Saturday, September 19, 2009

Distant Cousin: Reincarnation (3), Reviews

Well, we knew it was going to happen. There were hints in the second novel of the Distant Cousin series, and so it is no surprise that in the third novel, Darcy's greatest fears are realized. Her cold and greedy brother-in-law, Herecyn Cymred, has sold the wrong sort of Thoman technology to the wrong sort of person and a weapon of devastating destruction has resulted. Herecyn denies it, of course, but when the Russian mafia tries to eliminate Ana Darcy, the only person who has made the connection, the truth of the matter is obvious.

Author Al Past revs up the action in this third installment of the Distant Cousin series. After seven years of quiet family bliss on the secluded Mendez homestead, hidden in the heart of New Mexico, Darcy once again sacrifices her retirement from public life in order to guard against disaster. As the very first representative from another planet on Earth, Darcy takes it personally to think that technology from her homeworld might be used against mankind. While dodging assassination attempts from hired mercenaries, Darcy plies a little detective work to identify the source of the threat: A Russian oligarch has developed the Thoman technology into a weapon which was promptly tested on remote villages in the tiny territory of Sedlakia, with horrifying results. The US government is loath to interfere, but that doesn't stop one little firebrand of a woman from planning a 2-man mission to save Sedlakia--and possibly the world.

Reincarnation reprises a multitude of characters from the first two books, including government agents, high-powered lawyers, an investigative reporter, and a certain Sicilian "businessman" who once saved Darcy's life. It also introduces a few new characters, such as the Navy SEAL recruited by Darcy for the Sedlaki mission and her own precocious twins, Clio and Julio. Readers get a glimpse inside the personal relationships of the Thoman delegation, which include Darcy's sister and uncle, as well as a thrilling and dangerous adventure in the frozen wilds of Russia. Interspersed with the fast-paced action, we find Darcy's husband Matt holding down the fort at home, supervising the education of his amazing, half-Thoman children, and working out wily plans to preserve their anonymity in the face of Darcy's increasingly public image. And if this is not enough, readers can ponder the significance of the close connection between the Thoman and Sedlaki languages, as well as a certain Sedlaki legend of an ancient queen named Anina Khralovna, who left her people long ago with the promise to return when she was needed ... Highly recommended, but you need to start with Book One! (High Spirits Book)


...a third-in-a-row rave review....
It is high time readers had a real heroine. Why does a reader like myself, not to mention a host of others, enjoy Darcy's narrow escapes and stunning triumphs? First of all, men, women, and teenagers can identify with and root for a mere slip of a girl who has the courage to face big-time villains. That she happens to be a descendant of Earthlings who immigrated to another planet centuries ago and are hence our distant cousins, only adds to our fascination.
Concerned in book one, "Distant Cousin," about a danger to planet Earth, Darcy lands near Fort Davis, in the lap of McDonald Observatory. Can you imagine, scientists and goverhment bureaucrats spurn her urgent message! Darcy has to climb to Olympic heights to get the attention of the right people. In the midst of her struggle, she falls in love with Mr. Right, Matt Mendez, a reporter for the Alpine Avalanche.
Pity the bad guys who try to stop Darcy! She does her best to avoid violence. Indeed, she would much rather outwit a villain than conk him over the head. However, when necessary, this petite little blond can teach her opponents an unforgettable lesson. Hurrah! The power of good over evil is reaffirmed!
Al Past's third book, "Distant Cousin: Reincarnation," begins some eight years after our herioin's initial victories.
Darcy, her husband Matt, and their bilingual twins are living incognito, on a country road near the village of Mesilla, not far from La Union, N.M. It would be unforgivable to say any more than something has gone terribly wrong in the small country of Sedlakia, near Kazakhstan. Darcy's kinsmen have accidentally given terrorists a deadly weapon that must be wrested from the Russian Mafia.
The setting and the characters west of the Pecos, up east, and in the mountains of Central Asia are both realistic and delightful. Although Darcy faces evil, she stands in the light, a true champion of what is right and good. Even the most ardent fants of Harry Potter speak of a growing darkness but Darcy's adventures are nevr dark. And I absolutely guarantee, that like Al's first two novels, you will not be able to put this third book down!
Margaret Moser, Beeville Bee-Picayune, Aug. 29, 2007


This is the third book in the Distant Cousin series of scifi tales starring the Barbie from outer space, Ana Darcy, and her faithful sidekick and native son of Albuquerque, Matt Mendez. As with the first book in this series, I give it ten stars. Yeah, that's right, ten. Reincarnation takes the reader to Nowhere, New Mexico, again, and like Dorothy said, there's no place like home. You'd hide out there, too, if you were an international celebrity who just wanted to live a quiet, peaceful lifestyle. How quiet can things really be when you have a space pod stashed in your barn?

I would never recommend that a reader first meet the Mendez family with this book. You need to start at the beginning of the first book, when Matt was just a bored journalist in Alpine, Texas, about to meet the love of his life in the local library. The Distant Cousin storyline is somewhat quiet and emotional, just like the lives the lead characters seek. The plot of this third book involves the FBI, the CIA, and a retired Navy SEAL, all trying to make the Russians behave themselves instead of blowing up some highly populated chunk of America. Although Reincarnation is a little slower paced than its Repatriation predecessor, the new characters and subplots help Darcy fly that space pod right into your heart!

The most distinguishing trademark of Al Past's Distant Cousin books is their obvious similarity to some of Steven Spielberg's best movies. Ana Darcy is much like E.T. without the Disney cuteness or childhood orientation. She is an E.T.-type character for an adult audience. The sense of wonder we all had the first time we watched Close Encounters of the Third Kind is magically reincarnated. Reading all the Distant Cousin books is like playing a movie in your head. This is the way we want life to be. This is the way we want Americans to respond to aliens if they ever arrive on Earth. Reincarnation rekindles amazement. Life should always be like this. (PODBRAM)

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