Resistance is Futile, by Jenny Colgan

Group of mathematicians are brought together to work on a strange signal that's come from outer space.

I read a review of this which said it was a departure from Colgan's typical girly writing style (I'd had only a vague sense that there was an author called Jenny Colgan) and that it was a woman's take on science fiction. Sounded interesting, so I ordered it from the library, and it took ages to come, which I assumed was a good sign.

But it quickly became clear that it was not very good at all - basically this was a poor version of Contact and The Man Who Fell to Earth re-written as chick-lit. The main character, Connie, is needless to say the person who cracks the code: she has a brainwave and "draws" the sequence of numbers on a whiteboard, and the resulting picture looks like waves. From this it's deduced that the signal is a message that's being sent from a planet which is largely covered by water.

I thought there might be some good ideas in here (like you got with Sagan) but no, any explanations were just glossed over (like "drawing" the signal on the board). An alien appears, taking human form, and Connie falls for him, and they try and run away. The alien has fantastic super powers and intelligence, speaks fluent English, but needs Connie to explain to him things such as why humans like pizza and what kissing is.

She had a couple of cliff-hanger type endings which weren't what they seemed, in an irritating way - e.g. "Then, the moon exploded". Well, in fact, the next chapter reveals that it didn't. "Just then, Luke was shot in the back of the neck". Next chapter reveals that he's got the ability to withstand bullets or something.

This was just rubbish. At one stage, Connie says "Love is like mathematics - not simple; not complicated: it just is". And that's about as insightful as it gets.

Completed : 11-Jun-2016

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