I went into this novel blind. I’d heard it was good but couldn’t remember reading any reviews so had no idea what I was getting myself into. And for the life of me I couldn’t get that Aerosmith song out of my head every time I looked at the title!
Renee Miller’s Cats Like Cream was a novella I read last year and absolutely bloody loved it. It was gritty, uncomfortable, and real. It took me a while to get round to Eat The Rich but, judging from CLC, I knew I wasn’t going to be disappointed.
Well, this one was certainly a lot different. This is a story about aliens. Aliens that wipe out society’s elite, the 1%. Not what I was expecting at all. But even though the book was completely different to what I thought I’d be getting, I was in for a real treat.
As mentioned, an alien race take it upon themselves to visit multiple planets in the universe, cleansing them of their rich oppressors. They want everyone to live as equals without the privileged few taking and controlling everything. When you look at it from their point of view, they’re doing a decent job of a worthy cause. It’s almost a little ‘human’ to believe you can rock up to another civilisation and use your knowledge of all things to help them out. But does said civilisation need or want this interference?
It doesn’t sound too horrific so far, but what I failed to mention is these aliens like to devour these rich folk, leaving only their bones. The descriptions aren’t a full-on gore-fest, but are detailed enough to get the job done. I suppose the whole eating thing shouldn’t come as surprise, though, judging from the title.
The story flies by at lightening pace, the narrative switching between the human point of view and the aliens’. On the human side we have a cop investigating the cannibalistic murders, aided by a dude who just wants to start over again without the trappings of society. The aliens, on the other hand, discuss their plans for earth and reminisce over past ventures similar to this one. I was reminded of Frank Herbert’s excellent Hellstrom’s Hive, where both sides of the story are told, and you kind of feel for both.
I don’t know if I’d call this a bona fide sci-fi novel, as although there are aliens, spaceships, and the like, you never feel like you’re getting world-building and explanations that slow down the pace. There’s no time for this, it’s kind of assumed the reader knows what a spaceship is, and what an alien is. No need to preach to the converted.
No, the horror definitely outweighs the sci-fi, which is the way I always prefer it. This was a really great book that I consumed eagerly. And now I’m hungry for more Miller. (Please note how difficult it has been for me to resist the urge to fill this review with food puns, although the need was eventually far too great for me to ignore.)
This is well worth checking out, and definitely on an empty stomach!
Categories: book review