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Far From Beyond

Clarion Review (1 Stars)

When David Onslow the head of a highly successful biotech company learns he has a growth in his brain he’s far from happy about it. When he learns that the growth is not cancer but alien DNA that entered his body when he was a boy and that the alien Zorphus plans to take over his body he decides to fight.

In this unevenly told tale of a would-be alien invasion Onslow risks losing his body to the alien prince Zorphus whose DNA left the planet Cyglom some eleven thousand years before. But Onslow quickly realizes that he has to fight not only Zorphus but a host of aliens led by Zorphus’ brother Kairone as they plot to seize control of the entire Earth. Their weapon in this quest is bioengineered tomatoes—which brings to mind the B-movie spoof Attack of the Killer Tomatoes.

While tomatoes don’t take an active role rising up to kill people they do when eaten cause people to fall under the control of the “bad” Cyglomites (Zorphus is actually a “good” Cyglomite and while he does intend to take over Onslow’s body he doesn’t want to take over Earth—preferring instead to coexist with the people already here). Anyone unfortunate enough to eat one of the bioengineered tomatoes begins to act in a highly illogical and perhaps even violent manner and riots break out all over the world.

The story takes itself too seriously to be funny but it has far too many campy moments to be read straight. Two of the “bad” Cyglomites Kairone’s bodyguards go around killing off good guys and setting fires and walking calmly away—until they’re bested by a petite female neurosurgeon and then there are mad chase scenes gunplay a Jet Ski escape and abandoned vehicles “leaving nothing but fingerprints behind.” Yet the men are never traced despite their alter egos as employees of Onslow’s biotech firm.

The characters are undeveloped and behave illogically much of the time. Typos and inconsistencies riddle the text which could have benefited substantially from a good editing.

While the idea is promising the execution is flawed. The author has good ideas and his next book may be more satisfying if he finds a good editor.