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The Insomniac Reader

Books and snarky commentary inspired by insomnia induced reading marathons.



Mothership - Martin Leicht This book was...interesting. Interesting in that it makes you ask the question "If you found out the hot guy in school that you lost your virginity to was really a part of a beefcake alien race that impregnates earth girls with their powerful sperm that overrides the most effective form of birth control to keep their race going would you keep the baby and still love the guy?"

Oh, and you're officially sterile after you have this alien baby, by the way. So this severely limits your choices and you don't even get a warning. About any of this. You just thought you were having sex with the really hot guy in school. And as far as you know he's just a hot earthling boy.

To be honest, I'd probably have to chop his alien manhood off and burn it no matter if he does finally realize that what's going on here is wrong. But life and people are strange.

This could almost be interpreted as a sci-fi series against the stupidity of abstinence only education, but I don't think the authors are really trying to lean on any particular side of the political fence when it comes to family planning.

Some parts of the story are just absurd. Like that James Dean is still alive because he's a part of this practically immortal really hot alien race.

Some parts don't make much sense right now, but might be explained in future books in the series. And some of it is a bit predictable and leans too much on the sappy side of things. But I think I'm looking forward to the next book. It combines seriousness with humor in a way that is engaging, and it makes you want to know what happens next.

UPDATE: There are some problematic things with this book that are nagging me.

These pregnant and soon to be sterile alien incubators seem to be taking it pretty well. I mean, they freaked out when they found out. And they did stand up to these sexy aliens more than once. But after that, they seemed to suffer from a kind of Stockholm Syndrome. It's like after their choices were taken from them they were very "Well, what can we do about it? I have no control over anything now." Their acceptance of their powerlessness bothered me. The only one who seems to have the desire to regain any control over her life is the main character. I guess it streamlines the story but it's something that bothers me.

Speaking of the main character, her main point seems to be that even as a teen mom you can follow your dreams and everything will work out and lalalala. Which is fine for her. She has the support of her dad and her best friend and her baby alien daddy. Far as I can tell, while she may not come from complete wealth and privilege, she isn't living in poverty either. Not to say that being a teen mom isn't difficult for everyone it happens to. But access to resources that help you take life's opportunities and the support of your loved ones makes a big difference here. If it turns out that the entire point of this series is "Everything will be fine in the end and you can make your dreams come true no matter how bad things are." I'm going to be pissed off. If teen pregnancy were only slightly more difficult than not getting pregnant as a teenager, it would never be such a problem in the first place.

I found it interesting that access to more effective birth control and a way to find out your pregnant within 24 hours after sex resulted in more restricted access to an abortion after the first 2 months of pregnancy. Is this birth control/STD vitamin that's as effective as sterilization accessible to all girls/women and incomes? What if your parents are morally opposed to it? How common are back-alley abortions? Are these problems rendered non-existent in this future alternate reality? Those things are never really addressed.

SECOND UPDATE: Also, apparently the aliens who are supposedly the "good aliens" in the story have been on Earth for some time now, and most of them are the reason for major contributions to music, art and science in society. One of the main character's reasons for keeping her alien baby is that she doesn't want to rob the world of the person who might cure cancer or whatever. Here's the thing, even though this alien race is capable of superior intelligence, her alien baby daddy is a moron. He COULD be a genius if he wanted to be. But he's perfectly content with being an idiot. Clearly just because you're destined to be some genius, that doesn't mean you will be. It's the whole the individual vs. the species argument that's a big part of the book, and for some reason using populations of teenage girls as incubators is supposed to help the species. Nope can't see that being bad for society at all.

I don't know how in a book where there are two kinds of aliens intent on impregnating teenagers to continue their race there can be a good team and a bad team, but maybe that will be resolved in the rest of the series. Like at least one of them will think "Even if we're the reason for Mozart, that doesn't mean we should be doing this."

The book is very problematic, but maybe that's what helps make it interesting. I hope some of these issues are addressed as the series continues.