Olivia & the Gentleman from Outer Space
by Moses Yuriyvich Mikheyev
My rating: 2 / 5
Genre: Children’s science fiction
12-year-old Olivia is surprised when a visitor from outer space lands in the wheat field near her house and even more surprised when she’s told he might be able to heal her father’s cancer. But first he needs Olivia’s help to find a black ruby that will give him the power he needs.
This book has an interesting premise (and a pretty cover), but I’m afraid it falls apart in execution. A lot of the story is kind of muddled, especially in the details. Olivia is called the Princess of Blue Earth, but I never did understand what makes her a princess exactly. Her dad doesn’t seem to be a king of anything, and maybe her rare ability to read the treasure map to the black ruby is what makes her a princess, but it wasn’t really explained. The gentleman from outer space, who might have been about Olivia’s age, but it’s hard to say, tends to glow in different ways depending on mood, physical status, etc. (like the alien in the movie Home), which was an interesting addition to the story. However, somehow his glowing didn’t attract the attention of the bad guys, though Olivia could often see his face, hands, and even chest glowing through/inside his space suit. And they’re in a hurry to bring the black ruby back before Olivia’s dad dies, but somehow they have time to stop on the moon for sightseeing, not once, but twice.
I didn’t realize until after I’d started reading it that it is self-published, though I’m not against self-published books by any means and am a self-published author myself. I think the book needed more editing, someone to ask important questions (like why does the author write as if Olivia would literally float away on the moon? There is some gravity) and notice some of the more nonsensical dialog and narration moments. The author seemed to put a lot more effort into the settings, and while his imagination does come through, and I appreciate the brilliant visuals in some of the locations, I would have preferred a more cohesive plot and more developed characters.
Thank you to the author and Netgalley for providing me a copy of this book to review.
Publication date: April 11, 2023
Find out more about Olivia & the Gentleman from Outer Space
If you’ve read this book, or read it in the future, feel free to let me know what you think!