And the prize for the nuttiest and most far-fetched explanation for alien abductions by UFOs goes to . . . Jeremy Robinson, for The Others. In a story that involves a rural Arizona sheriff, an Uber driver who isn’t an Uber driver, squads of mercenaries, black helicopters, human traffickers, a community of polygamous Mormons, and lots and lots of guns, a private detective stumbles into the midst of a conspiracy so vast and nefarious that only a devotee of QAnon could possibly believe it.
Now why, you might ask, would any self-respecting book reviewer turn to a story filled with such nonsense? OK. You deserve an explanation.
Since UFOs are back in the headlines . . .
As you’re no doubt aware, UFOs have been much in the news lately. The US government finally consented to open its old files on Unidentified Flying Objects that first came to wide attention in 1947 at Roswell, New Mexico. Decades of reports of alien abductions by UFOs followed. With (most) of the truth now out in the open in a new government report, the many thousands of people who have claimed alien abductions over the years, and the millions more who believe them, can now point fingers and claim that even the federal government agrees they’re “out there.” Conveniently ignoring the fact that the intelligence community has “found no evidence that aerial phenomena witnessed by Navy pilots in recent years are alien spacecraft.” So, I figured, why not? And thus I decided to check out a novel that so compellingly features a flying saucer in the act of abducting someone on its cover. And, as you can gather, that turned out to be a bad idea.
The Others by Jeremy Robinson (2018) 324 pages ★★☆☆☆
So, here come the black helicopters . . .
So, here’s the story (or at least how it starts). A private detective in the American Southwest named Dan Delgado goes in search of a missing young girl in the company of his sixty-plus secretary. (Winifred, or Wini, is really more like his mother, but she packs a pistol.) Delgado stumbles into a gunfight involving an Arizona county sheriff and a community of polygamous Mormons. Somehow, an Uber driver (who, it will turn out, is anything but an Uber driver) gets involved in the search—and the gunfight. Or maybe Delgado, Wini, and the Uber driver (whose name may be Lindo) get caught inside a Protestant church when they’re attacked by a platoon of heavily armored mercenaries who arrive in black SUVs and black helicopters. And soon we’re off in the farthest reaches of la-la land, chasing reports of alien abductions by UFOs. Actually, I can’t remember which comes first, the Mormons, the church, or the UFOs. But it hardly seems to matter. Because, believe it or not, the story becomes even wilder and crazier as it goes on. Don’t waste your time with this book.
About the author
American author Jeremy Robinson (1974-) has written more than sixty novels under a variety of pen names. According to the anonymous editors of Wikipedia, “Many of his novels have been adapted into comic books, optioned for film and TV, and translated into thirteen languages.” That reference to comic books may help explain this puerile attempt at a novel. Robinson lives with his wife and three children in New Hampshire.
For more reading
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- The ultimate guide to the all-time best science fiction novels
- Great sci-fi novels reviewed: my top 10 (plus 100 runners-up)
- Seven new science fiction authors worth reading
- The top 10 dystopian novels reviewed here (plus dozens of others)
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