By: Cliff Ball
Publisher: Virtualbookworm.com Publishing
Publication Date: March 2009
Reviewed by: Will Gabbett
Review Date: June 10, 2009
In the new book, Don’t Mess With Earth, intellectually and scientifically advanced humans, as well as aliens from a distant world, have descended on Earth. They have been experimenting and meddling in the affairs of humans for the advancement of their own species for centuries. But wait! Earthlings have caught on to the devious ploys and are fighting back.
Don’t Mess With Earth begins with the President of the United States getting ready to hold a press conference to explain how Earth has been manipulated. “…it all started a few thousand years ago…” The story then jumps back to a time when Earth was populated by primitive people with the exception of the Terrans, a race of technologically advanced humans. The Terrans worked constantly to advance their society while those around them fought and scrounged for food. Eventually, the Terrans were able to build a space ship and leave Earth, and all its problems, behind.
With the help of another alien race, the Terrans exponentially advanced their technology and soon were in conflict with the Ragnor, another advanced race. While these two enemies battled each other, they both descended on Earth – the Terrans to meddle and the Ragnor to experiment.
Once the author presents the history of the Terrans and Ragnors, he then brings us back to Earth and the reader is taken on a history trip where we meet Julius Caesar, Genghis Khan, Michelangelo, Galileo, and King Arthur along with many other historical figures. In the U.S., we meet Amelia Earhart and Chuck Yeager. The reader sees how some famous characters from the past were actually Terrans, and how these advanced people affected history.
The story chronicles various historical events around the world, including the well-known alien spaceship crash in New Mexico in the late 40s. In Don’t Mess With Earth, the crash is real. When a Ragnor space vessel crashes on Earth, one alien is captured alive and taken to a secret research area known only as ‘Area 51.’ By using the Ragnor captive’s knowledge and studying the spaceship, humans, particularly the U.S. military, advance their own knowledge. Soon, they are able to launch an attack of their own.
Don’t Mess With Earth has a great premise and the way the author weaves historical fact with creative alien mischief is clever and intriguing. There are a bit too many background chapters that present historical figures which, although fun to read, eventually drag the story to a halt. They are really mini vignettes that prevent the plot from getting into the meat of the story until about halfway through the book when the Ragnor ship crashes and ‘Area 51’ is established.
The writing in Don’t Mess With Earth is a bit strained in places as is the dialog. For example, when Amelia Earhart is having problems, we read, “She was beginning to suspect that her radio was being jammed by the Terrans, so she waited for whatever that was about to happen, go ahead and happen.” There are also several holes in the plot, such as how the Terrans became so much more sophisticated than their primitive neighbors. When the military captures a Ragnor, they force him to cooperate. How could one Ragnor’s reluctant assistance, the technology his ship offers, along with human ingenuity be enough to launch a strike against a much more advanced civilization? This idea may strain believability and evoke questions from the reader. Still, the unexpected twist at the end of the story, plus the creative storyline, will keep many readers hooked.
Quill says: A good attempt at showing what might happen when aliens think they know more than their human subjects.