by Alethea Eason
Review by Scot Noel
Hungry is a delicious science
fiction snack, all wrapped up in the guise of young adult
fiction. Alethea Eason has provided one of those rare novels
that can be appreciated by children and parents alike, which
works on level after level to provide smiles and surprises
for readers of all ages.
I don't seem to be the only
one who agrees. With not a single review on Amazon
displaying less than 5 stars for this tasty first novel, I
was surprised that I had not heard of it sooner. I learned
of Hungry by the happy circumstance of the author wondering
by our website to ask a question.
My question is why
Harper Collins did not promote the book more effectively and
where is the sequel?
When I first started the book,
I thought I understood the suspense meant to carry through
the novel. Deborah (Dbkrrrsh on her home world) is an
articulate sixth grade girl undergoing all the normal
stresses of pre-teen life, with the addition of knowing she
is part of a rather vicious race that, after studying
mankind for years, is intent on making us their next major
When we learn it is necessary for these
tentacled aliens to eat only once a year, and that Deborah's
parents are hoping she will choose her best friend Willy as
her next meal, I expected a series of tricks and turns along
the way, culminating in Willy's life being spared and the
story ending happily ever after. It is a children's book
after all. But when the feeding begins, I find I'm not sure
how much longer poor Willy really has to go!
Deborah shuns human flesh and finds she can survive on fast
food, I once again think I know where the story is heading,
but soon after Dbkrrrsh undergoes a rite of passage that
invigorates the young alien with the bloodlust of her
species and has her declaring "We got a planet to conquer!"
When she starts looking forward to how wonderful it will be
to betray her former friend Willy, I started flipping pages
faster and faster, impatient to see how Ms. Eason would
extricate herself from the corner she had written herself
Along the way there was plenty of fun,
especially with family social dynamics, including the
arrival of Deborah's all-conquering grandmother, the
addition of a young alien to whom she is betrothed but has
never seen, and her mother's addiction to gambling in Vegas
and the tunes of an ill-fated cowboy crooner. Poor dad only
hopes the invasion gets under way before the credit card
bills come due.
I also appreciated the fact that the
invasion itinerary for the Supreme Imperial High Matriarch
involved picking either Disney World or Disney Land as one
of her first stops.
I won't spoil the whole story.
It's too well written and too much fun; I only promise
you'll be very close to the end, with Deborah fully
committed to the invasion and her friends seconds from
becoming appetizers before... Well, we'll just have to let
you find out on your own, won't we?
Humorous, sensitive, and strangely realistic, there is much about Hungry to enjoy. It certainly whets your appetite for more.
© 2007 by Alethea Eason
EOS, An Imprint of Harper Collins Publishers
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