Fiction - Science Fiction
244 Pages
Reviewed on 07/30/2017
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    Book Review

Reviewed by Sefina Hawke for Readers' Favorite

Crusher by Blaine C. Readler is a science fiction novel that would appeal most to a diverse audience of young adults and adults who enjoy alien stories. Darren’s life is forever changed when he finds an alien behind his computer; an alien that had sent an email to the hospital where his cousin Crusher was suffering brain damage to have Darren take over Crusher’s care. It turns out that Crusher’s vegetative state made him a good host for the alien, who could use Crusher’s body to communicate and pass for human. However, when an alien invasion begins, Darren and his cousin/alien end up working together to find out the true cause of the invasion and stop it before Earth is overrun. Does Darren have what it takes to help his alien zombie cousin stop the invasion or will Earth be lost forever?

Crusher by Blaine C. Readler was an enjoyable story. I found it to be very well written and I liked the way that Blaine C. Readler balanced the content between humor, character development, plot development, alien elements, and mystery elements. The alien was by far my favorite character because of the reactions it caused Darren to have. I loved how the alien caught that Joe was trying to swindle Darren with a fake metal that was only covered in rhodium instead of being a full ounce of rhodium. I found the design of the Fungus birds to be rather ingenious and they made for an interesting opposing force to the protagonists. Overall, I really enjoyed reading about Darren and his alien/zombie cousin and I hope the author decides to write a sequel!

Lit Amri

Darren’s cousin, Crusher, sustained massive brain injuries when he tried to fake an accidental fall from a high-dive board for a funny home videos TV show. Over two months later, someone made it look as if Darren agreed to be Crusher's caretaker. It turns out a shipwrecked alien is behind it, to enable itself to take over Crusher’s mind and body. From that point on, everything is a wild adventure as Darren and the alien need to stop an Earth invasion by another alien race while trying to outrun the authorities.

From the start, I enjoyed reading Crusher by Blaine C. Readler. This sci-fi tale has offbeat characters and funny situations. You really have to give credit to the protagonist, Darren, who’s still able to maintain a certain level of calmness even after what he has experienced. Having his hippy Aunt Melba and his late half-wit cousin Crusher in his life most probably made him prepared to deal with most weird and awkward situations. Some parts of the plot’s direction are somewhat foreseeable. That said, the plot is well written and, in the end, readers will discover an interesting fact about the alien that's using Crusher's body.

The dialogue is sarcastic and witty. The narrative tone is humorous, but also filled with drama as well as satirical observations on real life. All these propel this book forward as an entertaining read and a good page turner. Even though it is not as suspenseful as other more somber sci-fi novels, Readler managed to keep me engaged throughout.

Liz Konkel

Crusher by Blaine C. Readler is a science fiction novel following Darren as he gets custody of his cousin, Crusher, who lives in a vegetative state. To make matters more complicated, an alien being appears in his computer, asking for his help. When the alien takes over his cousin's body, it asks Darren to do one thing: keep Crusher alive. To do so, Darren has to turn to Adelaide for help acquiring rhodium, but their actions catch the attention of NASA. Now they have to run for their lives while depending on Crusher's alien inhabitant to help them prevent an alien invasion by the Fungus Birds.

Crusher is a unique take on an alien invasion action packed, funny flirtation that reads more comedic than romantic, and snarky. Darren and Adelaide don't care who they tell or who sees that Crusher is an alien and this often creates chaotic and humorous outcomes, mainly due to their constant bantering. The two alien beings accuse each other of invasion, which gives a mysterious element, because it's unclear which one is telling the truth until the end. The alien that becomes Crusher is weirdly endearing, intelligent yet somehow very innocent seeming, with a big personality, and its scenes with Darren are charming. Blaine C. Readler has fun with the science fiction genre, twisting these usually perceived as horrific events in a humorous, satirical way, with deeply flawed characters that aren't always likable but they do have a certain charm about them that is mostly found through humor.