Cover image for Through alien eyes
Through alien eyes
Thomson, Amy.
Personal Author:
Ace trade paperback edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Ace Books, 1999.
Physical Description:
viii, 328 pages ; 23 cm
Format :


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Amy Thomson captivated readers with her national bestselling debut, Virtual Girl. Her acclaimed thriller, The Color of Distance, was praised by Vonda N. McIntyre as "an energetic and entertaining first-contact novel." Now, Thomson has imagined a first-contact of a different sort'as two members of an alien species struggle for survival on a strange planet'called Earth.

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Overpopulation and ecological devastation have forced the creation of other habitats throughout the galaxy. When Juna Saari, the first human to live among other sentient beings, the Tendu, returns home, she brings with her Moki, her adopted Tendu son, and Utakoten, a respected elder in the highly structured Tendu community. The Tendu, small beings whose natural habitat is lush with plant and animal life, strive to achieve harmony with the physical world and, subsequently, with one another. Juna has joined with Utakoten to begin the process of reaching harmony between humankind and the Tendu. Unfortunately, Juna's world is ruled by xenophobic bureaucrats, greedy businessmen, and violent, right-wing factions. Juna and the peaceful Tendu are innocents entering a fierce power struggle. That is, the state of this future is not very different from that of late-twentieth-century earth. A suspenseful plot and stellar characterization distinguish a tale ultimately concerned with environmental, political, and moral issues. --Karen Simonetti

Publisher's Weekly Review

In Thomson's The Color of Distance (1995), Dr. Juna Saari was accidentally abandoned on the planet Tiangi. Despite life-threatening allergic reactions to that world's life-forms, she managed to survive thanks to the biological wizardry of the Tendu, Tiangi's intelligent native species, who radically altered her body to thrive in their environment. Now, returned to human form, Juna comes back to Earth accompanied by two Tendu. They must learnÄaboard ship, while visiting a series of Earth orbital habitats, and then on EarthÄto adapt to a human environment, but it isn't clear whether humanity will accept them in return. Despite the great biological gifts the Tendu can offer an environmentally distressed Earth, many humans find the aliens frightening. Escorting the Tendu through Earth society, Juna finds her life spun upside down when she discovers that she is accidentally pregnant, an illegal act on an Earth struggling to overcome critical overpopulation. Much of the novel's tension stems from attempts to force Juna either to abort or to give up her babyÄattempts stemming, in part, from the father's refusal to allow his child to be raised with aliens. Thomson is an excellent prose stylist with an obvious love for the kind of wild country that is the Tendu's preferred habitat. Her major characters are well developed, though her secondary characters, particularly the good guys, are not properly differentiated. Overall, this is an amiable, unusually thoughtful novel of first contact that should boost Thomson's growing reputation. (July) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

After her stint on the planet Tiangi, researcher Juna Saari returns to Earth, bringing along with her a pair of alien Tengu, linked to her by a lifelong bond. As the aliens Moki and Ukatonen strive to understand and adapt to their new surroundings, they evoke not only friendship but also the enmity and mistrust of some powerful individuals. The author of The Color of Distance presents a thoughtful view of human nature filtered through the perceptions of a pair of engaging and well-meaning, though sometimes unpredictable, aliens. A good choice for most sf collections. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.