Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Distant Cousin: Reincarnation

Distant Cousin: Reincarnationby Al Past
(iUniverse / 0-595-45311-5 / June 2007 / 340 pages / $19.95 / Kindle $4.00)

This is the third book in the Distant Cousin series of scifi tales starring the Barbie from outer space, Ana Darcy, and her faithful sidekick and native son of Albuquerque, Matt Mendez. As with the first book in this series, I give it ten stars. Yeah, that's right, ten. Reincarnation takes the reader to Nowhere, New Mexico, again, and like Dorothy said, there's no place like home. You'd hide out there, too, if you were an international celebrity who just wanted to live a quiet, peaceful lifestyle. How quiet can things really be when you have a space pod stashed in your barn?

I would never recommend that a reader first meet the Mendez family with this book. You need to start at the beginning of the first book, when Matt was just a bored journalist in Alpine, Texas, about to meet the love of his life in the local library. The Distant Cousin storyline is somewhat quiet and emotional, just like the lives the lead characters seek. The plot of this third book involves the FBI, the CIA, and a retired Navy SEAL, all trying to make the Russians behave themselves instead of blowing up some highly populated chunk of America. Although Reincarnation is a little slower paced than its Repatriation predecessor, the new characters and subplots help Darcy fly that space pod right into your heart!

The most distinguishing trademark of Al Past's Distant Cousin books is their obvious similarity to some of Steven Spielberg's best movies. Ana Darcy is much like E.T. without the Disney cuteness or childhood orientation. She is an E.T.-type character for an adult audience. The sense of wonder we all had the first time we watched Close Encounters of the Third Kind is magically reincarnated. Reading all the Distant Cousin books is like playing a movie in your head. This is the way we want life to be. This is the way we want Americans to respond to aliens if they ever arrive on Earth. Reincarnation rekindles amazement. Life should always be like this.

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