cover image Alien Feast

Alien Feast

Michael Simmons, , illus. by George O'Connor. . Roaring Brook/Porter, $15.95 (231pp) ISBN 978-1-59643-281-9

The aliens that have landed in the town of Willoughby are mean and ugly—and they eat people (everything except their feet)—in this opening volume in Simmons's (Vandal ) Chronicles of the First Invasion series. Twelve-year-old William Aitkin “didn't particularly mind” when the aliens ate his stepparents—after all, they weren't very nice to him and they “despised his violin playing” (he dreams of being a famous violinist). William is on his way to visit his eccentric Uncle Maynard, however, when he discovers that the parents of his crush, Sophie, have been kidnapped by the aliens, possibly to help cure a killer virus that stands between them and world conquest. Worse still, the mayor seems to be in cahoots with the invaders. Soon William, Sophie and Uncle Maynard are off to the mayor's country estate in a desperate bid to rescue Sophie's parents. Fortunately for them, “aliens are not quite as smart as you'd think.” With its fair share of ray-gun battles, hairbreadth escapes and mild gross-out moments—often involving detached human feet—this lightweight tale is enjoyable and, at times, genuinely funny. Ages 8–12. (May)