Agent to the Stars by John Scalzi
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
John Scalzi notes that he wrote Agent to the Stars as a 'practice' novel. As someone with several first-draft practice novels hidden on my hard drive, I should probably be intimidated by how good this one is. On the other hand, I have no doubt quite a bit of work, and several drafts, were put in before 'Agent' ever saw the light of day.
I detected several signs of a first novel. A simple plot. Long sections of exposition. A sudden romance. Obvious foreshadowing. Aliens that are a bit too conveniently anthropomorphic (not in appearance, but thought and speech patterns). Even so, 'Agent' is a quick, humorous read that skewers both science fiction tropes and the entertainment industry with an interesting concept, some plot twists that keep you guessing, and fun, colorful characters.
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