth between straightforward sci-fi, social commentary, philosophy, and humor. The main problem was that I had to slog through the first third or so—up to the point at which we finally see what's going on—before it really grabbed me. From that point forward, it was a page turner. But getting there was some work.

Essentially, there are two alien races who have arrived on Earth to settle a dispute that doesn't become clear until well into the book. Various other alien races get involved as we go along, and the author does a good job with the twists and turns. The story is not all that original—ADF has done some books like this—but I found it entertaining nonetheless.

If you enjoy this sort of sci-fi, you should enjoy this book, but be prepared for a long setup before things start moving.

Disclaimer: Book provided by the author free of charge in exchange for an honest review.

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