From Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. Driven mad by the lethally insidious... toxic aural garbage that is Terran music, the canine inhabitants of the planet Ostar send Mark Two, a bomb so smart it composes violin sonatas, to blow up Earth. Insatiably curious, Mark Two delays its mission, takes human form, and explores Earth to find out why the Mark One bomb vanished. After encountering software revolutionary Lucy Pavlov, a unicorn, two men who probably aren't werewolves, and drunken corporate stooge George Stetchkin, Mark decides not to complete his mission, precipitating confrontations with a third bomb (named Bob) and the entire Ostar war fleet. Holt, well-known in the U.K. for historical flights of fancy, is set to make a splash in the U.S. with this wickedly funny, take-no-prisoners mashup of love, Armageddon, activists, and one of the universe's most valuable commodities: octopi. (June)
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As you’d expect from Holt, Blonde Bombshell is rife with puns, complicated setups for ridiculous gags, and a riveting story that is completely implausible. The bare bones of it: signals from Earth are destroying civilization on the planet Ostar. The Ostarians send a bomb to destroy the clear and present threat. When it fails to do the job, they send another, complete with AI, to check on the situation. Of course, they make the classic mistake of sending an AI that’s too smart to just follow orders. The Mark Two or, more accurately, the probe it sends to Earth, Mark Twain, can’t find the planetary defense network it expected but does find a lot of odd coincidences to occupy itself with, including an unexpected Ostarian presence on Earth. Meanwhile, somebody is stealing vast sums of money, and the only possible means is teleportation. Impossible? Apparently not. Drunk genius mathematician-cum-banker George Stechkin gets caught up in the alien politicking and unexpectedly plays a key role in saving the world. Hilarious and satisfying. --Regina Schroeder