by Lance Erlick
“A suspenseful, action-packed space saga featuring a strong female protagonist, Xenogeneic: First Contact is a gem for connoisseurs of genre, and highly recommended.” – Midwest Book Review
“An exciting and provocative novel for readers of all ages.” – Paige Doepke (Windy City Reviews)
“Lovers of sci-fi will enjoy alien invasion theme and strong smart female protagonist who is at forefront of saving Earth.” – Laura Fabiani
KIDNAPPED HUMANS … DESPERATE ALIENS … FIGHT FOR EXISTENCE.
Dr. Elena Pyetrov’s father vanished in space 18 years ago while searching for extraterrestrial life. As a determined aerospace engineer, Elena finally gets her mission to search for answers and to continue her father’s exploration. Her ship is pulled off course and crashes.
For thousands of years, aliens peacefully watched Earth. Now, the alien Knoonk have lost their civil war around a distant star and captured the nearby research station to hide and regroup. They present themselves as persecuted pilgrims needing a new home and plan to possess and colonize Earth. Unable to live in Earth’s toxic environment, the Knoonk kidnap humans and use genetic engineering to adapt the Knoonk to Earth.
Surviving the crash, Elena and her shipmates are transported to a closed cave system where the Knoonk monitor and control everything. She’s plagued by personal demons—loss of family and strange Navajo nightmares—that leave her adverse to commitment. She meets a traumatized half-sister who may hold the key to survival. Elena tries to connect with her sister and with their hosts to find ways to work together, but Knoonk leaders force the humans to submit as slaves. The aliens use illusions, distractions, and social experiments to learn from their hostages and keep them off balance. Resistance by humans brings swift punishment to break their spirit.
Elena receives unexpected help from some aliens, which raises the stakes and possibilities for finding escape and a way to save humanity … unless she’s a pawn in a bigger game. As she struggles through one deception after another, she’s shaken to her core. Nothing is as it appears.
With time running out, can Elena dig deep enough to uncover the alien plan and find a way to stop them? If she fails, the Knoonk will take Earth, enslaving or exterminating the human race. If she succeeds, the price may be the loss of everyone she loves. Is she willing to sacrifice them to save the world?
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Review Highlight 1:
“Xenogeneic: First Contact is an unusual twist on the usual alien “first contact” story in that the aliens that come to Earth have done so because they were the losers of their first civil war in a distant star system, and have arrived to take over Earth. This is the story that evolves through aerospace engineer Dr. Elena Sweetwater Pyetrov’s efforts.”
“Xenogeneic: First Contact‘s focus on this process of discovery, cooperation, and ultimate transformation on all sides makes for a first contact story that juxtaposes the concerns of humans and aliens for a fine contrast in perspectives and desired outcomes.”
“The dilemmas and changing choices Elena faces are deftly portrayed and become the novel’s focal points, elevating it above competitors who would make the experience of first contact with aliens the entire focus of the story.
Lance Erlick’s ability to inject the qualities of stubbornness, determination, and human perseverance into an action-packed story lends an ethical and psychological focus to his sci-fi drama that will especially satisfy readers who like their stories complex and driven by more than alien environments and challenging encounters.”
— D. Donovan, Midwest Book Review
Review Highlight 2:
“Xenogeneic: First Contact is an impressive story rooted in science fiction.”
“From the start, Erlick pulls the reader deeply into the story with nuanced and intriguing characters, heart-pounding action, and a straightforward and uncomplicated writing style.”
“It is a story about forgiving your past and the struggle we all face between doing what’s best for ourselves or what’s best for others.”
“Xenogeneic: First Contact is an exciting and provocative novel for readers of all ages interested in science fiction. It will stay with you long after you’ve read the last page.”
— Paige Doepke, Windy City Reviews
Review Highlight 3:
“An expedition to one of Jupiter’s moons leads to contact with an alien species that may be plotting a takeover of Earth.”
“Dr. Elena Sweetwater Pyetrov is excited to continue her father Alexander’s work on Europa, where his ship disappeared nearly two decades earlier. But when her shuttle inexplicably passes by a necessary pit stop on Earth’s moon, her on-again, off-again fiancé, Capt. Marc Carlisle, tells her that something’s pulling them toward Jupiter. After they survive a crash landing on what appears to be Europa, Elena encounters an older man: her father, accompanied by his 13-year-old daughter, Thelma. He tells Elena of an alien race, the Knoonk, that provided him with food and a communications link to Earth—but as he talks to her, his finger taps out a secret Morse code message: “e-v-i-l.” Soon Elena and Marc find others from their ship and realize that the Knoonk are pushing humans to mate with the promise of sustenance and shelter.”
“The dynamic between the sisters … is quite engaging; Elena overcomes Thelma’s indecipherable speech—which consists of seemingly random rhymes—with Morse code, bonding by using their father’s method of communication. There are quite a few twists as well, including revelations of the Knoonk’s origins and some of the things they’ve done to the humans, as well as a few intriguing developments back on Earth. Overall, it’s a fine launch for a potential series.”
“An interplanetary tale with effectively slow build that leads to a solid climax.”
— Kirkus Reviews