My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Short Version: A good, good story told in a fun–often funny–way.
Long Version: In the Author’s Note, while Scalzi is describing the long, strange journey this novel took to get to this particular edition, he calls it the “book that won’t quit.” It took me maybe 50 pages to see why. This is one froody book.
The tone is great, the style is spot on, good satire/commentary on Hollywood’s place in the world, everything about the alien race–their language, appearance, spaceship, ways to interact with humans/other creatures…just wonderfully imaginative.
In case you haven’t read the blurb–an up and coming Hollywood agent is hired by a (by human standards) ugly, nauseatingly smelly alien race to help their “image” so they can make first contact with humanity. Why an agent, why not a President or something? ‘Cuz the aliens know where real power and influence are centered. So, our hero has to balance his Hollywood weirdo clients, the aliens and a nosy journalist who won’t leave him alone; while he comes up with a way to sell this species to humanity.
Funny, funny stuff on many levels and in different ways. But the book has a lot of heart, too. Just a pleasure to read.