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Reviewed by Carine Engelbrecht for Readers' Favorite
In Beyond The Coat Cupboard by R.J. Sayer, we meet the intelligent, but somewhat grumpy Dot, a twelve-year-old girl who discovers that her coat closet in fact doubles as an Omnitube station to planet Earth. Not that it's much of an inconvenience. The planet has been mislaid for a few million years, but that's about to change. An unfortunate encounter with a human-sized beetle results in her pet rat Dawkins hurtling off to another galaxy. Alarmed, Dot follows and this begins a series of hair-raising adventures. Soon, Dot learns that there is much more to the universe than boring old Earth, but that's not necessarily a good thing. Still in her night gown, the resourceful young girl has to navigate her way around, brushing shoulders with giant insects, four-eyed humanoids, and various other races. Along the way, Dot masters inter-dimensional travel, learns the finer points of pteraball, and has to defend planet Earth from impending doom.
The story combines the fun of encountering outlandish aliens with an exciting plot and plenty of twists and changes. A few of the scrapes the heroine gets herself out of are just outrageous enough to work, but loyalty, courage and quick wits are essentials to survival. The narrative holds just the right number of puns and word plays to appeal to target readers - children - without seeming lame or cliched. Are there a few parodies of Earthlings hidden within the story? That's up to you to decide. If you like your science fiction with plenty of multi-faceted aliens as part of the package, you are in for a treat with Beyond The Coat Cupboard by R.J. Sayer.