Attack of the Killer Earthlings

Young Adult - Fantasy - General
203 Pages
Reviewed on 12/03/2018
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Justine Reyes for Readers' Favorite

Attack of the Killer Earthlings by Christine Hayes is a fantasy novel for middle school aged readers. The story revolves around fifteen-year-old Shaun Ramsay and the odd occurrences at her summer job. Shaun is supposed to be sharing her workload with her unreliable and infuriating cousin Brady, but in reality, she has been working all by herself. Little by little, odd things start happening and eventually Shaun enlists her best friend Spence to help her out. That's when things go from odd to plain weird, but trust me, it's the good kind of weird.

Perhaps this is a subjective opinion, but there is something about abandoned places that truly opens the mind to wonders, even if that place is just a movie theater. I really adored the fact that Jim, the imp, learned to communicate through watching movies and observing people. It's a small detail, but a brilliant one. The story is told from the perspective of Shaun and I can honestly say I wish this book had existed when I was younger. On top of that, there aren't enough female leads like Shaun Ramsay in young adult novels, at least none with the wit, humor, and imagination. Of course, this is all due to Hayes's fantastic wordsmithing. Attack of the Killer Earthlings is both fantastic and zany. The novel exudes small-town nostalgia and whimsical and youthful indiscretion. Attack of the Killer Earthlings is a great novel that I would implore young adults to read because sometimes literature can be pure mischief and fun.

Lit Amri

Fifteen-year-old Shaun Ramsay cleans her uncle’s theater to earn some cash. Working in the middle of the night in a deserted movie theater is not a glamorous summer job but it pays. When the strange noises that she keeps hearing while working become worse, she convinces her uncle to hire her best friend, Spence, to cut down the hours. Spence can also drive her home instead of her douche cousin Brady. It’s a great plan until both of them meet a clan of imps that decides to make a movie of their own inside the theater—with Shaun and Spence in starring roles.

Some of the thrills of Attack of the Killer Earthlings by Christine Hayes come from a gradual buildup of fright, and the effects of the strange events on the characters’ psyches in the beginning. The humor in the well-developed plot and the witty dialogue soften the tense situations and instill delightful curiosity about the imps. Shaun and Spence are easy to relate to but the imps are adorable in an odd way and are full of surprises-sometimes more than their human counterparts can handle. Their movie-making process is hilariously professional and the imp Jim makes a charismatic director. Shaun admirably tries to tolerate their mischievous ways. Spence, on the other hand, has a bit more of a laid-back approach. Things get more complicated when a rival imp clan arrives. At this point, the story reminds me of 1984’s Gremlins. Attack of the Killer Earthlings has a more intricate and unpredictable plot than I expected. Young adults might be the intended demographic, but older readers can definitely enjoy this quirky supernatural tale. I look forward to reading more of Hayes’s work, especially in this genre.

Edith Wairimu

Attack of the Killer Earthlings by Christine Hayes is an expertly narrated young adult fantasy novel. It chronicles the events surrounding one summer in fifteen-year-old Shaun and her friend Spence’s lives. Shaun lands a well-paying job compared to her peers. She works for her uncle, cleaning his theatre. The job is tough and sometimes even nauseating but Shaun is determined. Things begin to happen in the dark while she cleans; first there are the noises, then the footsteps and the voices. She convinces her friend Spence to join her in working in the theatre. The noises do not fade; in fact, Spence and Shaun unravel the mystery behind their source. In one summer, they deal with imps, become part of the cast of the imps’ movie, and are forced to deal with the complications of sharing an awkward kiss on set.

Attack of the Killer Earthlings is full of surprises. From the time Shaun and Spence meet Jim, one of the imps and the director of their upcoming movie, they begin to understand the rules governing the imps’ world and they try to help their unusual friend. Then there is the strand of romance which makes everything even more complicated and the story much more exciting. As Shaun and Spence try to keep their end of the bargain, the clock continues to tick with both knowing what is at stake. The plot is action packed with touches of humor and unexpected turns. The characters are awkward and funny which makes them even more distinct and real. The language used is also accessible and the narration is entertaining. Christine Hayes’ Attack of the Killer Earthlings is definitely well told and thrilling, making it a definite must-read.