Monday, December 26, 2016

Review: The Ballad of Elva and Chester by Adrian Archangelo

Elva and Chester are aliens that look like humans and have been sent to Earth to increase our empathy and compassion before humans have interactions with the universe at large. But, things never seem to go quite right for them no matter how hard they try. Now their bosses have come to Earth early and are very unhappy with what's going on. They are ready to deflect an asteroid and wipe out humanity. Elva and Chester appeal to them to change their minds and at least allow them the rest of the 1000 years allotment that they were supposed to have to fix things. What results is a sort of trial with flashbacks to historical disasters like the Leaning Tower of Pisa, Easter Island, the Roswell UFO incident, and more. Basically, if something really went haywire in history, it was their fault.

The premise is great. The execution just didn't quite live up to it. I almost DNF'd the book. The chapters were kind of repetitive. Elva and Chester dropped into a situation they wanted to fix. Things went wrong resulting in disaster.

The book finally got good towards the end. I agree with another reviewer who said that the book would have been better if you didn't know ahead of time that they were going to fail in most instances and instead it's revealed as the book progresses. The ending was unexpected, both for the reader and I think every character involved.

I think the book description from the publisher sets some pretty high goals comparing it in parts to Christopher Moore, Douglas Adams, and Ray Bradbury among others. It just never quite attains those heights.

I gave this book 2 stars. Basically, it's okay. I would classify it as humorous Science Fiction. It's just wasn't as funny to me as I expected. It could have been better. The quality of the writing improved towards the end. I probably wouldn't buy it as a gift for someone without reading it yourself first to form your own opinion.

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.