Brother Termite

Patricia Anthony, Author
Patricia Anthony, Author Houghton Mifflin Harcourt P $21.95 (250p) ISBN 978-0-15-114422-8
Reviewed on: 10/04/1993
Release date: 10/01/1993
Mass Market Paperbound - 978-0-441-00187-3
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By cleverly spinning an intricate plot that draws on tabloid tales of UFOs, alien abductions and conspiracy theories, the author of Cold Allies has created an occasionally farcical but essentially poignant story. An alien race called the Cousins have for decades lived openly on Earth, working in posts at the highest levels of government and industry--ostensibly for humanity's betterment. Actually, the Cousins are completing the implementation of an ominous secret agenda using mind control, covert assassinations and concealed genetic experiments to create human-Cousin hybrids. White House chief of staff Reen is a Cousin who is finding his loyalties increasingly divided between his duty to his own species and his growing attachment to humans, particularly to the sometimes senile, sometimes sly U.S. president and also to the CIA director who happens to be the mother of Reen's own hybrid daughter. Amid increasing domestic unrest, Reen becomes involved in the investigation of mysterious Cousin kidnappings, uncovering complex power bargains and hidden betrayals that could cost both Cousins and humans their fragile futures. With incisive political satire and canny observations, Anthony adroitly inverts the SF cliche by telling the story from the aliens' point of view. And though their tactics are unjustifiable, the Cousins are still sympathetic characters with a moving plight. This tense, often disturbing book is a difficult, but rewarding read. (Oct.)
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