"Alien Hunter" Book Review
Written by Ron Williams
Published by Tor Books
Written by Whitley Strieber
2013, 320 pages, Fiction
Released on August 13th, 2013
The name Whitley Strieber conjures up different things. Back in the early '80s, he was an up-and-coming writer. His first two novels, The Hunger and Wolfen, were made into big budget Hollywood movies. While Wolfen's been forgotten, The Hunger with David Bowie, Catherine Deneuve and Susan Sarandon remains a cult film today. Then he was abducted by aliens and his writing career never really survived. Since then, he's mainly written books about, or inspired by his close encounters, most notably the book that started it all, Communion.
Streiber's latest, Alien Hunter, is a departure from all that, or is it? The book is about a detective whose wife goes missing, and it looks like she just up and left him. He doesn't believe it and begins an investigation that spans years, and he comes across many similar mysterious cases. People going missing who have no motivation to leave, and who are never heard from again. Might they have been abducted, and if so, to what nefarious ends?
Along the way, we meet undercover aliens, undercover government agencies, and of course, secret conspiracies. Strieber pulls out all the stops here: cover ups, aliens, secret government, you name it. If you listen to Coast to Coast AM, you'll find almost all of your favorite topics covered. Only here they're kind of half-baked, half-assed and unfortunately, half the fun.
Strieber hasn't lost his ability to tell a story. Alien Hunter starts at a rapid pace and never stops moving. It's got suspense, humor, and if you don't question characters, their motivation or plot holes, you might enjoy this book. The thing is, Strieber has lost his ability to tell a good story. While the book is mechanically correct, the characters are wooden, have dubious motivations, and there are several gaping plot holes. People seem to appear and disappear as needed; they have traumatic, violent experiences that don't phase them from one moment to the next. You can chalk it all up to just another day in the life of a secret government Alien Hunter, or that Streiber just doesn't care.
Whether or not you enjoy this book really just depends on how much you question what you read. If you don't question anything, you'll probably like this. If you're like me and tend to think about what you're reading, you probably won't like it at all. You may not even make it all the way through, it's just that aggravating.
You know what kind of reader you are. You have been warned.