Question: What do you get when you mix the ingredients of romance, science fiction, political intrigue, and humor then season well with exceptionally drawn characters and engaging plots?
Answer: Dating An Alien Pop Star
Dating An Alien Pop Star by Kendra L. Saunders is a delightful treasure that remarkably looks at the comedic and dramatic repercussions of aliens journey to Earth. It is a book of self-discovery and triumph against odds.
Television and movies have long held a fascination with intelligent life on another planet. Saunders takes it a step further. With New York, the self-proclaimed city that never sleeps as the background, Saunders introduces readers to Daisy Kirkwood, a young woman who has traded her small town for the maddening allure of the Big Apple. Kirkwood is a strong-willed woman with a love for the music scene. Working at a thankless waitressing job with a tyrannical employer is something Daisy will do if it brings her closer to the bands that she loves. What Daisy never imagined is that she will be abducted on the streets of New York City by aliens.
The aliens in question are Griffin Valentino and his close friend and manager Devon London. We learn that Griffin is the prince of Kalesstria who has come to Earth on a serious mission that will impact his planet.
Saunders is to be applauded for applying her unique writer’s voice in crafting such fascinating and unforgettable characters. In addition, Saunders skillfully balances humor and suspense. Such an approach works well within her narrative. Daisy is strong, a bit rebellious and delightfully humorous. Despite her initial reluctance to believe in her alien abduction, the facts quickly prove that Griffin and Devon are aliens. Rather than become a damsel in distress, it seems as if Daisy turns lemons into champagne. She befriends both Griffin and Devon. What begins as a mistrust between Daisy and Griffin blossoms into something very special.
When readers first meet Griffin, his arrogance could have easily alienated (pardon the pun) him to readers. But Saunders is a skilled writer. She endowed Griffin with an almost childlike wonderment about Earth that is endearing. From his desire to find David Bowie (because surely all New Yorkers must know how to locate Bowie and Griffin is convinced Bowie is from another planet) to his determination to become the most loved British pop star on the planet, readers will discover that it is easy to forgive Griffin’s faults. Even his persistence in calling Daisy by the name Wanda (the reason Griffin calls Daisy by the name Wanda is a clever piece of writing by Saunders that is later revealed in the story) is annoying to Daisy yet serves to add to the humor.
Devon London, Griffin’s friend and manager, is a scientific genius and level-headed man who is the perfect balance for Griffin. In many ways, Devon and Griffin share an almost brotherly bond. They argue but there is no doubt that they share deep-seated love and respect.
Saunders’ impeccable writing style makes it possible for the reader to see through both Daisy and Griffin’s eyes. Yet, there is no instruction manual for the uncharted waters that human and alien are navigating. It is refreshing to see these characters rise above insurmountable obstacles by having faith in each other. Just like Daisy whose mother is doubtful that her daughter can survive in New York, Griffin had to convince his father to allow him to come to Earth on an important mission. I will not spoil the various plots for readers, but I will say that I enjoyed how each character is afforded his or her own journey towards self-discovery. We see the characters’ growth. For example, Griffin’s backstory and his bond with his deceased mother is important in helping the reader understand him.
The pacing is appropriate. While foreshadowing is evident, readers won’t feel rushed because Saunders’ writing lets the story flow naturally. Of course, there are twists and turns that will leave readers captivated.
Characters, plot, romance, humor, dialogue, suspense are all factors that contribute to the success of Dating An Alien Pop Star. I highly recommend this book.