Books

Book Review – Alien Diplomacy (Katherine “Kitty” Katt #5)

* * * * Prologue * * * *
Alien DiplomacyThey call boxing the sweet science. I have no idea why. It’s not like two guys beating each other up can be called sweet in any culture, and it’s hard to buy the science part when there’s not that much scientific theory involved in “hit harder, longer, until the other guy goes down”.

Now diplomacy, there’s your sweet science. You have to be sweet, even when you don’t want to be. Or your husband has the little “representing an entire race” chat with you. And figuring out the many layers, links, connections and conspiracies attached to just one diplomat is hard enough. Try doing that with every diplomat on Earth. Then expand past Earth. Then wonder why your husband can keep it all straight when you can’t and await the “if you’d only read the briefing file” chat.

Diplomacy has opened up a whole new world of chatting for me and Jeff. So far, haven’t enjoyed any of them, but hope springs eternal.

Being one of the head diplomats for Centaurion Division’s Diplomatic Corps is quite the honor. Kind of wish I’d had a little more time to transition from marketing manager to super-being exterminator to newlywed to new mother to retired super-being exterminator to full-time diplomat. More than two years start to finish would have been nice. But, hey, I’m good with change and a challenge, right?

Of course, nothing could really have prepared me for the superpowers that were my parting gifts for labor and delivery of our daughter. Like the Alpha Centaurions from Alpha Four, I now have hyper-speed, faster healing and regeneration, improved vision, and super-strength. Other abilities show up when I least expect them. I don’t have two hearts like a real A-C, or any special talents such as dream and memory reading or empathic skills. But being a super’s pretty much all it’s cracked up to be.

Sadly, when it comes to diplomacy, superpowers don’t really help. At all. But that’s where my winning ways and charming influence over others come in.

Hey, when it comes to diplomacy, I do practice the sweet science. Yeah, okay, the kind with boxing gloves. What can I say? Washington’s a tough town.
* * * * * * * * * * *

When Kitty Katt Martini accepts the job as co-ambassador representing American Centaurian, Washington D.C. will never be the same. ALIEN DIPLOMACY is the fifth in Gini Koch bestselling Katherine “Kitty” Katt SF series. Kitty’s strength in diplomacy lies in guns and super-being extermination, not drawing rooms and political negotiations. So, one of the first steps in Kitty’s acclamation to Embassy Row is her weekly attendance in the Washington Wife Class, a how-not-to-embarrass-your-spouse course for the politically deficient. And, when not being disowned by the Washington Wife’s instructor, Kitty has a blast at Mommy and Me, yoga for parents with infants.

And, Kitty is pet-sitting on an oh-so permanent basis. Her mom and dad have made the move to D.C. too, but to a pet-unfriendly building. Congrats, Kitty! You are now the proud owner of a Dalmatian, Pit Bull, Great Dane, lab, and three cats to complement the poof population explosion.

* * * * * * * * * * *
It wasn’t the danger. It was the fact that we weren’t able to do what we both wanted. In the good old days of three months ago, Jeff would already be here, our people would be cleaning up the scene, and we’d be off kicking butt and taking names. Now? Now, we had to play pretend, because there were a lot of people hiding in the shadows in D.C., literally and figuratively. And, Jeff and I were no longer shadowy figures working in the background; we were the faces of American Centaurian.

When offered a shopping spree as opposed to a war room summit meeting, I’m sure most girls would vote to head to the mall. But their skills probably didn’t run towards figuring out what the psychopaths and megalomaniacs were up to. (Kitty)
* * * * * * * * * * *

Kitty’s post-pregnancy hormones have her danger’o’meter misfiring. Everyone is the potential presidential assassin, and Kitty is hampered from investigating by having Jamie in-toe. But friends of old and friends anew will help her put all of the pieces in place – a tabloid reporter, two former college football players, a gay master of all trades, a mystery stalker, an assortment of taxi drivers, the Dingo, KGB Jr., and more.

So, dust off your formal ware and manners. Be ready to make those distasteful political compromises. It’s the usual routine of multiple plots, and all the clues will fall into place at the President’s ball. You are invited to follow in Kitty’s footsteps, as she becomes a baby politician. Scary thought, I know.

* * * * * * * * * * *
“I have more information.” (Mr. Joel Oliver)
“This is you barking. This is me being the wrong tree.” (Kitty)

“Did we seriously just get roles in the Matrix Really Reloaded or something?” (Kitty)
“No. We’re just popular.” (Richard White)

Cheerful pronouncements of doom over, we fretted some more about more things we couldn’t control. Got more useless information that merely confirmed things were dire.
* * * * * * * * * * *

I was hesitant to tackle a novel set completely outside of Kitty’s geographic comfort zone. We both survived with flying colors, because Gini Koch conveys the emotions of her characters well, and she saves the distracting stranger-than-fiction attempt at hard SF until the very end. Kitty and the ALIEN DIPLOMACY gang are a dysfunctional family, baby and all. Seeing how they meld personalities into a cohesive whole, adapt to evolving situations, play on each other’s strengths/weaknesses, and are better simply by being together is why this series is more memorable than many of seemingly similar in its genre. Then, there’s the snark. For that, there’s no substitution.

* * * * * * * * * * *
“Reader sighed. “Girlfriend, it’s not the same situation. We’re exposed here and in a way none of us have any experience with. One wrong move and Centaurian Division i s shown to everyone to be ‘not of this world.’ A different wrong move means someone – maybe one, maybe many – dies.”
* * * * * * * * * * *

The life and times of Katherine “Kitty” Katt in the Alien books by Gini Koch:

1. TOUCHED BY AN ALIEN
2. ALIEN TANGO
3. ALIEN IN THE FAMILY
4. ALIEN PROLIFERATION
5. ALIEN DIPLOMACY
6. ALIEN VS. ALIEN
7. ALIEN IN THE HOUSE
8. ALIEN RESEARCH
9. ALIEN COLLECTIVE
10. UNIVERSAL ALIEN

Gini KochBIO:

Gini Koch writes the fast, fresh, and funny Alien/Katherine “Kitty” Katt series, as well as lots of others. She’s made the most of multiple personality disorder by writing under a variety of pen names, including G.J. Koch, Anita Ensal, Jemma Chase, A.E. Stanton, and J.C. Koch. Buy her books — her meds don’t come free, you know.

Series: Alien/Katherine “Kitty” Katt #5
Publisher: daw
Pub. Date: April 3, 2012
Pages: 448
 

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About the author

Lori J. Parker

My best friends are books. A good book, a purring cat, and a cherry soft drink is a wonderful day. When I'm not reading, I'm writing quirky and creative copy for freelance publishing gigs in marketing /PR, social network campaigns, journalism, and blogs. That still leaves time for me to proofread manuscripts, teach Braille to blind people, design websites, and create bead jewelry from natural materials. I try to be a well-rounded book nerd. Contact me at [email protected]

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