I originally picked up a copy of Mothership because, admittedly, it sounded like such a bizarre premise that I had to find out what the authors would do with it. Having now read it, I still think it’s a deeply bizarre premise, but it’s also smartly written and undeniably charming.
I don’t think the book would work as well as it does were Elvie not the kind of person who makes up names for stoic commanders in her head or who refers to her foetus as “Goober.” As wild as the premise is, it needs Elvie’s voice to make it work. She (and by extension through her, the writers) knows how weird her situation is and she’s going to laugh at it even as she tries to survive it. Add in a mostly interesting supporting cast, and it stops mattering that the premise is weird and the biology is flawed. It just becomes about loving the characters and wanting good things for them.
The biology is flawed, though, to the point that if any of you hated it because the plot made no sense, I wouldn’t blame you. It wasn’t a problem for me because of how much I loved the characters, but I’d also be remiss if I didn’t note that the idea of aliens needing to impregnate teenagers and leave them infertile is stretching the bounds of logic.
I also liked that ultimately, it was all Elvie’s choice. I wish everyone had been honest with her from the start, but I appreciate that in the end, she was given all the information and resources and allowed to decide what she wanted to do with her life. It was nice to see a story where a pregnant teen was so unconditionally loved and supported by those close to her, since I feel like too often reality goes the other way.
I’m still not quite sold on Cole as a character or love interest, to be honest. He feels a bit too cliched and not a good match for Elvie. (I also have major problems with him impregnating her without being honest with her and then running away when she confirmed it, but at least he’s not like the rest of his species, calling the pregnant girls “incubators.”) I feel like Elvie would get bored with Cole, long-term, but then again this book by necessity paints him in a negative light, given the circumstances of the plot. Perhaps he comes off better when not embroiled in a fertility scandal.
I didn’t realize the book had a sequel when I chose it, but I’m glad to find out it does since it ends on quite the cliff-hanger. Maybe the baby being a girl has something to do with why the doctor wanted to spare her, or maybe he caused it in the first place. I will definitely be picking up the sequel to find out more about Elvie and her baby.
What did you think of the book? Too weird? Just quirky enough to be fun? Hit up the comments to let me know what you thought. Until then, Aliya will be back in mid-May with Seeing The Blossom by Dennis Potter.
Read Kaci’s look at the previous Book Club fiction entry, Donna Hosie’s The Devil’s Intern, here.
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