Xotonian Chorkle's home asteroid Gelo is so boring that of course it's going to spy on the iridium-stealing, fur-tufted invaders from Eo. Chorkle's originator allowed it (there is no gender on Gelo) to check out Jehe Canyon for human incursion as long as it agreed to leave if it saw them…but they're so interesting, and they have amazingly fun technology. Xotonians are adept at hiding, so the aliens are oblivious to Chorkle's presence, but it makes off with their hologram device. When the Xotonians decide to unleash the dreaded, destructive Q-sik weapon to chase off the humans, Chorkle wants to warn the humans. It knows the ones it saw in the canyon are young ones. Having learned some human language from the hologram device and human transmissions, Chorkle intends to warn them…but it's distracted by the sugary pink magic of Feeney's Original Astronaut Ice Cream, and the young humans end up marooned on Gelo. Now Chorkle must keep them alive until their originators return for them. When the Vorem, the ancient enemy of the Xotonians, reappear, the fate of the solar system might hang in the balance. O'Donnell's debut is an imaginative, smart and laugh-out-loud adventure. Chorkle is charming, and its alien perspective on the human invaders and the ensuing culture clash never falters. Clap your thol'graz--the open ending begs for a sequel! (Science fiction. 9-12)
Life on Gelo was fine until the fur-headed "humans" arrived. They invaded our asteroid with their loud drill machines and their endless greed, stealing our precious iridium to take back to their weird-looking blue-and-green planet. Then the mothership took off and four little fur-heads were marooned here.
Luckily, the "kids" have cool things like hologram games and rocket bikes. And they know how to pilot starships!
But there's plenty the junior humans don't know, like how to fight a feral thyss-cat or ride an usk-lizard. They're decidedly terrible at dealing with my stink gland (yes, we Xotonians have a stink gland). And they definitely seem powerless against the Vorem, a terrifying breed of rival alien that nightmares are made of.
Thank goodness the Earthlings have me and all five of my eyes to look after them! If only I knew how to help them get back home. . . .