“This whole alien abduction thing isn’t the worst thing that has ever happened to me.”
Ann Aguirre’s Strange Love (2019) isn’t the type of book I normally read, so keep that in mind. I picked it up because the publisher of the audiobook, Tantor Media, offered me a review copy of their recently released edition (April 2020) and I thought it would be nice to try something different.
The story is about an alien named Zylar who wants to marry but has been unsuccessful in the marriage challenges and is about to be relegated to a life of bachelorhood doing a menial job for his tribe if he doesn’t succeed in the next annual Choosing.
Zylar thinks he’s found a suitable mate from another planet (and species) but, on his way to meet her family and collect her, something goes wrong and he accidentally captures an unsuspecting human woman named Beryl and her dog. After fitting them with interpretation devices, Zylar realizes his mistake.
Beryl, who works as a daycare provider, is looking for something new in her life and, when she finds out that women who take care of children are highly esteemed and treasured on Zylar’s planet, she agrees to compete in the challenges and, if they win, she will marry Zylar and start a new life. Perhaps both Zylar and Beryl will find in each other exactly what they’ve been looking for.
Strange Love requires a huge suspension of disbelief — you can’t take it seriously — but readers who enjoy light-hearted science fiction romances, especially those that occur between different species, will likely find Strange Love entertaining. It’s amusing to watch Beryl compete in the challenges and the story is very funny sometimes. I loved the dog who, thanks to the interspecies interpretation device, could talk. There was too much alien porn for my tastes — fondling of chitin, lubricated alien organs, etc. I just couldn’t get into this.
Sarah Puckett narrates the audiobook. I thought she was well cast for this role and I enjoyed her performance. It’s 8.5 hours long.
Strange Love is the first book in Ann Aguirre’s GALACTIC LOVE series. The second is called Love Code. These books appear to be stand-alone stories about interspecies romances. I’m not really into fondling lubricated chitin, so I’ll probably pass on the rest of this series.