Aliens on a Rampage Book Review

Aliens on a Rampage by Clete Barrett

In this sequel to Aliens on Vacation, David is returning to his grandmother's Intergalactic Bed & Breakfast, an off the beaten road tourist destination for aliens. Hoping to pick up where he left off with Amy, David is rather shocked to see that things have changed a lot in nine months and not necessarily for the better. A new employee, Scratchull who is of the creepy alien persuasion is not all that he appears to be, Amy is avoiding his, and somehow he ends up with a new alien pet that can quite literally eat a house. Then he stumbles onto a secret that doesn't just threaten the B&B, but rather the entire world and he may be able to do something if only the adults would listen.

Often in middle grade literature there are very few adults, as it should be considering adults often get in the way of a rolicking adventure. Aliens on a Rampage suffers from too many adults. Or to an even greater point, too many adults who refuse to listen. Even though David is trustworthy and has not proven himself to be a liar, no adult will believe his tales of an alien takeover by the seemingly docile Scratchull. At first this was understandable, but when the plot really gets thick, the adults begin to come across as imbeciles. Perhaps the intention was to make David appear to be smarter, which is difficult because David never really has to use much brain power. Scratchull is intentionally rude and antagonist to David, but only to David, which of course says that someone is up to no good, David stumbles into a soupy un-earthlike swamp that nearly swallows him whole, he gives his taxi driver some tainted pastries, and his pet is the true hero of the story.

Although the plot rolled along at a good pace, I am afraid David did not come off as very heroic and neither did the adults in his life. Kids may enjoy the story for its simplicity and the aliens, but the first volume in the series was definitely better.