Eaters and Overlords

Fiction - Science Fiction
260 Pages
Reviewed on 07/15/2018
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Justine Reyes for Readers' Favorite

Eaters and Overlords by Blaine C. Readler is a science fiction novel which revolves around a bright young woman named Terri. Her home life is unconventional and far from easy. Her uncle pays for home health care for her mother who has Alzheimer's so that Terri can go to college and, because of this, she carries a load of guilt and anxiety to get the best grades. After getting a bad grade on her zoology final, Terri convinces her college professor, Professor Siderai, to give her an extra credit project. Before they venture off into the forest, Terri notes that an old man had been murdered there a week prior and, despite the seemingly off-handed comment, Terri and Professor Siderai may have just met the likely assailants responsible… though they aren’t human and they aren’t from Earth either.

There is an abundance of science fiction novels about aliens out there, but I don’t think any of them are anything like Readler’s Eaters and Overlords. He gives depth to his characters and humanity to otherwise non-human characters; the science he provides is written with an extremely thorough and careful hand so that it translates with utter subtlety and makes it easy to comprehend without sounding overly simplified or overly complicated. I think the story is superb, and it is always fun to imagine the possibility of intelligent life being out there. What's even more fun is imagining how humans would react and interact with them and Readler’s take on this subject is a breath of fresh air. Science fiction fans will be delighted by Eaters and Overlords.

Caitlin Lyle Farley

An extra credit project of analysing marmot scat unexpectedly becomes interesting when Terri and her community college zoology teacher, known as Professor Siderai, discover three strange beings living in the Mark Ward State Park. Although ape-like in appearance, it’s clear to the pair that the three creatures, whom Terri nicknames Moe, Larry, and Conan, are a completely unknown and intelligent species. Terri and Siderai’s important zoological discovery takes an astonishing turn when they return to establish contact and Moe leads them to a space ship hidden in the forest. The three aliens, from a race known as Inhabitors, need help. Their ship is almost out of fuel and is in danger of exploding as its internal containment fields deteriorate. The refueling base is somewhere on Earth, and Terri is their strongest hope of finding it.

Readler approaches the subject of alien visitors from a unique perspective as Terri and Siderai draw on their knowledge to understand the Inhabitors. This allows for several fascinating discussions on convergent evolution and complex social structures as the basis of intelligence. Sarcasm and wit abound in Terri and Siderai’s conversations, adding entertainment to the intellectual discourse. The twist of fate that affords Terri the knowledge and means to locate the refueling station is believable, while the journey involved in the search convincingly escalates the stakes and introduces new conflict in the form of another, more domineering alien species. Eaters and Overlords leaves a lasting impression through Readler’s coupling of an original take on first contact with intelligent dialogue and a layered story.

Jamie Michele

Eaters and Overlords by Blaine Readler is a science fiction novel that follows a young student named Terri after she makes what appears to be first contact with a sentient, knife-wielding tribe of extraterrestrials who resemble anthropoids. This occurs while trying to get extra credit for her zoology project (so she won't end up with a B-grade, which she views as failing). Along with her friend Siderai, Terry forms something of a bond with the three aliens, whom they've named Conan, Larry, and Moe. When it turns out that these are not the only extraterrestrials that have made their way to earth in search of Terri's refugee companions, a quest for extra credit might just lead to a bulls-eye on the faces of Terri and the entire planet.

Eaters and Overlords is written with a tight and witty narrative that is instantly entertaining. "The thing was so small, so innocent. It meant no harm. It just wanted to learn about them. How did she know that? You don’t question whether a chipmunk is dangerous—it’s just . . . obvious." The pacing is perfect and, as the plot thickens, Readler proves that her hand at creative dialogue is equally skilled when it comes to description. Conan, Larry, and Moe all seem to come alive, and Terry is such an amusing protagonist that she's easy to root for from the onset. I would absolutely recommend this book to readers who enjoy classic science fiction with a decent helping of humor.