2 out of 4 stars
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Christmas on Planet Earth by Mike Corbin is the science fiction alien Christmas story for your holiday season.
Nineteen-year-old Pix has spent almost her entire life in an orphanage. When Santa Claus mysteriously appears at her orphanage on Thanksgiving, Pix follows him, wanting to know who he really is and to make sure the kids at the orphanage aren’t in danger. Imagine her shock when Santa turns out to be her long-lost father (who is not actually Santa Claus). Pix is also reunited with her mother for the ultimate holiday gift.
But the reunion is short-lived. Pix’s parents are agents of an alien taskforce that keeps the universe in check, and there’s a threat to Earth in the form of Velim—insect-like creatures. Can Pix, her parents, and her new boyfriend save Earth and Christmas?
I love a good Christmas (or any holiday really) story. This one had all the elements of seasonal cheer. Orphanage of underprivileged kids? Got it. Magical visit from Santa? Yup. Alien race that wants to destroy humanity? I was reminded of a Power Ranger’s Christmas special I once saw where the poor rangers had to go fight evil on Christmas. This so isn’t the point of the holidays, but I loved the kick-butt Christmas story. Christmas on Planet Earth would make a neat movie.
Pix is a great leading character. She’s smart, sassy, and willing to do anything to protect her loved ones. Guy, her new boyfriend, is also quite the, well, guy. He’s charming and genuinely cares about Pix. They make a cute couple and team.
Unfortunately, I encountered some pretty big areas of confusion. There is an alien who goes by Normandy (among other names). He wants to destroy the orphanage to build a mall. There is also the greater plot to take out all humankind, and I had a tough time figuring out how these things were related. The early pages got me hooked with reveal after reveal, and I wanted to know more. Shortly after, though, the pacing got weird. The story alternated between moving fast with relevant details and feeling bogged down by stuff I wasn’t sure about the importance of. The ending tied up most of the loose ends but left me wanting.
One of my favorite things about science fiction is the technology. I love seeing how tech has progressed and what characters can do with their futuristic gadgets. There is no shortage of neat future technology in Christmas on Planet Earth, but I couldn’t for my life figure out how it worked. It was explained, but the explanation went right over my head. Where the pacing got strange, the technology felt like a device for convenience. The characters needed or wanted to do something, and ta-da, it was doable very easily. For me, it took away from the suspense. I stopped wondering if there would be a solution because the technology let anything happen.
I rate Christmas on Planet Earth 2 out of 4 stars. The story had a lot of potential but didn’t feel executed as well as it could have been. This in addition to punctuation errors throughout and some other grammar mistakes keep me from rating this book higher. The Christmas side of the story, however, really grabbed me, and because of that, I won’t rate this 1 star. I recommend this book for science fiction fans who don’t mind suspending disbelief for tech. I also think anyone who wants an unconventional Christmas story would enjoy this.
Christmas on Planet Earth
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