I don’t read very many speculative fiction stories even though my partner loves them and actually writes them herself. When I looked at the cover (Covers really are important) and read the blurb for Uninvited by Jane C. Esther, I decided that it sounded interesting. I was right. The book is interesting, and I really enjoyed reading it.
The story centers around two women, Aerin McLeary and Olivia Ando. Aerin has an almost deadly experience while she is on vacation which leaves her with some extraordinary abilities she did not have before. She seeks the help of her ex-friend and first lover Olivia, who is now a college professor and science researcher. In spite of their past, they work together to discover that Aerin’s body is now the host of an alien being. They also learn that the alien, through Aerin, seems to want to try and stop some type of explosion that could kill and injure many people. But is this really the alien’s agenda?
This is a well written speculative fiction novel. It has all the expected elements of the genre, but it is also a romance as well, which is probably why I liked it so much. (I love a good romance, and I’m not afraid to admit it.) I connected with the characters pretty quickly and found them interesting. The small town setting as the backdrop for a good portion of this alien possession story was well done. I liked the contrast it made to the unusual plot. The back story involving the two main characters really made the story for me, even though I think it was supposed to be kind of secondary. Aerin and Olivia’s history is full of angst, betrayal, heartache and love. It is mostly shown through flashbacks, but all that emotion carries into the present and affects their actions all through the book.
I have only one real criticism with the novel. I didn’t like the way the flashbacks were treated. They all seemed to have their own chapters, but there was no indication at the beginning of the chapters that you were about to read a flashback. That’s not good because it knocked me out of the story for a bit. There really should be some indication that the reader is about to start reading a flashback, italics perhaps.
Uninvited is the first book in the Portal series, and you will end up wanting to get the next book in the series. While the ending does answer some questions, it sets up the next book as well. I know I will be looking forward to it. If you like good speculative fiction mixed with an angst ridden romance, I believe you’ll like this book
I received an ARC from NetGalley and Bold Strokes Books for an honest review.