Aliens Crashed in My Back Yard (Agate and Breadbox trilogy Book 1) Kindle Edition
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
- File size : 8530 KB
- Publication date : February 2, 2019
- Publisher : Galaxy Tall Tales, imprint of The Business Group Publications (February 2, 2019)
- ASIN : B07NCJ3L1S
- Print length : 226 pages
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- X-Ray : Not Enabled
- Language: : English
- Simultaneous device usage : Unlimited
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Lending : Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #2,020,817 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
Here you have a compassionate disillusioned performer who has a UFO crash in her backyard during a friendly get together. If you can accept that premise, then what follows is easily believable as she meets and learns about this ship and its crew.
The book is full of lyrics for songs that should be recorded, and a cast of characters that all have realistic motivations and believable actions.
Looking forward to book 2.
Selena, the main character, calls a few trusted friends to help her, and this is where the book surprised me a little. Selena calls a guy who sort of likes her, and has proven to be trustworthy and helpful in the past, but she also calls a veterinarian and the local sheriff. Both choices surprised me because I’ve been trained by Hollywood to think that you call a doctor friend, and you HIDE this type of situation from the police. So, very good, Van Horn begins carving out his own territory, and there is PLENTY of original stuff here. Van Horn’s alien is something like a dog-sized snail with a caterpillar’s body construction – though, of course, much more (note-making tendrils, for one thing), and Nala, (the middle part of the alien’s name) has such a lovely personality, that her “snail” and “caterpillar” aspects only occurred to me when I started looking for ways to describe her for this review.
Nala, is ALSO a singer, though her approach to the art is from the opposite end of the spectrum from Selena’s. Nala is designated to sing officially for her people – a sort of oral history performer. The idea of self-expression seems a little taboo to her, not an inconceivable idea, but not something she normally associates with the art form. Selena is from the other end of the idea, she sings something like personal histories, and then tries to engage her wider culture in them. This is a conflict Selena wrestles with. The wider culture seems to like the superficial bubble-gum songs from her past, but she herself is no longer very interested in those songs. She is also reluctant to risk alienating her remaining audience by trying anything more personal and new.
As the two artists talk and sing together, that begins to change, and it is these moments that Van Horn will make you fall in love with these two characters and their friendship. Through these moments, Van Horn gets to talk about so many things: art, the artist, and the longing for the deeper connections music incites. Very touching. Mesmerizing, in fact.
Plenty of casual surprises flow through the book. The book is populated by people who feel real, and often the small choices they make send the book off in interesting tangents, I won’t say too much, because I’d be giving the book away. I will say that this first book in the trilogy doesn’t stray too far from the crash site. Events are small and personal, portrayed with plenty of feeling. Even the government, when it finally shows up, may be heavy-footed, but still seems calm, and made up of actual people, people who feel entitled to do whatever they want, but still people.
The sci-fi aspects of the book are lots of fun – the alien, for sure. Trying to care for a life form you know nothing about – also solid sci-fi fun. The tech that eventually lets the two characters communicate is a very simple, multi-function, almost featureless rod. A wand, eventually one with the name “Wanda”. “Wanda” features an AI, who sloooooowly is revealed to be a character in her own right. Wanda provides many surprises in the story, most fascinating is a universe-spanning, multi-user Skype bubble-portal thing that, late in the story, allows Selena to talk with beings from other star systems – beings who don’t enjoy talking to her. Van Horn has a great concept running through his books. Civilized beings are referred to as Oki. Body type is irrelevant. If you are sentient and civilized, you are Oki. Humans are new to the mix, and the jury is still very much out as to whether we fit the bill or not.
I’m giving too much away. If you’ve clicked on the cover, and are wondering whether to read the book or not, OF COURSE!! Read the book! Enjoy it to pieces! It’s smooth, friendly, and warm. It makes you consider art, self-expression, and the aims of communication. It gives you amazing life forms to meet.
Speaking about art… this novel features several delicate line drawings of key scenes by V. Shane. My favorites are the drawing of Selena’s agent, and ANY drawing that features Nala herself. This is a great, unexpected bonus, but it pales to what I am about to tell you: a side project that grew and developed for Van Horn was a fully developed music album. I’m not kidding; fully developed music, a singer, drums, instruments, and professional production skills. Some friends of Van Horn’s got inspired by his lyrics and his project, and the project grew into a full range of songs. Remarkable! A jaw dropping feat! The songs all feature the lyrics from the book. I’m not a musician, but I’d describe the collection as country western/pop…maybe. There are no attempts at alien harmonies, and in truth, I got the feeling that the Selena from the start of the book might have created these songs, but not Selena from the end of the book. What are you going to do? The real world team that created these songs never had their lives changed by meeting an alien (I assume). And how nit-picky can you get? The woman who sings these tracks has a great voice, and goes full throttle with these performances. The music varies in tempo and styles, and I wasn’t prepared for how good it was the first time I listened to it. “Cotton Candy Loving” is the most main stream offering, just as it should be. This album was created for an Indie novel – how wild is that? Check it out on Van Horn’s website (galaxytalltales.com). It will blow your mind.
Aliens Crashed In My Back Yard is the first part of a trilogy. The story finishes, but it is far from over. In fact, the path to the next book is so smoothly suggested, that it feels like an extension of the same book. But it’s not. I’m starting to think of this trilogy as a type of symphony, one from which this novel is the first movement: the “Earthbound” movement. I don’t know where we’re going next, but I know it will be amazing! Yes! Read this book!
Selena is assertive but doesn't always know what she wants. She's a successful singer, but she's dissatisfied. Her whole life changes when she meets the alien she names 'Breadbox'.
The alien is near death and Selena helps nurse her back to health. There is a universal translation device that eventually allows them to speak and they learn they have more in common than can be imagined. They're both singers.
They grow closer together as Breadbox reactivates Selena's interest in singing and composer. In turn, Selena gives Breadbox a reason for living, even after the failure of crashing on the Earth.
Complications occur and the novel really takes off. I can hardly wait for the second one!
Top reviews from other countries
I hope the sequel will not be too long coming. Thoroughly recommended.