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Xenophobia by Peter Cawdron
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Xenophobia

by Peter Cawdron

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What really sets this book apart is the dialogue among the characters about how to react to aliens and how aliens will affect their planet. The characters have some deep, frank discussions that reveal their own biases, fears, and hopes. There is a long buildup to the first contact with aliens and we get information as the characters get it. The reader has a chance to reflect on how she or he would behave in this situation. That doesn't mean the books lacks action, though. It's exciting enough that aliens have come to Earth, but the characters (U.S. Army Rangers and a MSF doctor) struggling to get out of war-torn Malawi.

*spoiler ahead*
The one thing I didn't like was when two humans are taken to the alien craft. I found the setting very hard to visualize and it just felt too much like science fiction for me. I realize a lot of people like this kind of stuff, but I'm more taken with the human experience. The time on the craft is a relatively small portion of the book and it is interesting when the aliens finally explain why they came to Earth.

On the whole, I enjoyed the book. The typos bothered me, but the story was good and the characters were well developed.

I received a complimentary copy of this book in order to review it. ( )
  bismarckfairy | Feb 2, 2016 |
I enjoyed this book. A bit long but overall it was very detailed from the perspective of the protagonist. I think Mr. Cawdron did his research when it came to explaining life in Africa and how the military handles situations opposed to health services. The First Contact story will challenge your ideas of what would happen in today's society. And I think it is very possible that this story is one of the many scenerios that may play out. Again, it was a bit slow in some places but, the narrative keeps moving forward just at varied paces. I have read other works by Cawdron and applaud his ability to make a thoroughly convincing story backed with knowledge of his subject matter and additional research to create an almost seamless narrative. ( )
  selinalynn69 | Aug 19, 2014 |
My full Xenophobia audiobook review can be found at Audiobook Reviewer.

I started to wonder what xenophobia is, here is what I found out: intense or irrational dislike or fear of people from other countries. I never knew that this phobia had a name, and I know several people who could be categorized here. Mix in the alien landing and I am ready for some intense cultural war. Especially by the look of the extraterrestrials on the cover, airborne jellyfish, are those ships or the creatures themselves?

Cawdron starts off by introducing us to the cast of characters in the little military team and the civilians that round it out. By far my favorite was Elvis, no not the musical superstar, but a man who insists on talking like the one you just thought of, hilarious and not annoying at all. Just so happens that he is our male protagonist and I could listen to more stories about him. Then there is our female protagonist, Bower, a civilian doctor who stays behind with the military so she can care for the patients. Then all hell starts to break loose.

An alien craft is detected 6 months before it arrives to earth, they took their sweet time. Much political drama ensues, as you would expect, but it was done from the perspective of the soldiers. Never a full story transmitted to them. Now I don't want to give too much away here. Let me just say that this was one of the most thought provoking first contact stories that I have ever listened to. Full of great gritty action, dripping with suspense and plot twists coming from left field. I never knew what was going to happen, every time I tried to guess I was wrong. A true exploration of fear, fear of what is within us, and fear of others. I am now a fan of Cawdron and need to listen to more of his work.

Audiobook submitted for review by the author. ( )
  audiobibliophile | Jun 5, 2014 |
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