The Spaceship Next Door

Gene Doucette. HMH/Adams, $15.99 trade paper (368p) ISBN 978-1-328-56746-8
Doucette (Immortal Stories: Eve) delights with this wonderful example of speculative fiction that relies on startling concepts, beginning with “What if an alien ship landed and then nothing happened?” Nothing is exactly what the spaceship has done since it landed in Sorrow Falls, Mass., three years ago. Teenager Annie Collins is friendly with everyone in town, including the soldiers guarding the landing site, the camper-bound observers with their various theories, and the local patriarch. She also has her own ideas about “Shippie,” as she and her friend Violet call it in private. She’s a natural to assist government agent Edgar Somerville when he arrives to investigate both the ship and the town. Then the zombie sightings begin. Doucette writes winning characters who read like real people, and Sorrow Falls is similarly credible. The head-spinning ideas both power the narrative and invite the reader to think hard, while plenty of humor and action move the plot along. This excellent work will appeal to readers from middle school through adulthood. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 07/02/2018
Release date: 09/01/2018
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