The Alien Diaries

The Alien Diaries combines the American Civil War, aliens on the run, and a modern book store owner in an original, unlikely, enjoyable read.

Kate Arendell is an orphan, working in a run-down New York tavern in the last quarter of the 18th century. The tavern owner uses her and her brothers as unpaid labour, and beats them for entertainment. She and her siblings are rescued from their employers by mysterious passers-by—but as they journey into countryside brutalized by war, their rescuers show an ability to heal wounds unknown in their time.

When I first picked it up, I looked at the diary format and was afraid I’d let myself in for the fictional fantasies of an 18th century miss. However, by the third ‘diary entry’ I was hooked and happy as the plot twists started coming in. The Alien Diaries manages the mix of diary entries and the rest of the story smoothly, and despite an eclectic range of settings and eras, the storyline and the characters are clearly written and easy to follow. Happily, author Glenn Devlin didn’t feel any need to be predictable, and I found myself enjoying the unexpected in this book. The technical side of the writing was also pleasantly well done, and I didn’t find myself being hauled out of the story by a wandering gerund. As a whole, I would certainly recommend the read; it combines several genres and does it well.

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