From Publishers Weekly
In this slick, lightweight SF yarn from Scalzi (Old Man's War
), Thomas Stein, a hot young Hollywood agent, has just negotiated a multimillion-dollar deal for his friend, starlet Michelle Beck, when his boss, Carl Lupo, foists a space alien called Joshua on him. Joshua and his people, the Yherajk, are intelligent, gelatinous, shape-shifting blobs that communicate telepathically and by sharing odors. They've been monitoring Earth's TV broadcasts and realize that before they can make first contact, they'll have to deal with their image problem. Tom takes on the job of making the friendly, odiferous creatures palatable to humanity, while keeping Michelle and the rest of his other acting clients happy. Several entertaining trips to the aliens' spaceship enliven the predictable plot.
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With a plot that starts out as the rough life of a young agent in Hollywood and rapidly metamorphoses into B-movie territory as a remarkably intelligent first-contact yarn, this book is absurd, funny, and satirically perceptive. Thomas Stein has just scored a major deal for his biggest client, hot starlet Michelle Beck. Then his boss introduces a new client who is going to require more work than Stein has ever expected. Joshua is an Yjerajk, and Yjerajk communicate via smells, which are often quite unpleasant to humans. Moreover, Yjerajk are formless blobs. But they've seen enough human TV to understand that Hollywood has more impact on Earthlings than any government, and that the movies always portray nonhumanoid aliens as evil. It's going to take a lot of work to introduce Yjerajk to humans so as to emphasize their peaceful intentions and keep people from seeing them as the Blob. Fortunately, Tom is up to the challenge . . . eventually . . . with a little help--and a lot of inspiration. Regina SchroederCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved