Alien Jungle (Colonial Scouts Book 2) *****
By Roxanne Smolen

Mold Zombies?! Not exactly, but yeah. I got hooked. Trace is a colonial scout. They have these portable wormhole devices and explore the galaxy looking for habitable worlds. I really liked the Stargate movie and all three tv shows, yes including Stargate Universe so the premise was an easy sell. I received an audible code for a free review copy of this story and listened to it while trekking nearly unknown country backroads in Upstate New York.

Trace had a bit of a bungle on his first mission as team leader, so he’s surprised when his better qualified girlfriend Impeny gets passed over and he is selected to lead a five person team on a rescue mission.  Now Trace needs to save the day and figure out how to get along with his girlfriend again.

He learns that each person’s traits can either be troublesome quirks or great strengths, but did he figure it out in time to stop the mold zombies from taking every last living colonist into the fungus forest? Don’t be lazy, read it for yourself! Har har har.


On top of Trace’s other difficulties, the colony is run by non-other that his father, who has a bone to pick with Trace for his career choice. The colony is about more than money, they are studying the rapid growth of the indigenous plants to find a cure for galactic famine.

I have not read the first book, but it was very easy to jump into the adventure with Alien Jungle. This story is appropriate for all ages and I’m looking forward to listening again with my nine year old son as soon as we get past our sword and sorcery kick.

I sometimes feel a bit bogged down when a story has multiple points of view, but there was a really good balance here. We get bits from a few other characters, but its easy to tell that Trace is our protagonist and the side POVs often give the reader a glimpse of Trace that he wouldn’t see about himself.

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