Fiction, Science Fiction, Young Adult

Review: Mothership by Martin Leicht and Isla Neal

Mothership book cover
Image from Sophistikatied Reviews

Title: Mothership (The Ever-Expanding Universe #1)

Authors: Martin Leicht and Isla Neal

Genre: Science Fiction

Things look grim when Elvie Nara finds herself knocked up right before her PSAT. To make matters worse, Cole Archer, the too-hot-to-be-human dreamboat co-responsible for her condition, disappears off the face of the earth after hearing the news, and Elvie’s dad ships her off to the Hanover School for Expecting Teen Mothers – a school for pregnant girls circling in low orbit. But the cherry on this drama sundae? Three weeks before Elvie’s due date, the ship is attacked. By dudes with ray guns. And one of those dudes just happens to be Cole Archer. Talk about awkward. Cole tells Elvie that the Hanover teachers are aliens and she has to  evacuate to save her unborn baby from their nefarious plans. But just how did Cole – who doesn’t know a driveshaft from a windshield wiper – end up an alien-fighting commando? And why on Earth should Elvie trust him?

I am honestly not sure why I picked up this book. It wasn’t for the cover (which to me looks like a cross between my brother’s sci-fi video games and something my ten-year-old sister would read). It wasn’t for the idea (school for pregnant girls gets attacked by crazy space commandos – sounds more outlandish than anything). And it certainly wasn’t because I had nothing else to read. Perhaps originality alone convinced me to pick it up.

Either way, I decided to read it. And I’m glad I started it on a Saturday morning, because I really didn’t want to stop reading.

Elvie was just plain fun. She wasn’t reckless, or really all that brave, but she had a sarcastic streak and biting wit that made me love her. She didn’t really come off as witty to people around her, but her internal monologue cracked me up. Plus, the way she dealt with everything – head on, no punches pulled, and no looking back and wishing for changes – was endearingly brusque.

Cole was kind of boneheaded and not exactly the brightest light on the console. He could be sweet at times, but he was easily distractable and usually clueless. He was like an adult’s idea of every high school girl’s dream guy, which made him both funny and ironic at the same time.

Elvie’s best friend Ducky wasn’t mentioned in the synopsis, and he didn’t play a huge part in the story, but he was my favorite character. He was an amazing best friend – loving and supportive and accepting. Plus, he had some super-fun quirks. He’s the kind of best friend I wish I had.

There’s so many more characters I would mention if twenty-page reviews were acceptable. One of the absolute best things about Mothership was that every character, even the minor ones, had their own individual personalities, and they were all awesome.

Yeah. Okay. The plot. I want to say so much about the plot, and yet I don’t want to say anything at all because I don’t want to spoil anything. Things go a little wonky (well, wonkier than space commandos attacking an orbiting school of pregnant girls), everyone has their idiot moments, things are explained and not explained, and Elvie keeps a sarcastic and blunt narration going. It was absolutely one of the best space-based plots I’ve read in a long time, but specifics would ruin it.

The title gives an absolutely spot-on idea of the writing. It makes complete and total sense, but it’s also an almost-pun that is both hilarious and almost (but not quite) groan-worthy. The whole book was half tongue-in-cheek, half deadly serious, and half completely outlandish. (Yes, I know that adds up to 1.5, but that’s part of Mothership‘s awesomeness.)

Just in case you haven’t figured it out yet, I loved this book. Sometimes it’s a little crazy, and sometimes it’s absurd, but that just adds to its charm. And there’s enough unanswered questions that I can’t wait to get my hands on A Stranger Thing, the second book in the Ever-Expanding Universe series. Of course, it doesn’t come out until November…

The Ever-Expanding Universe series:

  1. Mothership
  2. A Stranger Thing (November 2013)
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