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Customer Reviews for

Agent to the Stars

Average Rating 4.5
( 42 )
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Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 42 Customer Reviews
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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 26, 2008

    lighthearted first contact satire

    Although relatively young compared to his envious peers, Hollywood agent Tom Stein is the top gun in his vocation at this moment. His confidence is extremely high that he can sell anyone. His newest star literally comes from the stars. He will represent the sentient alien Yherajk as they make their first appearance on the earth stage. --- However selling the Yherajk to xenophobics will be difficult as the Yherajk are not what humans would call centerfold material. Instead they are gelatin gels with a distinct odor that makes a spraying skunk smell nice. However Tom is confident he can sell his new client to humans though he understands the issues he and Yherajk face. --- Although he leaves the military science fiction sector (see THE ANDROID'S DREAM and the OLD MAN'S WAR), John Scalzi continues his specialty of lampooning icons this time Hollywood and spin doctors. The story line is amusing as Tom adheres to the Barnum-Bush capitalist theory that you can sell to the American people anything. Fans who enjoy a lighthearted first contact satire will relish the selling of a species that smell worse than fish rotting. --- Harriet Klausner

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 26, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Terrific Story from Master Sci Fi Author

    It's hard to imagine that this book started as an experiment by John Scalzi to see if he could write a novel. He ended up creating a wonderful story of alien first contact built upon the base of all of Scalzi's novels - creative plot and story-telling mixed with amazing dialogue.

    "Agent to the Stars" is a story of first contact, where space produces alien good guys and Hollywood produces human bad guys. The premise is terrific...Joshua is an alien representing his race who were drawn to Earth by our 70+ years of TV and Radio signals. The aliens want help with their introduction to the planet. And so naturally, they've reached out to a talent agent - Tom Stein. As Joshua says, "We look like snot. And we smell like dead fish. We have seen "The Blob" and it is us. We need an agent to get us the role of the friendly aliens."

    Fans of John Scalzi will recognize a few things. First, snappy and witty dialogue keeps the story moving at a fantastic pace. One can't help but compare the character interactions across several of Scalzi's books, but I was particularly struck by how similar the interplay was between Stein and his assistant Miranda, and Scalzi's "Last Colony"/"Zoe's Tale" characters John Perry and his assistant Savitri.

    The aliens have loads of personality, but like the Obin in the world of Scalzi's "Old Man's War", they have the ability to share consciousness across their entire race. These aliens also have the ability move consciousness from one living vessel to another. I won't give away too much of the fun plot line, but in the context of what Scalzi would go on to write, it's a lot of fun to see him start playing with and crafting this premise. There's a little bit of a deus ex machina in this vein, but Scalzi is a deft writer and carries it off.

    In his introduction, Scalzi states that he made minimal updates to the book in its current iteration. He spent a little time updating some of the pop culture references which fall from the page like candy from a machine. As usual, Scalzi's characters are well-shaped and interesting.

    It was such a fantastic read that I was saddened by coming to the end.
    The book is light and only serious in parts. But make no mistake, the book is seriously good.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 16, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    A Fun Read from Scalzi...again!

    AGENT TO THE STARS could've been a one-joke novel, with some success. And, for the first hundred pages, it certainly plays like one. However, those hundred pages are deceptive, and when the plot heats up, you realize that those pages were essential to setting up the rest of the book. Which, of course, is a lot of fun, but surprisingly humane, and actually rather touching. Even though it's recently published, it was Scalzi's first attempt at a novel, and he really pulls it off well. It's not as flat-out entertaining and wonderful as his "Old Man's War" novels, but still, it's not bad at all.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 15, 2012

    Better than movie night!

    I'm interested in other books by John Scalzi after reading this. It has great character and some fun easy feeling!

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 4, 2011

    Great book

    One of the most enjoyable books I have ever read. Scalzi has quickly become one of my favorite authors. I usually read fantasy, but he has become a writer I will read just about anything he puts out.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 8, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Entertaining!

    Ever wonder how an alien race would introduce themselves to Earth? Why through a Hollywood agent of course. That is the basic plot to this must read by John Scalzi, but don't let it's apparent cheesiness fool you. This is a well thought out storyline that makes you think about prejudices. How important are appearances? What makes us human? So take an adventure with Thomas Stein, Hollywood agent, and an alien named Joshua and see what happens when aliens hire agents!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 26, 2010

    Hollywood & Aliens. Love it.

    This was the story of how aliens with a bit of savvy might go about initiating first contact... Not by speaking with governments, but by speaking to Hollywood. It's a fascinating and original idea, and Scalzi does a great job of making a wonderful, tongue-in-cheek tale of alien contact.

    A highly-researched novel with all the I's dotted and the T's crossed this is *not*. There are plenty of places where I found myself asking, "But what if?" and other places where I thought that Scalzi's depiction of the "common man's" response was a bit more optimistic (in service to his story) than was strictly believable.

    But in the introduction, Scalzi himself notes that he'd never actually intended to publish this: it was his first practice novel. And if you read it to enjoy the wonderful characterizations of humans and aliens, setting aside the logic flaws, the book truly shines. I had a wonderful time with it.

    5 of 5 stars.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 23, 2014

    Invasion of the reluctant aliens

    Take the body snatchers, pod people, replicants, puppet master, and other aliens invasions involving taking over humanity. Add morality, friendship, and charm befitting a talk show host. Now have them guided by hollywood, and youve got these aliens.

    Story line is not all that different from the Thing or other such b-rated scifi movie, but with a whole new and fresh perspective that flips the story. Very funny and entertaining, like a retelling of a myth or childhood story where yhe wolf or witch are the god guys.

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  • Posted May 18, 2013

    My brother, who is a sci=fi freak, put this book in my hand and

    My brother, who is a sci=fi freak, put this book in my hand and said to read it. Reluctantly I started with no intent on finishing but I found I really liked it. It's funny, light and keeps you going. I highly recommend it. I don't think anyone has ever written something quite as unique as this.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 18, 2013

    Fun Read

    Enjoyed the book greatly. Characters were easy to like, and any story with benign alien encounters couched in humor is great.

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    Posted October 20, 2010

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