Darren is surprised to discover that he somehow volunteered to become the caretaker for his vegetative cousin. He’s even more surprised to find an alien hiding behind his computer. When the alien possesses his brain-dead cousin and demands that his head be put in a microwave, things get weird. When the alien demands rhodium to eat, things get complicated.
By the time Darren realizes that the Earth is about to be invaded by another, more malevolent, alien species, he’s really given up being surprised. Accompanied by an alien who has motor control akin to a two-year-old, a legal relative of his aunt’s, and a pack of murderous birds, Darren is off to save the world…
At times whimsical, alarming, and uncomfortable, Crusher by Blaine C. Readler is a quick and entertaining read. Although body snatchers and alien invasions are hardly new ideas, there are a lot of original, and memorable, elements in this novel – the “Tribbles/Fungus Birds” are especially clever. The characters are well-drawn and relatable, and the story moves at a fast clip, never losing momentum.
There are very few errors overall, and the novel was clearly professionally edited – although the cover could use a tweak. The only real concern regarding the story is the easy assumption that Crusher, the cousin, was not a real human being because of his vegetative state, which strains believability and creates a serious moral quandary.
Apart from that, Crusher is a fantastic read that will surely please fans of alien-based science fiction.