I’d listened to Lock In by John Scalzi, because Wil Wheaton read it. I was a big fan of Wil Wheaton’s performances in the audiobooks of Ready Player One and Armada by Ernest Cline. (Both are excellent books, if you ask me. Super fun and highly entertaining!) So I searched for other books that WW had read, and found Lock In. It was a great book. When Agent to the Stars popped up on my recommended list on Audible, I had to click.
In this amusing novel, Thomas Stein, a promising, young talent agent in Los Angeles, is contacted by the Yherajk, an alien species seeking representation. They want to introduce themselves to humans, but face certain peculiarities that make humanity likely to turn their noses in disgust. Thankfully, the talent agent has ideas how to make this transition a smooth one. But will he be able to control his alien charge in the mean time? And what about the downward spiral of the young actress he’s also representing?
Of course, part of the reason I may have loved this novel so much was undoubtedly Wil Wheaton’s performance. I could listen to that man read the phone book, because I’m sure he’d have me laughing my backside off most of the time. I loved his interpretations of the story. He reads without trying to put on crazy voices for all the characters, but I find I don’t miss them. Some audiobook readers do a fantastic job of putting on voices and accents for all the characters, and some just read like I would. I like the laid-back style. I like Wil Wheaton’s style.
When it comes to the plot of the book, I was a big fan. I was into it right away, as my major in college was TRFT (Television, Radio, Film and Theater) so I have a soft spot in my heart for all stories that take place in Los Angeles, in the film industry. The main character’s role as an Agent was interesting to me, too, as that’s a part of the industry that I haven’t paid all that much attention to. It fascinates me how that relationship works, how the agents’ relationships are with the rest of the industry, and each other.
I love books that give me a new take on alien life forms, and Agent to the Stars didn’t disappoint. Without giving away too many details on the Yherajk, because I want you to read the book, I’ll say that Joshua is a very unique character. He comes from a species I could never have dreamed up, but now feel I understand through Scalzi’s vibrant storytelling. If we are to make contact with another intelligent species in the universe, who knows if it would look or act like we expect. That’s why learning about the unexpected is so important.
I will definitely be keeping an eye out for more John Scalzi titles in the future–and I’ll listen to pretty much anything Wil Wheaton reads.