Monday, April 7, 2008

Roswell or Bust – Henry Melton

© 2008 Wire Rim Books, Hutto, Texas

Henry Melton just won the Darrel Award for his first novel Emperor Dad. Melton is a writer who has traveled all over the United States and across many countries, and has just begun to put those travels to good use in the form of Young Adult Science Fiction. He started the Small Towns, Big Ideas series with Emperor Dad and followed it up with this month’s Roswell or Bust.

Joe Ferris, a teenager trapped in the family business, wants to see the country. He hates his life because all his siblings seem to have escaped the life of helping out in the family’s Railroad Motel in Las Vegas, New Mexico. When one of the regulars “John Smith” disappears suddenly leaving behind a strange device that looks like a remote control (but not his room key), life quickly becomes un-mundane.

Joe meets John Smith’s daughter, Judith, who, even though she is mute, has a knack for leading Joe into strange situations and then leaving him stranded. The story takes us all over the Southwest exploring the secret bases set up by Men in Black suits who are keeping the country’s biggest secret—the alien survivors of the crashed spaceship of 1947.

The secret society known as the Trust, is falling apart at the seams because the well-loved and respected leader is losing his health and his son has not garnered the same loyalty as he took the helm of the Trust.

Reading Roswell or Bust will give let you enjoy Science Fiction, even if you haven’t been a big fan in the past, and will clue you into why Melton was chosen for an award from the SF community in his first outing as a novelist. It’s a great escape (and not only for the aliens who’ve been kept captive for many decades). Get a copy soon, as the hit the web-based and brick and mortar stores. I give it 4 ¾ reading glasses.

—Benjamin Potter, April 7, 2008

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