The Wannoshay Cycle
Five Star, Jan 2008, $25.95, 369 pp.
They came from a dying world whose sun was being extinguished and until they could find another planet to sustain them, they dug tunnels with their claws and lived underground. Finally astronomers found earth; the Mother Ship and a flotilla head for specific landing sites but they lose contact with the main ship and land in the Midwest and Canada. In a country fearful of illegal aliens and terrorists, the outer space aliens are met with trepidation.
The government tries to integrate them into mainstream society using them as cheap labor; but when two explosions attributed to the aliens occur they are moved into internment camps and labor farms. The aliens are ill from drug addiction and a “soul sickness” that drives them to kill and if something is not done it could spread to humans. A group of sympathetic humans travel to the Mother Ship in Iowa City in hopes they can do something to help the Wannoshay and give them a chance to heal and have a good life.
If readers see the way the aliens are treated similar to the way Hitler treated the Jews and slave owners treated the slaves, the author has gotten his point across. The aliens are very different than humans with claws for hands to dig and tentacles instead of hair and people fear those that are different. Many people rise above their instinctual fears and go out of their way to help, as everyday people show heart, compassion, and the ability to see that accepting differences is good for everyone. Michael Jasper has written an enthralling encounter of the third kind.