Thursday, January 25, 2007

Distant Cousin: Repatriation



Distant Cousin: Repatriation by Al Past (iUniverse / 0-595-39929-0 / May 2006 / 182 pages / $13.95 / Kindle $4.00)

The action-packed sequel to the magical Distant Cousin is here! Matt Mendez and Ana Darcy try to continue to lead normal lives, even after Darcy's relatives from the planet Thomo have arrived on Earth. The pursuit of a normal lifestyle may have been successful if another nosy reporter, the FBI, the Mafia, and a conglomerate with scruples learned from Enron had not gotten involved. About the only normalcy Matt and Darcy can achieve is the discovery that if peppers are added to their toddler's green vegetables, she will actually eat something green. The whole affair hardly leaves time for Darcy to teach Matt how to drive her spaceship!

Al Past carries the story of Darcy, the ex-princess of Thomo, deeper into the realm of reality on Earth. Considerably more concise than Distant Cousin, the sequel carries the adventure into a believable sequence of events. The brevity of the descriptions of both characters and scenes does hamper the magic a bit, but the pace has picked up considerably from that of the predecessor, and that seems to have been the author's intent.

Yes, I highly recommend this sequel to anyone who has already read Distant Cousin. Any reader who is approaching Mr. Past's saga of The Barbie from Outer Space for the first time with Repatriation in hand will miss a lot. Although the key background elements of the plot of Distant Cousin are mentioned in all the right places for those readers who may be meeting Darcy for the first time, there is absolutely no substitute for a careful reading of Distant Cousin first. Standing alone, I can only give Repatriation four stars, but as a sequel, it easily earns the full set of five. I do not wish to mention any further plot elements here. Just open your mind's eye and imagine Spielberg directing the movie. Would he combine the two books into one movie? Maybe he would because the plotlines are seamless; or maybe he wouldn't because you have to slow down the action to capture the real magic of a starchild. I just want to feel the delight of seeing Matt drive that space pod!

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