Thursday, July 26, 2007

CONTACT by Susan Grant



HOW TO LOSE AN EXTRATERRESTRIAL IN 10 DAYS is new on the bookshelves today, Blog Buddies. Since Lady Bronco reviewed the ARC on June 9th, I’m reviewing an older release, CONTACT, to celebrate this momentous occasion.

For me, the beauty of CONTACT is that it showcases all of Susan Grant’s strengths as a writer and it plays to what I like in a story too. It starts out behind the eyes of Jordan, a First Officer on a red-eyed flight from Honolulu to San Francisco. I know a little about this because I’m married to an airline pilot myself. Of course, my husband never tells me the scary stuff. He only tells me the funny stuff like having to chase bald eagles off the runway with the jet. Don’t worry – no eagles were hurt. We love our eagles. That’s why they’re as plentiful as pigeons here in Alaska. Oh, sorry, I’m digressing.

Susan expertly weaves Jordan’s thoughts of her daughter in and out of what she’s actually doing in the cockpit. This is very real. I used to be a nanny. I was trained to know this. Let me tell ya, there’s nothing sweeter than a high-powered attorney going all gushy over the phone with her baby! “Oh, my baby! Oh, baby!” Jordan is blessed with an excellent caregiver for her daughter - her own mother - and that enables her to stay focused on the job. This leads to another real-feeling aspect. The daughter senses things about her mother. Babies and young children are so in tune with their mothers that they do pick up on things. Experts say it’s a leftover biological function from the womb when Baby heard Mother’s every heartbeat, but I’ve seen it go beyond that. Human beings are spiritual beings, regardless of religious affiliation. Leave that dimension out of a story and you’re only meeting part of your reader’s needs.

So, the story kicks off with the Intimate Adventure of Jordan, airline pilot and single mom. What happens next would have really freaked me out a year ago, but I think I’m finally toughening up a bit. (Shh! Don’t tell my husband I said that or he’ll laugh his head off!) The plane gets hijacked, in a manner of speaking, and of course that’s what Jordan and everybody else on board thinks. The captain has a heart attack and croaks. Now, this part I love too – Jordan has to take over. I looove heroes or heroines who are a bit unsure of themselves, going along minding their own business, and BOOM! They get shot out of a cannon and have to deal or die.

The airplane actually gets picked up by a spaceship and taken right in whole. The command crew thinks they’re rescuing the humans. The humans think they’ve been abducted by Darth Vader. Jordan extends an inflatable escape slide from the aircraft and knocks the hero right on his butt. Oh, I loved that part! Shoom! Wham! I throw my head back and laugh haughtily into the rafters.

Of course, Jordan and company can’t stay on the aircraft long. Things are getting pretty stinky. Kao (the hero) tries diplomacy, but when that takes longer than expected his trigger-happy subordinate sedates all the humans. Jordan wakes up first and she’s not at all happy. A couple men die and all the pregnant moms miscarry because of the sedation. And she gets the news about Earth being destroyed.

No survivors. That includes her daughter.

Not exactly the best way for a guy to impress a girl he likes. But, Kao knows the pain of loss and he knows what it means to sacrifice self for a loved one. He’s real and worthy.

You’ll have to read the book if you want to know more. ;) Before you do, you must swear the Enduring Romance oath first because this is an older release. Raise your right hand and repeat after me- "I (insert name here) do solemnly swear to always buy my favorite authors' books new." Congratulations! You're now a member of the tribe.

4 comments:

LadyBronco said...

I have read this book, and I really liked it!

(I lent it to a coworker long ago and never saw it again, dangit.)

Kimber An said...

Lesson Learned: Never loan out your Susan Grant books.
;)

Susan Grant said...

I must thank you for that incredible summary of Contact. I'm bleary eyed from just returning from an overnight adventure to Japan. My son has always dreamed of visiting there, is taking Japanese at HS in the fall, so I surprised him and off we went! A whirlwind adventure. How fantastic to see the milestone of my 10th full book mentioned here, and to see Contact talked about. I just got a box of Contact today as a matter of fact. It's just been re-issued! Woo!

Thank you, Kimber and all!

Kimber An said...

Thanks for popping in, Susan. I took Japanese one semester in college and got an A. Now, I can't remember anything, but it did ignite my interest in Japanese culture and art. That's still with me every single day.