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ARC Review: Mothership by Martin Leicht and Isla Neal

Title: Mothership
Story Arc: Series, Book 1
Publication: July 10, 2012 by Simon & Schuster
Hardcover: 320 pages
Genre: Aliens, Paranormal Romance, Sci-Fi
Age Group: Teen, Young Adult
Source: ARC Requested from Publisher
Excerpt(s): from pg 305
Content: Kissing, Implicit Sex, Violence, Bloody Deaths

As far as scientists have been able to determine, the primary function of the human coccyx, or tailbone, is to remind us that once upon a time we were all monkeys or something...



Teen pregnancy is never easy—especially not when extraterrestrials are involved. The first in a new trilogy.

Elvie Nara was doing just fine in the year 2074. She had a great best friend, a dad she adored, and bright future working on the Ares Project on Mars. But then she had to get involved with sweet, gorgeous, dumb-as-a-brick Cole—and now she’s pregnant.

Getting shipped off to the Hanover School for Expecting Teen Mothers was not how Elvie imagined spending her junior year, but she can go with the flow. That is, until a team of hot commandos hijacks the ship—and one of them turns out to be Cole. She hasn’t seen him since she told him she’s pregnant, and now he’s bursting into her new home to tell her that her teachers are aliens and want to use her unborn baby to repopulate their species? Nice try, buddy. You could have just called.

So fine, finding a way off this ship is priority number one, but first Elvie has to figure out how Cole ended up as a commando, work together with her arch-nemesis, and figure out if she even wants to be a mother—assuming they get back to Earth in one piece.
In which a ridiculous book can be smart and hysterical
After reading that synopsis, you might be thinking: what the shizzballs? This is a futuristic book about a girl who goes up into space to attend a school for expectant teen mothers which then gets invaded by these space highwaymen including the girl’s baby daddy? I bet you ten pounds of cheesecake that you haven’t heard much about Mothership by Martin Leicht and Isla Neal, because I certainly hadn’t. It wasn’t until Harmony at Radiant Reads featured it in her book haul from a couple of weeks ago and described the book almost exactly like that, and made me go: THAT SOUNDS UTTERLY RIDICULOUS… I want to read it.

From the moment I began the first page, I knew I was in for an impressive bout of slapstick, side-splitting hilarity sure to make me drown in unstoppable tears and choke on my Snorts of Doom. The main character, Elvie, couldn’t have been a better choice to get this story flowing. The plot is of medium strength, but Elvie is the strong core of the novel, because her voice is not timid or contemplative; it’s a hilarious running narration inside her head that is fed by her sarcastic commentary and enviable wit. Her voice is laidback, deadpan, and a bit bored, and she makes the most deliciously self-deprecating or mocking comments about nearly everything and everyone. It’s pretty impossible to restrain yourself before you adore her.

And, frankly, you can’t have a concept like teen pregnancy in space and not resort to utilizing and emphasizing humor.

So what’s the deal here
Elvie Nara of many talents—including fluency in sarcasm, fixing cars and other machinery, among other things—has found herself in the Hanover School for expecting teen mothers because she a) did the dirty with hot-boy Cole Archer (who busted out on her at the mention of a growing fetus) and b) her father was drawn in by the stupid, corny infomercial. Elvie now has to suffer constant torments like underwater prenatal yoga and an endless stream of scathing remarks from her all-time arch nemesis Britta McVicker—aka Evil Cheerleading Hoe Bag, or ECHB, as I like to think of her—who, OF COURSE, has been brought aboard on account of that giant fetus also protruding from her front. And that’s just the first scoop of irony. The second? They both share the same baby daddy. Yeah. YEAH.

This fact is what guilts Elvie into withstanding the fury and related torture from Britta—because Cole Archer was never supposed to end up in her bed when he was dating ECHB.

Mothership by Martin Leicht and Isla Neal chronicles an unsuspecting, though always prepared Elvie Nara as she escapes baby-stealing alien teachers, uncovers secrets about the flawlessly good-looking bunch of commandos who board the ship to save the day, and struggles with the decision to relinquish her claim on her child or work to be the kind of mother she always dreamed of having. Not to mention dealing with the fact that Cole Archer has infiltrated the rescue mission to get to Britta… or maybe not, maybe he's there for Elvie.

The ever-thickening plot and the awesome bunch of characters
Mothership by Martin Leicht and Isla Neal could very well have been just a ridiculous book with no substance, but it has a lot heart and humor and some meaning to it. The book reads like you’re watching a spoof of say Aliens or Aliens vs. Predators with pregnant smart-girl Elvie standing in as Mothership by Martin Leicht and Isla Neal’s Ripley. There are mysteries, suspicions, romances, and ray-guns-firing action! It’s outrageously entertaining even as you read about some of these silly characters or plot points. I just couldn’t stop laughing! I could totally predict what was going to happen at one time then be surprised in the next. And, despite the moments of predictability, I was comfortable, laughed-out, and utterly entertained.

Added to that are the teen mothers fighting for their lives beside Elvie. Some are completely inconsequential and aren’t even worth mentioning, but others are comical additions. You have Britta’s ego-booster cheerleader friend, the strange girl who talks around a mouth full of hair, the nerdy girl sleeping with one of the teachers, and Elvie’s only two comrades—tough, punch-first-ask-later, and totally nonchalant Ramona and spacey, bubbly, artsy Natty. They bicker as a whole amongst themselves as much as they try to work together. And each one brings a plate of humor to the ongoing buffet.

On land, back home in Ardmore, PA, Elvie has her sci-fi geek best friend Ducky, who is a bit reminiscent of his namesake in Pretty in Pink, who is her constant and loyal flying companion, and her always-prepared, caring dad, who has quite the household reputation for developing and toting emergency crisis plans for every possible situation—it’s as funny as it sounds.

The imperfect romance between Cole and Elvie
Given what you already know about Cole, you must be thinking, what a douchetard! But, surprisingly, he’s not as bad as you might be willing to believe. Okay, he did impregnate two girls—one of them being not his girlfriend, which is, yes, totally irresponsible on both counts, and he did flee the second Elvie had a sit-down with him about what he’s helped plant in her uterus. And he did all of that while being sinfully sexy, which is a major strike against him, but you’ll have to believe me when I say he’s not a bad guy. He’s just a dumbass.

No, really. He’s that cute stupid guy with those rare momentary lapses that produce brilliant ideas, which actually makes him endearing and makes his romance with Elvie kind of sweet, because she likes him despite his clumsiness, his idiocy, and his failures. And he appreciates her quick wit, handy capabilities, and intelligence even though he’s well-aware his brains fall under par in comparison.

One of the things I loved most, Cole and Elvie scenes aside, is Elvie’s independence, her ability to separate herself from her feelings for Cole to make decisions that are wholly best for her and the life she’s carrying. She’s not a foolish girl who does foolish things; she’s sensible in spite of everything, and I liked her all the more for it.

Bottom Line
Mothership by Martin Leicht and Isla Neal is not a perfect, mind-blowing read by any means, and I don’t think every single person who picks this book up is going to like it. However, if you go into it anticipating lighthearted, fun brain-candy then you’ll be less likely to be disappointed. It’s not a serious issues or severe, angst-ridden novel; Mothership by Martin Leicht and Isla Neal is an engrossing, interesting source of entertainment with several overwhelming pockets of humor, featuring a relatable, hilarious main character who isn’t afraid to poke fun at herself, the situations she gets into, and even the toughest, most serious of enemies and allies.

Enjoy it for what is and then tell me you didn’t have the laugh-attack of your week.
I nod knowingly. If anyone can ever find a way to explain to me how carrying around a sack of flour with a diaper on it is supposed to prepare you for motherhood, I will personally bake that person a chocolate cake with my practice baby's insides. (59-60)
"All right, Miss Nara," the doctor tells me, "it looks like the little guy's just about ready to come out. Have you thought of a name for him yet?"
"Oliver," I tell him. "after my mom."
"Your mom's name was Oliver?" Cole asks.
"Sweetie," I say in between contractions. "You are very pretty. But you're dumb as a brick." (305)
Rating: Sud-Kissed

Martin Leicht and Isla Neal spread laughter with their fresh take on teen issues and their hilarious heroine creation. Mothership by Martin Leicht and Isla Neal puts a lighthearted spin on sci-fi, paranormal elements to bring us an outrageous and enjoyable story set in space. There’s nothing overly serious or emotionally wrenching about Mothership by Martin Leicht and Isla Neal, however that doesn’t mean it isn’t a good book. In fact, I wish there were more books like it! It’s unique yet predictable, but in that comfortable, amusing way that gets a bit addictive instead of irritating, and it reads like a movie spoof. If you want a story you can laugh your way through even as you relate to the heroine then Mothership by Martin Leicht and Isla Neal is your go-to read, and would be a fun companion along your summer treks.

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12 comments:

Isabelle @ WakeUpat7 said...

Just from the description, it kind of sounds like a lighter read for people who like The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. A lot of ridiculousness there, too. :)

Liz @ Planet Print said...

LOL. This book. I've seen it around a few times and now I really want to read it. I mean, it does sound ridiculous. And even though you have vouched for him, I am already disliking Cole at the moment :P. But it just sounds hilarious. And I have discovered it is the first in a series, so I am immensely curious to find out how this book ends and what on earth is going to happen in the next book. Great review! :)

Sarah said...

After reading the synopsis, I'm thinking, 'HUH? THIS IS ABSURD'
After reading your review, I'm thinking... well... nothing, I'm oo busy cracking up laughing. It looks AWESOME, Asher! And review = so much fun! ♥

Andrea Modolo said...

Okay, this book does sound absolutely ridiculous, so much so that I feel I need to read it. It sounds like it's got a great comedic aspect to it. Great review!

Candace's Book Blog said...

I actually I have this one on it's way to me for review. I think it sounds utterly hilarious and your review has me all sorts of excited to read it. I gotta say, I tend to like those weird books too! Totally rockin' review!

Kelly Mills said...

I now must read this, simply for the apparent hilarity. Thanks for the review!

Lili said...

When I first head of the concept of this book, I took a few steps back and was like what?! But everyone seems to think it is drop-dead funny. I guess it's a must read for the hilarity, though the plot isn't mind-blowing. I'll try to give it a chance haha but no promises!

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