Whenever aliens unexpectedly visit Earth, it’s inevitably reminiscent of Independence Day or The Day the Earth Stood Still; us versus them, and only one will live to see tomorrow. Mr. Cawdron breaks from this tired trope and takes Xenophobia and our first encounter with aliens in an entirely different and fresh direction.
For the first time in my reading experience, the story of humanity’s first encounter with a wholly alien species takes place not in urban America or at a military base, but in Africa during a civil war. Dr. Elizabeth Bower, a physician with a humanitarian relief organization, is forced to decide to stay in a war-torn country at her own potential peril, or pull out with the American peace-keeping forces which have been recalled due to a massive, unknown, alien ship that appeared in orbit.
What unfolds during her escape and tenuous encounter with one of the alien organisms is nothing short of brilliant when addressing what such an encounter might be like when there is no similarities or means of communication between the two species. Try to imagine a blend of a mature version of E.T. and Full Metal Jacket!
This first contact is entirely plausible, and we will be so lucky to have Dr. Bower on our side.