All Of Us Alone

They survived the destruction of their planet - now the real test begins on ours

Young Adult - Sci-Fi
294 Pages
Reviewed on 12/07/2023
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    Book Review

Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite

All Of Us Alone is a work of fiction in the science fiction, suspense, adventure, and interpersonal drama subgenres. It is best suited to the general adult reading audience. Penned by author Holly Payne-Strange, the story begins with an alien family seeking refuge on Earth after escaping the destruction of their home planet. However, their arrival is met with hostility as the remnants of their spacecraft are seized by the US military. The family must navigate a hostile environment, avoiding not only the military but also paranormal investigators eager to expose them. The juxtaposition of their struggle for survival against the backdrop of military and investigative pursuits makes for a tense and captivating drama.

Author Holly Payne-Strange has crafted a truly riveting reading experience, offering a fresh perspective on the classic theme of alien arrival with some really resonant observations about the state of humanity today. The narrative is not just a science fiction adventure but a poignant exploration of identity, sacrifice, and the lengths one must go to adapt to a hostile world. The family's internal conflicts and decisions on what parts of their identity to reveal for the sake of survival create a rich and thought-provoking storyline. These are well-realized with close attention to detail in both the psychological and emotional narrative strands. Payne-Strange's writing is smooth, clear, and evocative, capturing the complexity of the human experience through the lens of extraterrestrial visitors. The narrative unfolds with balance and a keen sense of slow-burning pace, offering a blend of suspense and emotional resonance that urges readers to reflect on themes of acceptance, survival, and the consequences of human actions on those seeking refuge. Overall, All Of Us Alone stands out as a captivating journey into uncharted territories, where the struggle for survival transcends planets, and the challenges of adaptation take on profound significance. I would highly recommend it to fans of accomplished and sophisticated science fiction.

Grant Leishman

All of Us Alone by Holly Payne-Strange explores the concept of how an alien race could survive and integrate with humanity, should they find themselves on Earth. When a family, who had escaped the destruction of their planet, Astkeria, crash land their spaceship in New Mexico, they must quickly find a way to hide from both the U.S. military, which has retrieved parts of their downed craft, and those who seek them for personal glory and exposure. Adult Astkerians communicate not with verbal language but with telepathy and only the children have ears, which they shed in puberty. The two youngsters, Grick and Helga, and their ability to hear will be vitally important in the family’s survival in this strange and hostile world. They must rebuild what is left of their ship and leave Earth to look for a new home more receptive for their long-term survival.

All of Us Alone by Holly Payne-Strange is a fun, young adult story exploring the ideas of family dynamics and focusing on the two youngsters' adventures. As the only ones in the family who can hear, they are critical to their overall survival. The story raises the question of how we, as humanity in general, would respond to a visit, either actual or deliberate, from alien creatures. The answers to that question are probably not flattering to us. However, I appreciated that both Helga and Grick gained much understanding and empathy from their interactions with humans. It was telling that the humans who did interact with the aliens did so with the foremost purpose of using them to advance their technologies, their power, and their position within Earth’s internal struggles. The opportunity to use the Astkerians' knowledge to begin their exploration of the stars seemed subservient to their desires to rule and dominate Earth. This is a fun read and one I can recommend.

Luwi Nyakansaila

A family of aliens from Astkeria crash lands on Earth and receives a terrifying welcome. The aliens have spider-like legs, blue-grey skin, black eyes, and kinetic and telepathic abilities, which make them completely different from humans. Luckily, they survive their first encounter with hostile people and find refuge in a mine. They spend their days observing humans, avoiding the CIA and paranormal hunters, and building a spaceship from scratch. The family gives themselves human names and tries their best to find peace with their new way of living. They desperately want to leave the planet, but time is not on their side because their safe haven cannot be hidden forever. Will they ever make it out alive, and are there more of their kind on Earth? Get a copy of All Of Us Alone by Holly Payne-Strange to find out.

Reading All Of Us Alone took me on a roller coaster of emotions. The story is captivating and makes you wonder about the true meaning of home and family. Holly Payne-Strange puts readers in the characters' shoes and makes you feel their hopelessness, loss, and curiosity. The aliens' special ability to share emotions and thoughts was a unique concept that showcased the family's love and care for one another. The author gave the characters human characteristics such as a mother who wants to get her family back home, a father desperate to protect his loved ones, grumpy and wise grandparents, and mischievous children, which made them feel relatable. I loved this story because it has a unique plotline, and is fast-paced and creative. I highly recommend this book to anyone who loves reading realistic extraterrestrial science fiction. Great work.