Book Reviews

Review: Barbarian Alien by Ruby Dixon

I was not expecting to enjoy Barbarian Alien more than Ice Planet Barbarian, but I did! But I think it’s because I really enjoyed Liz and more so than Georgie. While I liked Georgie as a person, she felt a bit Chosen One with her being the one who was going to find help and the first one to meet the aliens. Keep reading this book review for my full thoughts.


Liz Cramer swears she’ll find a way off of this alien planet she’s stuck on–then she meets Raahosh, the surliest and stubbornest alien, who won’t leave her alone, and she just might be okay with that…

Twelve humans are left stranded on a wintry alien planet. I’m one of them. Yay, me.

In order to survive, we have to take on a symbiont that wants to rewire our bodies to live in this brutal place. I like to call it a “cootie.” And my cootie’s a jerk, because it also thinks I’m the mate to the biggest, grumpiest alien of the group. Raahosh believes the cootie’s right, so he steals me away from the group, determined to make me fall for him–or else.

He has no idea who he’s up against.

And if I didn’t want his insufferable self so much (thanks, cootie), I’d let him know exactly what I’m thinking. As it is, I’m doing my best to fight this instant attraction. Just because the symbiont thinks we’re supposed to be together doesn’t mean I have to go along with it. And if we fool around a little, it’s merely biology. It doesn’t mean I’m in love–or that I’m destined to be his.


(Disclaimer: I received this book from Netgalley. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.)

With Liz, we get an entirely different story than in Ice Planet Barbarians. I was worried that it was going to be the same as in the first, but I ended up enjoying this one way more. Liz was more of my character: can’t stop talking, sarcastic and a tinge bitter – can you blame her?? – and very upset about the khui. Because um, if this were me I would be SO upset about it. And for Liz the central issue is agency, a lack of being able to chose her own future. In Barbarian Alien, I feel like we get to see a much more realistic reaction to their situation.

To still processing their initial abduction, to being left in the cold to basically starve and die, and now to being forced to take the khui to survive. Can we blame Liz for being angry and a bit bitter? I’d be in her boat too. Which made me appreciate Liz’s anger and her time to process her choices and what happened. It felt like a more natural progression as a reader and so I ended up resonating more with Liz. Plus I found Liz to be extremely funny!

I think whether or not you like Barbarian Alien versus the first, is mostly a preference thing. It depends a lot on whether you like Georgie or Liz – obviously – and so while I liked this one more than the first, read both and see! Raahosh is also a different character and he’s processing so much of his own trauma and new experiences. This made me also relate more to Raahosh versus Vektal. So all in all, I enjoyed these characters more, but it’s a matter of preference!

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Find Barbarian Alien on Goodreads, Amazon, Indiebound & The Book Depository.


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