****I received an ARC copy from the author in exchange for an honest review****
The title of this book pretty much tells you everything you need to know about what you’ll find within its pages. Spoiler alert: earth is screwed. If any humans want to be spared, then our hope lays with Autumn, a klutzy young woman who’s day job is making infomercials, who needs to tell the rest of the human race to take a major chill pill, and come together singing kumbaya so the aliens will swoop down and save us. There’s a reason why this all sounds kind of silly, and that’s because that’s how the book is written (which, come on, is pretty obvious just by LOOKING at the cover, or reading the back blurb). So if you’re tired of all those serious end-of-day’s books, you know, the ones that result in redemption stories as the characters try to get back to normal life, then look no further. This book doesn’t deal with the aftermath of the end of the world (which should be self-explanatory as to why), but rather the humorous lead up to saving what remains of the human race. Who knew you could cram a decent amount of sex, food binge-fests, and bad puns, while the earth gets destroyed?
First things first, I need to put a trigger warning in here for attempted rape, it may be considered a spoiler but for some people, something like that needs to be spoiled, so there it is. Also, you’re going to need a healthy dose of either suspension of disbelief, or a basic belief in aliens, because Abell’s book could almost be considered a creation myth retelling, where the aliens play the role of God. Additionally, if you aren’t a fan of “bodice-ripper” like sex and romance scenes, or occasional cursing, then parts of the book may make you uncomfortable. It’s nothing super erotic, but it is there. So if things like that aren’t your thing, you may want to skip this one.
Abell’s book reminded me a lot of “The World’s End” movie with Simone Pegg and Nick Frost, mingled with a healthy dose of “Hitchhiker’s Guide to The Galaxy”, the book, not the movie. The story is silly, over the top, and full of quirky caricature-like characters that always crack an inappropriate joke while the world burns around them. For about the first half of the book, I was totally on-board for the humor, then things were getting serious (world getting pulverized seems kind of serious to me, but what do I know?), and I was waiting for Autumn and her friends to take a breath, and hunker down. Not that there shouldn’t have been a level of gallows humor involved in a situation that is ultimately inevitable, but whatever tension I may have felt for the situation just never happened, and at times it annoyed me because it gets hard to appreciate the humorous situations when they never end. It almost got monotonous, which is a weird thing but when strange things happen all the time that are supposed to be chuckle worthy, they no longer tickled me, and I was ready for Autumn and her friends to just grow up.
I enjoyed the character’s for the first maybe 60% of the book, then Devon, Rigel, Inanna, and pretty much everyone else all start sounding and acting just like Autumn. Previous stoic characters with their own quirks all develop the same sense of humor, and say things that all sound like the established main character. I still liked that she had friends along for the ride, but the shift confused me, and made me wonder why they were involved when all you really needed was Rigel and Autumn.
Also, I wished that we could have had Rigel and Autumn’s relationship progress a bit more to make the love feel real rather than just super lusty. I get it, he’s a Greek God looking alien and any sane woman would want to rip his clothes off, and when he feels the same about you, then yes, go to town! But there are a few uncomfortable conversations the pair have that Autumn shrugs off because they make Rigel squirm, like he’s afraid she won’t like him anymore if she knows the truth. But without that basis, I just never thought the relationship was all that real. It had its moments (outside of the sexy bits), but not enough to make me truly hot and bothered.
All in all, I enjoyed the book, and my observations are things I think can, and will, be addressed in book two (this is a trilogy, after all). I’m interested to see where Autumn and crew go after the end of the world, because following THAT is going to be hard to top, though I’m interested to see how Abell handles it, considering this book and its ending felt like a complete story without a ton of need for a second book. Her love and passion for aliens is evidenced in the amount of research she puts into the details of the different alien theorists, and how they tie into the creation myths we’ve all heard. It’s very creative, and I enjoyed the alternate reality she presents to the reader. I’m definitely on-board for the next book, and we’ll see where it progresses from there. But given the characters and the sheer amount of silliness in this first book, I can’t really give this book the full 4 stars, so 3.75 it is but will round up when I need to!