Illegal Alien Audible Audiobook – Unabridged
When a disabled spaceship enters Earth's atmosphere, seven members of the advanced Tosok race are welcomed by the world. Then a popular scientist is murdered, and all evidence points to one of the Tosoks. Now, an alien is tried in a court of law -and there may be far more at stake than accounting for one human life.
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|Listening Length||9 hours and 42 minutes|
|Author||Robert J. Sawyer|
|Whispersync for Voice||Ready|
|Audible.com Release Date||April 03, 2012|
|Best Sellers Rank|| #129,992 in Audible Books & Originals (See Top 100 in Audible Books & Originals) |
#581 in Hard Science Fiction (Audible Books & Originals)
#915 in First Contact Science Fiction (Audible Books & Originals)
#2,645 in Hard Science Fiction (Books)
Top reviews from the United States
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It's hard to find anything initially wrong with Sawyer's work in Illegal Alien. Indeed, it immediately grabs the reader, and is a page-turner in every conceivable way. Though not exactly what one would expect, based on the synopsis, the courtroom scenes are well written, and show a deep and accurate knowledge of legal proceedings. Though preceding it by several years, Illegal Alien is in many ways similar to Sawyer's Mindscan, in style, if not in substance; that novel, too, revolved deeply around courtroom proceedings.
The characters introduced in the novel are both memorable, and intriguing. The Tosok race in particular is an interesting species, though Sawyer reveals precious little about their culture, beyond a few sentences that fill in a bit. It's hard to imagine any alien encounter that doesn't involve countless hours of question-and-answer sessions with everything from scientists, to mathematicians, to theologists. Not just the aliens are memorable, however, as the human characters are as well. In particular, Clete Calhoun, the celebrity scientist seems to jump off the page, and endear himself with readers. Each of the Tosok characters are presented fairly uniquely, and therefore lend further credence to the world-building that Sawyer has done in the novel.
Though the story intially begins with the introduction of the Tosok's, and the events surrounding their appearance on Earth, the story quickly-and dramatically-takes a turn. A human is murdered, and all clues implicate a Tosok. From here out, the story revolves almost exclusively around the courtroom and legal procedures that take place in the prosecution of the alien. It's interesting to see how humanity deals with the implications the trial will have both on the current, and future relations that Humans and Tosoks will have with each other. Unfortunately, because the novel takes so much time delving into the justice procedures, it does tend to drag a bit from time to time-not in a way that will prevent users from continuing to read, but in the way that seems to avoid the subjects that readers may be most interested in; just when the conversation starts going down a road that will actually reveal some interesting details about the Tosok race, an objection, or cut-off answer leaves the reader hanging. Also frustrating is the lack of exploration of the knowledge about the local stellar neighborhood that the Tosoks may be able to provide.
Illegal Alien is an interesting story of first-contact, and depicts a believable, intrinsically different species, obviously evolved from different life-forms. In many ways, it's exactly what one would expect of a first-contact scenario. This book's page-turning pace, and fascinating subject matter will keep readers well-entertained.
Plots: It is interesting how Sawyer uses the alien as a complete zero in looking at the American justice system. The author admits (on other forums) to have thoroughly researched our system of justice and in many ways it does come up wanting. The shifting of gears between defense and prosecution, the calling up of witnesses, jury selection, and so on is interesting.
Themes: Racism plays some part; also reliability, trust, deception and a stick-to it tiveness runs the gamet of the novel.
The only thing I did not like about the novel was its apparent criticism of those who love UFOs, Star Trek and other geek elements. Minor point.
Bottom Line: Creative, a bit dated, and fascinating look from a Canadian (alien?) perspective of our sometimes wild and crazy justice system. Recommended for lovers to To Kill a Mockingbird and whoever sat through the entire broadcast of the O.J. Simpson trials.
Sawyer draws well-defined characters, including several of the Tosok, to whom the reader can easily relate. On the surface, most of the book centers around the trial and preparation thereof, but it is far from dry, as any regular viewer of Law & Order can testify, with the added dimension of discovering an entire alien culture in a most unusual context. The Tosok race and its very different culture is developed in a fascinating and believable fashion, even after the point where we discover that nothing about them is as it seems. I read this entire book in one day, a day in which I had many other things I should have been doing. Totally satisfying read.
This, like his other stories, pose intriguing looks at US humans from a 'foreign' viewpoint. The questions raised and solutions proposed are always intriguing, interesting and mentally challenging.
No spoilers from me. I think reading any of Sawyer's works is uplifting and rewarding. I love that he writes of positive viewpoints; unlike so many of the 'darker' authors.
Now that I am running out of his past works to read, I am avidly awaiting all his future works!
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