Jared Jasper is from a very close knit California political family on Earth. In the previous book, Your Planet or Mine (which you don’t have to read to get what’s happening), he helped his sister Jana and her man Calvin of Far Star, from the Coalition, saving the earth from invasion.
The Coalition consists of a vast political entity that rules a whole lot of planets. They are peaceful, and they worship the goddess, who descends directly from a line of goddess/rulers, unbroken from the very beginning of their history. Their goddesses do not live above them, literally or figuratively, but instead live with the people and are symbols of benevolence and of what they have.
The Coalition is perpetually at war with the Drakken horde, an evil and equally vast political entity—think the Empire in Star Wars—that is basically a military dictatorship which outlaws religious worship and has a fondness for going around killing things.
Earth is a very small part of this universe—it barely registers a bleep, and it’s not advanced enough to keep up, but somehow it gets swept up in all of it, largely because of the events in the first book, and partly because Jared Jasper ends up, through a whole lot of flirting with a hot chick on the comms screen, married to the Queen/Goddess Keira of the coalition.
Jared moves to her planet where he discovers that for all her expertise with daggers and super fighting abilities, his queen is a little bit naïve. There are political machinations in play—there’s someone else pulling the strings to make things happen and deliberately keep her in the dark—and he’s determined to figure out what’s going on. I thought this part of the story fit well with the romance and fit with their development of as a couple.
The best thing about My Favorite Earthling is that it’s funny. Not rolling around on the floor funny, but the sweet kind of funny that makes you smile all the time, which is why I was glad that I read this in my room and not on the train where I would look like an idiot smiling to myself, leading some dude across the carriage to believe I was smiling at him (this has happened, I assure you).
Susan Grant does a great job with world building—enough to satisfy everyone’s inner sci-fi geek with enough details to give a good picture of what life is like, but not enough to overwhelm you with weird words that require a glossary.
I liked Jared, who I felt had just the right recipe of alphaness. He’s very big on honour and on doing the right thing, but not so much that it makes him appear like an annoying martyr. I wonder if men like him exist somewhere in this universe. Keira, while naïve, could kick butt, and she pulled through in the end in a way that made sense and that didn’t require her to be an unbelievable superhero. (Yes, I know she’s a goddess, but it’s different in this universe.)
I felt that the bad guys were a bit one-dimensional—I have read other Susan Grant books where the Drakken there are developed more, but I guess for the purpose of this book, they can just be baddies who need to die. I also thought that Grant tied up her loose ends a little too neatly and conveniently (e.g. Keira’s family, which I can’t talk about without giving away a major spoiler).
Yay or nay?
I would recommend My Favorite Earthling to anyone who feels like a little bit of sweet and funny, especially after a long day when you feel like the world is against you, and you need to get away for a bit, literally, to another universe. There’s also some sex with cuffs, but you can read all about that on your own. :-)
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