Alien Taste

Alien Taste

by Wen Spencer

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781101212448
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 07/01/2001
Series: Ukiah Oregon , #1
Sold by: Penguin Group
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 320
Sales rank: 118,010
File size: 327 KB
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Wen Spencer is a John W. Campbell Award–winning author of science fiction and fantasy. She has written 12 novels, as well as numerous short stories. Several of her novels, including Alien Taste, Tinker, and A Brother’s Price, have been translated and sold internationally in Europe, Japan, and Russia. After living in Pittsburgh and Boston, Spencer now resides in Hilo, Hawaii.

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Alien Taste 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 39 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Ukiah Oregon has a photographic memory, but he can remember nothing of his childhood. He was raised by wolves in Ukiah, Oregon and found by a biology student who adopted and raised him. He has no idea how old he is, who his parents were - nothing. His moms (he has two mothers, no father) try to find out about his past by hiring a private investigator, but Max Bennett can find nothing. However, as Max learns more about Ukiah, he discovers that Ukiah's specialty is finding people/things so he offers him a job, and eventually makes Ukiah his partner. When three women are found dead and the fourth presumed kidnapped, Ukiah and Max are called in to find her. Using his heightened senses, Ukiah finds the fourth woman...and a clue to his past. The dead women leads Ukiah to The Pack, a dangerous motorcycle gang. Ukiah knows that they have information about his past, but are they willing to share it? (This is purposely a vague summary of the book because to give any more information would ruin the surprises and the storyline.) I thoroughly enjoyed this book. The story was a fresh twist on the whole alien invasion and "Wolf Boy" stories. Wen Spencer has created finely crafted characters that the reader truly feels for. Yes, Ukiah has all of these special abilities, but that doesn't mean that he doesn't need help, that he doesn't get scared, that he doesn't wonder why he is different. Max, Ukiah's partner, is a suffering widower who becomes a kind of father to Ukiah and watches out for him. Indigo is a tough FBI Agent (the Pack calls her the Lady of Steel), but she has a soft spot for Ukiah and finds herself falling in love with him. Ukiah's family was also delightful - his two moms and his sister, Cassie added nice touches of "normality" (such as it is for this book) to the story. This book is set 2 years in the future (2004), but everything is recognizable. People have a few more electronic toys than we have now and we have successfully sent a machine to Mars, but Spencer doesn't really put anything in that couldn't be done in the foreseeable future. Wen Spencer has a very nice writing style (and a good editor - no typos) and the plot was well-paced. In short, this book is full of action and mystery and well worth your time!
harstan More than 1 year ago
No one really knows how old allegedly twenty-one years old Ukiah Oregon is. He was found caught in a wolf trap when he was approximately twelve. The woman who captured Ukiah took him to Pittsburgh so she and her female mate Lara could have a child since the courts ignored adoption efforts by a same sex couple.

Now Ukiah works with private detective Max Bennett. Ukiah is a world-class tracker who can find a trail with the faintest of clues. There are other oddities about Ukiah. His olfactory, taste, and hearing senses are much more acute than the average person¿s and he can read DNA with another unknown sense. He has suffered strange memory losses that only sometimes he regains. On one of his cases, Ukiah learns about The Pack, a loose coalition of bikers who take a sudden interest in him. When he finds out why, he also learns he is the key to saving the human race.

ALIEN TASTE is an urban science fiction tale that takes place on earth in three years. However, new technological advances make the reader feel that Wen Spencer's tale takes place much further into the future. The characters are fully developed and understandable and The Pack is likable in a feral sort of way. This novel is keeper shelf material and hopefully Mr. Spencer will return with more tales starring the Pack. Harriet Klausner

Jenson_AKA_DL on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Ukiah Oregon has always been as different as his name may suggest. Discovered naked in a wolf-friendly cage and adopted by a biologist studying the wolves Ukiah's evolution into a functioning society member and private investigator was nothing short of a miracle. But, when Ukiah and his partner are called in to track a missing scientist the case strikes home for him in more ways than one and everything Ukiah believed about himself is about to be turned on its head.This is one of the few books that I've had to completely change my tags once I've read it because what I thought the story was (urban fantasy), wasn't at all what it is (undeniably science fiction). In either event I still thought the story was very good and also very different from anything else I've ever read. I love the way the author set up the story and introduced us to Ukiah, his moms and sister and his partner, Max. The downfall was that towards the middle the book seemed to drag a bit and towards the end I lost some of my sense of connection with the characters. The writing style itself seemed to change over the course of the book which may have something to do with it. However, once the scene had set, and the investment in the characters had been made I was quite happy to read through to the end. Many books that you read all have to do with the same ideas, this one took the idea of alien invasion and tailored it into something totally different. I loved the ideas behind the plot and felt they were very imaginative and also very much enjoyed Ukiah¿s progression toward self discovery. I was hard pressed to suspend my disbelief when it came to Ukiah's dealings with the police and FBI, things just didn't ring true there. Despite the few quirks that bugged me it wasn't at all enough to taint my overall enjoyment of the book. It is highly imaginative science fiction stuff with great characters and a fascinating plot. I'd certainly recommend the story.
Magentawolf on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
While I like several of Wen Spencer's other works, such as Tinker and The Wolf Who Rules, this novel was simply atrocious. (And I blame the above books and the premise behind this one for getting me to try it.)It has the singular honour of being the only book that I've never been able to force myself to finish.
SunnySD on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Literally raised by wolves in the Oregon wilderness, Ukiah Oregon (named for the town closest to where his Mom Jo found him - and yes, he was raised by a lesbian couple) has become one of the country's best trackers. So much so that he and his partner have been called in on what appears to be a bizarre and bloody murder/kidnapping. A bloodbath on the surface, it's so much more beneath. Ukiah and his partner are quickly pulled into a centuries old conflict between powers literally not of this world. The race is on to save the planet - and amazingly, the FBI is actually helping this time.I'm so glad this showed up in my LT Recommendations list - what fun! Can't wait to dive into the next installment.
amf0001 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I first read this book several years ago and reread it around once every 2 years. It's always a good read. I like the concept a lot, Ukiah Oregon thinks he was raised by wolves and discovered when he was 12 or so, but socialized awfully fast. And he can do things, like taste blood and tell you about the DNA make up of that blood. As the book goes on, he discovers more and more about himself. It's well written and interesting, and I like dipping into his adventures.
wyvernfriend on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is a story where werewolves meet aliens. Ukiah Oregon is named after where he was found, running with wolves. He's now growing up and finding his way. He works as a private investigator using skills that appear to be supernatural. He also comes across as being a bit out of touch with the human world. He finds himself in conflict with a group of people who seem to want him, along with the FBI who aren't sure what to do with him.He finds that his destiny isn't what he might think and that there are complex things going on in his life, not all of which are possibly for the betterment of humanity.It's interesting but it just didn't quite speak to me.
Darla on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I got the recommendation for this book from Dallas Schulze, who, in addition to writing wonderful books, also has damn good taste.Ukiah Oregon was a boy raised by wolves. He's an extraordinary tracker with a photographic memory--of everything except his own past.Together with his partner and mentor, Max, he works as a private investigator, specializing in missing persons cases.As the story opens, they're called to a crime scene where three women have been killed, and a fourth is missing, presumably abducted by the killer. Tracking her is the start of something much larger, and results in encounters with a mysterious and sinister motorcycle gang called the Pack, and revelations about Ukiah's own history.A lot of the reviews about this book give away the punchline, which happens about halfway through the story. I'm not going to do that, but as a result, I'm leaving a lot out. It's written in Ukiah's POV, for the most part (*wincing* --it's been 3 weeks since I read this, so I can't remember if it's all in his POV), and therefore, we readers know what Ukiah knows. Which isn't much, at first.The story is fascinating and clever, and the aliens (the title is Alien Taste--there have to be aliens) were unique and well thought-out. And they tended to prompt me to think Deep Thoughts about what it means to be human, always a good thing, especially when it's left up to me, the reader, rather than spoon-fed to me.Huge thanks to Dallas for the recommendation. I wish I'd gotten to it sooner. The next book is in my e-reader.
TheDivineOomba on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Its a good story - and its not quite like any other science fiction story out there. Where I was expecting a hard, down to business lead character, Ukiah is a quiet, young man, finding himself and trying to figure out who he is. Its part thriller, part detective story, and part science fiction that is a quick fast read.
Awfki on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
SF lite. Interesting and entertaining with no need to engage the brain.
VADRICAN on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I loved this series. I have read this book 3 times. I like to wait a few years and read it again so it is almost like the first time all over again! The one thing I remember the clearest from my first time, was marvelling about a random paragraph. Flip in the book after you have read it. Find one substantial paragraph and read it out of context to someone who hasn't read it. It can really sound out there, particullarly if you read about blood or memory mice! Then reflect that you know exactly what they mean. Well done Wen Spencer! You took me for a grand adventure! In my opinion Wen Spencer is way under known for her amount of talent. My mission, share her with all who are willing, and a several who are not! You are well loved by the readers in my family and friends. Hard sell for people that are not open to a little Scifi. Sorry, they are missing out. I am more of a urban fantasy girl myself, and this meshes quite well.
dictator555 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I loved this book. It was so much fun! For the length of the novel, the characters are all really well explored. Even the minor characters are fun and interesting. This is a quick read, almost young adult it's so easy. The subject matter might be a little dark for kids, though. None of the ideas in the book are that novel; anyone who's read much SF would recognize the major elements. But it's well implemented and it's fun. Sorry to use the word so much, but "fun" is really the only word you need to know in association with this book.
francescadefreitas on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Totally improbable, but a lot of fun. I was willing to suspend all sorts of disbelief for a tracker who had been raised by wolves. I enjoyed the gradual uncovering of Ukiah's story, and I look forward to starting the next book in the series.
SimonW11 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I enjojed this contemporary sf.Ukiah Oregon a private detective/ tracker raised by wolves. finds himselfcaught up in a feud between two undercover groups of aliens
amberwitch on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Ukiah Oregon is a private investigator whose ability to track has gotten him involved in a multiple homicide and missing person case.He is a former "feral child" who grew up amongst wolves, and when he gets a hint of his own lost past during the case he pursues it, leading him directly into a war between different fractions of an alien race - a war that will decide the future of Earth and its ecological systems - and both sides has a vast interest in gaining control over him.Ukiahs hunt for his past places him firmly on the "good side" in the war, as he fights to protect the human race, as well as his family and loved ones.In his fight for the good cause he manages to fall in love with an FBI agent, consummate this love (no purple prose), and save her from a fate worse than death.Ukiah lives on a farm with his mothers and his little sister, and is a partner in a private investigation agency. He was found in a wolftrap by one of his mothers, taken ind and civilised.
readinggeek451 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A keeper. It reads like fantasy at first, but it isn't; it's science fiction..
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I've enjoyed every book in this series. I have re-read every book too many times to count. The plot is intriguing, the characters are strong and well rounded and the dialogue keeps you turning the pages.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Go Wen!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I first read this book when I was 14, picked it up previously loved from a small bookstore because I was spending a week as mothers helper up in the mountains and needed a new book for the evenings. I read this book until it fell apart, love it love it love it
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Good sci-fi book.
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