This is the first in a series of humorous romantic science fiction novels which parody everything going, particularly the "Men in Black" films and Heinlein's classic 1950's alien invasion novel, "The Puppet Masters
The series consists of:
1) This book, "Touched by an Alien"
2) "Alien Tango
3) "Alien in the Family
4) "Alien Proliferation
5) "Alien Diplomacy
" (forthcoming, due out April 2012).
The story is told in the first person by Katherine Katt (known as "Kitty" to her family and close friends), who is self-confident, witty, and obviously attractive. She isn't quite big-headed or crass enough to write something like "I'm sexy, stacked, and brilliant" but every unattached and straight male in the book proposes to her.
Indeed, one of the potential flaws in the book, especially for the female readers who it particularly seems aimed at, is that Kitty may come over as irritatingly perfect except for being a bit full of herself. From my perspective her naturual confidence stopped just short of the point where it would have started to be irritating.
At the start of this first book, Kitty is working as a marketing manager, and has just left the local courthouse where she is on Jury service. Her life to that point has appeared to be almost entirely normal, except that her handbag appears to have some of the qualities of the TARDIS (e.g. larger inside than out).
If you've watched "Killers [DVD
]," you will remember that for the first part of the film Katherine Heigl's character is under the impression that her husband, her parents, and most of the people she knows are harmless innocents, but in fact almost everyone she knows is a current or former CIA or freelance assassin.
Similarly in this book, as she leaves the courthouse, Kitty is under the impression that her mother is some kind of harmless consultant, her father is a professor of history at A.S.U, and her best male friend "merely" a brilliant globetrotting millionaire who made his money from convenience stores. Over the next two books she discovers that this is a rather incomplete picture of her family and friends.
But this learning experience is in the future, and the first thing which faces her outside the courthouse is a couple having a row - and one of them first loses his temper, then becomes a non-human "superbeing" with lethal powers which he uses to start killing everyone in sight.
Kitty's reaction to this threat causes her to be offered a place in an organisation which could almost have been a parody of the "Men in Black" - although when she makes a joke to that effect Kitty is told that MIB is fiction, this is reality. Suddenly Kitty is trying to save the world - and trying not to be distracted by two exceptionally handsome aliens who want to ask her out ...
It is, of course, beyond ludicrous that beings who evolved on separate planets should not merely be similar in appearance (male members of the main alien race in this book look like human male models, the female ones look like supermodels) but genetically similar enough to be able to marry and interbreed. However, Gini Koch is hardly the first science-fiction author to blithely ignore the immense improbability of this, and this series does not pretend to be anything other than light entertainment - as which it is pretty successful.
The Sci-Fi genre is usually associated with male readers but this series appears to be sci-fi romantic comedy which is rather more woman-friendly, particularly for female fans of rock bands such as Aerosmith. But men can enjoy it too, especially those with the right kind of silly sense of humour!