Opposable (The Halteres Chronicles, Book One) by Kirk E. Hammond

If you’re down for a SciFi story that is totally and completely different, then Opposable is the book for you.

Renowned author of the popular SciFi novel, Halteres, Dr. Stanley Ivan Vanderbilt discovers that the inspiration for his bestseller did not come from within his imagination but was the result of thoughts (known as “Sparks”) sent to him by an alien lifeform, the Arca Trochia, from the real-life planet of Halteres, over two billion light-years away. The Sparks with descriptions of the planet, its leaders, and people – good and bad, are the Arca Trochia’s first foothold in the consciousness of humankind and spread additional thoughts in the receptive minds they found, resulting in the building of “Spires” (portals between Halteres and Earth). The Spires, once activated, would serve as a gateway to launch the invasion and conquest of Earth. Aided by his pet cyborg cats, Patton and Herbert, his best friend, Xeno – a mohawked connoisseur of illicit drugs, a sexy, kick-ass-and-I-don’t-care-WHAT-your-name-is merc named Ashleigh, and one of the novel’s characters-come-to-life, the fire-shooting fingertipped Sho, the heroes take off on a road trip across the southwestern US to stop the alien invasion.

The premise is bizarre. There is violence and gore. Adult situations and drug use. The first scene is positively crazy, and I kept asking myself, “What the heck is going on?!” And it is probably one of the most original, interesting, and entertaining books I’ve read this year. In fact, this book was perfect to close out this trainwreck known as 2020.

The prose is adrenaline-fueled until the drugs kick in. The dialogue is unrelentingly fresh and funny, and I laughed and squirmed at times, but I had to keep reading. This is a road trip tale on acid. I enjoyed so many of the characters, and I don’t know if I can even pick my favorite: Dr. Vanderbilt/Pops/Father – the narrator is great. His best friend, Xeno, is delightful. Patton, the large cyborg cat with thumbs, is awesome. Ashleigh and Sho are total rock stars. I even loved the CAR!

But all fangirling aside, this is a fantasy of a road trip story with the end goal of saving the Earth from an alien invasion. It takes a little getting into because the reader is dumped smack into the middle of the action (there are at least ten years of prior story you’re not immediately privy to). You’re going to have questions, but part of the fun of the story is the answering of these questions as the story goes along. And you never know what’s going to happen next! I think it is this author’s writing style and use of language that really sells this story. I will be looking for more by him, and most definitely if, as I understand, this is the start of a series.

I recommend this to SciFi fans who like alien contact books and are willing to let the tale just flow around them and trust the author to get you successfully to the end and rewarded with a good story.

I voluntarily reviewed this after receiving an Advanced Review Copy from Reedsy Discovery.

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Filed under Book Reviews, Sci-Fi

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