I’m not sure why I kept putting off reading Drunk on All Your Strange New Words by Eddie Robson. This was such an interesting story of post-contact relations with alien society with such a clever and witty narrative. Need I say more? Yes. Continue reading to see what made me fall for this new release.
Lydia works as translator for the Logi cultural attaché to Earth. They work well together, even if the act of translating his thoughts into English makes her somewhat wobbly on her feet. She’s not the agency’s best translator, but what else is she going to do? She has no qualifications, and no discernible talent in any other field.
So when tragedy strikes, and Lydia finds herself at the center of an intergalactic incident, her future employment prospects look dire–that is, if she can keep herself out of jail!
But Lydia soon discovers that help can appear from the most unexpected source…
(Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.)
Plot & World Building
Honestly, the plot was very unique and had feels reminiscent of the movie Arrival. This was only in the fact that the main character is a translator for an alien society that communicates through thoughts. Drunk on All Your Strange New Words and the main character, Lydia, greatly diverge from the stoic and intense storytelling of Arrival. The mystique of the Logi and their method of communication becomes a central part of the “whodunit” aspect of this book.
Another aspect that I enjoyed was how Robson sets this story in the near future, adding to technologies that exist today. He both changes them while also making them more widespread than they may be today. (Think: accessibility of VR games) This creates an interesting closeness to the sci-fi world of this story.
Unfortunately, there did seem to be some parts in the middle that do not add to the story. Instead, these felt like distractions, but perhaps that is the idea of a murder mystery. While that may be the case, it did feel a bit too left field that it did not actually tie back in towards the end.
Robson created very real characters in a (somewhat) unreal setting. I loved the main character. Her narration was so witty I would find myself smiling or actually stopping to try to explain what I thought was funny to whoever I was near while reading. (Unfortunately, I never did a good job of explaining…) Where I was even more impressed was the ability to create unique and distinct characters from the Logi. Robson was able to form these intricate characters without their ability to communicate in the traditional ways that humans do.
I did thoroughly enjoy Drunk on All Your Stange New Words. It was funny, clever, and quite light-hearted considering it was a murder mystery with intergalactic consequences. Robson created a world that was very new but somewhat familiar that did not require you to suspend disbelief too much. If you enjoy sci-fi and are slightly interested in translation/communication, I would very easily recommend this quick read!