REVIEW: Safety Protocols for Human Holidays by Angel Martinez
Someone has to fix their broken human. Raskli’s not sure why it has to be her.
As a security officer on an interspecies ship, Growlan Raskli’s experienced in heading off species-specific aberrant behaviors in order to keep the peace. But when her captain asks her to find out what’s bothering their sole human crew member, Raskli’s out of her depths. She hardly knows anything about humans and she’s not a psych doctor.
Something’s definitely upset Human Jen, something to do with human holidays. The more time Raskli spends studying humans and interacting with the intriguing Human Jen, the more personal the assignment becomes. Determined to lift the dark cloud from Human Jen, Raskli will do whatever it takes—within safe parameters, of course.
Dear Ms. Martinez,
Casting about for some more holiday stories, I came across this one. Lovely cover, interspecies, and a crew trying to help their human – sounded fun to me.
Growlan Raskli is a security officer but as the only other lactating placental species aboard ship, and thus the most biologically compatible crew member, she’s been told to figure out what is wrong with the sole human on board. At first a bit miffed that she’s landed this assignment, Growlan Raskli’s curiosity and stubbornness take over. Humans have a rep for bizarre behavior and are known to sometimes be violent so despite her training in handling all kinds of situations, she approaches this carefully.
After a little research on human bonding behavior, she starts by questioning Human Jen’s workmates as well as cautiously showing up at Human Jen’s living quarters with a friend gift. Human Jen seems baffled at first but also shows signs of what Growlan Raskli is pretty sure are sadness though she’s careful to try and not assign emotional responses to a member of another species. Diving into more research along with the botany scientists who work with Human Jen (always get trained scientists to help with research. They love it!) they determine that Human Jen’s emotions might relate to the many and varied human holidays of this season on the human home planet. Time to call in more shipboard specialists to try and cheer Human Jen up – keeping in mind no open flames or fireworks due to safety.
As Growlan Raskli and Human Jen spend more time together exchanging friend gifts, poems (a Growlan proclivity), and discussing their species habits, is something emotionally deeper starting?
I would have enjoyed spending more time in this world. The many and varied shipmates were succinctly described so that I got not only a good idea of what they looked like but also how they acted and thought. That they were willing to go to such extremes to help one of their crew members as well as the thoughtful ways they interacted was lovely. The large number of human holidays celebrated at this time threw them a little but the more holidays the merrier, right? There is a romance that develops rather quickly – perhaps too quickly – which, along with learning more about the various characters, is a reason I’d have wished for a longer story. But this one is cute and inclusive. B