For Us Humans: A Tale of Alien Occupation
by Steve Rzasa
File Size: 2888 KB
Print Length: 336 pages
Publisher: Enclave (August 14, 2018)
Genre: Aliens, Christian, Futuristic, Sci Fi
My Rating: 4.5 of 5.0
Caz Fortel is a great liar. In fact, he's a professional.
It's his job to lie to people who steal works of art, and to get the goods back. But when Caz gets the big call from the FBI—a million bucks to recover a stolen statue of significant cultural value—it comes with a downside. His assigned partner has more of an interest in Jesus than Caz is comfortable with. Oh, and he’s an alien with four arms and a tremendous sense of smell.
When aliens showed up fifteen years ago, Earth cut a deal to join the Panstellar Consociation as a protectorate, allowing their new neighbors to set up a warp tunnel in orbit, in exchange for advanced tech secrets. Now Caz is caught up in the retrieval of their missing statue, and they want the mission kept quiet.
Or Earth could be in very, very big trouble.
Fifteen years ago aliens arrived on Earth and peaceably took over as ‘protectors’. They needed a special portion of space near earth and it was worth their while to buy their way into corporate authority. Many Christians abandoned their faith when they learned that aliens existed. Caz felt deserted by other believers and he took off, leaving behind his college sweetheart who stayed in faith.
Caz is a consummate liar as he has worked undercover for years recovering stolen art. This keeps him from developing and keeping close friends. He leans on his vices – drinking, swearing, womanizing and generally being rude -- but tends to feel that he isn’t living the life he should.
Caz has now been assigned a very rare art recovery. Caz isn’t a fan of the aliens and is distressed to learn that alien Ghiqasu Hounder Prime Nil is assigned to work with him as the authorities represented Caz as a Christian. Yes, Caz still holds himself out as a Christian although he knows he doesn’t live like one. Nil is on board to recover the missing statute whose loss could instigate an alien war. But he requested working with a Christian because Nil is seeking a closer relationship with Qas, the ‘One Who Died for All’ according to myths of his race.
The partners come together with reluctance but soon discover they have diverse skills that make them a good team. They are both observant and Caz arranges believable personas to meet with crooked dealers. Meanwhile, Nil tracks suspects through a unique ability of smell. The investigation is more dangerous than expected when certain aliens betray their race and have to be stopped before triggering that war they want to complicate alien political intricacies.
Caz and Nil are very unique and engaging characters. I found it awesome that the author created an alien race that has (scoffed at) myths about the One Who Died for All, including the details of a birth on Earth. I found it dismaying that many would abandon their faith when they learned that aliens were real. In my thoughts, God has created an awesome world on Earth and H is certainly capable of creating other awesome worlds and races. Caz does have one Christian friend whom he works with and he gets the chance to reconnect with his college flame with some surprising revelations.
There is good action and intrigue in the investigation as well as some interesting scenes in jump space. I liked how Caz reacted to his superior’s cryptic texts and how the agent came through with assistance. This added good humor to a story already moving with sharp banter. The vices are attributed but not displayed directly; i.e. no swearing and no sex which was fine by me. I very much enjoyed this unique sci fi and would like to try more works by Rzasa. I recommend this to readers who like sci fi intrigue and find the thought of aliens seeking the hope of salvation an intriguing idea.
Source: NetGalley 2018. This qualifies for NetGalley Challenge.