Monday, August 20, 2018

Book Review of The Alien Diaries by Glenn J. Devlin

While appraising old and rare books at a restored colonial plantation, a book collector stumbles across a series of diaries that chronicle an alien visitation in 1781.

A mysterious elderly stranger offers Colin Brayton, a bookstore owner, the job of appraising old books at a desolate colonial plantation. While working on the books, Colin stumbles across a series of diaries written in the late 1770s by fourteen-year-old Kate Dibble that chronicle an alien visitation.
Colin attempts to navigate a delicate balance between solving the mystery of the diary and simmering tensions with the beautiful, but aloof caretaker, Madeline Prentice. The strained relationship reaches a boiling point as a thunderstorm descends over the desolate property and prevents them from leaving. A malicious winged being emerges from the storm and demands the presence of The Ancient One in three days. When the diary hints of a buried spaceship, Colin and Maddy must put aside their differences to find the ship for their safety, and solve the mystery of the diary that hints at who The Ancient One is before the being seals their fate.

*We were given a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review*

The Alien Diaries takes an interesting look at the alien invasion genre. Weaving between modern times and the late 1770’s, and birthing a mystery around visitors from another world. Asher, a very wealthy man, is able to set the story in motion by offering struggling characters (who seem like they need a win) enough money to set some of their troubles at ease. He hires Colin to appraise books, supervised by Maddy, who has worked for Asher in the past. But everything is not as it seems, and there are some rules that they must follow while their working, and that includes living as though it was the 1770’s at all times while on the plantation. 

The narrative does a good job creating questions and it manages to answer most of them. Devlin does a good job of building a backstory for both Colin and Maddy, and you can guess why they may have been chosen by Asher to go to this old colonial plantation. It made me wish he had delved a little deeper into their personality quirks and interactions between the two, as there is a romance aspect that seems a bit forced, but it still gives a good picture of who they are. The text is a bit clunky at times, and in need of a little editing, but still found the story intriguing - what was happening, what was going to happen next, and why. The growing mystery builds at a slow pace, not giving too much away too early, so you’re not left bored. There are some parts that are a little too slow, too descriptive and give a myriad of unneeded information, but they are written well, so it’s easy to get through. All in all, an enjoyable read that will have you guessing throughout! 

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This review was done by MJ! You can follow her on Twitter and Instagram 

Ever since he began writing at the age of 10 in the basement of his parent's home, Glenn has been winning awards. Glenn wrote a short story in high school about talking houses that earned him first place where he won a pocket dictionary. Later he wrote a conspiracy novel about a secret formula hidden inside of Rubik's cube. The novel went nowhere but only whetted Glenn's appetite to write more. At Gallaudet, Glenn churned out countless short stories of horror and science fiction for the University newspaper, "The Buff and Blue." He went on to win the Mac Dougall Creative writing competition and the Lillian Gourley Rakon Creative Writing Awards. Taking a stab at screenwriting while in college, his first script, "Wrath of the Dragon," was a finalist at the 1988 Nissan Focus Screenplay competition sponsored by Columbia Pictures. His screenplay, "The Alien Diaries" was a finalist during Amazon's monthly screenwriting competition.

Glenn currently lives in Arizona with his wife, three children. He is currently working on his next novel.

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