• The Spaceship Next Door

  • By: Gene Doucette
  • Narrated by: Steve Carlson
  • Length: 11 hrs and 35 mins
  • 4.2 out of 5 stars (6,389 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

The world changed on a Tuesday.

When a spaceship landed in an open field in the quiet mill town of Sorrow Falls, Massachusetts, everyone realized humankind was not alone in the universe. With that realization everyone freaked out for a little while.

Or almost everyone. The residents of Sorrow Falls took the news pretty well. This could have been due to a certain local quality of unflappability, or it could have been that in three years the ship did exactly nothing other than sit quietly in that field, and nobody understood the full extent of this nothing the ship was doing better than the people who lived right next door.

Sixteen-year-old Annie Collins is one of the ship's closest neighbors. Once upon a time she took every last theory about the ship seriously, whether it was advanced by an adult or by a peer. Surely one of the theories would be proven true - if not several of them - the very minute the ship decided to do something. Annie is starting to think this will never happen.

One late August morning, a little over three years since the ship landed, Edgar Somerville arrived in town. Ed's a government operative posing as a journalist, which is obvious to Annie - and pretty much everyone else he meets - almost immediately. He has a lot of questions that need answers, because he thinks everyone is wrong: The ship is doing something, and he needs Annie's help to figure out what that is.

Annie is a good choice for tour guide. She already knows everyone in town, and when Ed's theory is proven correct - something is apocalyptically wrong in Sorrow Falls - she's a pretty good person to have around.

As a matter of fact, Annie Collins might be the most important person on the planet. She just doesn't know it.

The Spaceship Next Door is the latest novel from Gene Doucette, best-selling author of The Immortal Trilogy, Fixer, The Immortal Chronicles, and Immortal Stories: Eve.

©2015 Gene Doucette (P)2016 Gene Doucette

What listeners say about The Spaceship Next Door

Average Customer Ratings
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  • 4 out of 5 stars
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Another fun Sci Fi read with an Excellent Reader!


If you enjoyed Not Alone, you should enjoy this one, too. It has the same real-time pacing, UFO subtext, and a fascinating lead character. The story takes place in a small town, and has a host of locals and others who bring a folksy humor to the tale. But where Dan Macarthy was an introverted loaner with a UFO fixation, Annie is clear eyed, intelligent, and always sensible -- no matter what. That's pretty good for a 16 year old kid who lives next door to a UFO! I found her to be endlessly entertaining and cleverly written.

It's been 3 years since the spaceship landed when the book begins, and it has been sitting in an open field for all that time, doing nothing. Not moving, not making a sound, and no one appears to be inside. But the military isn't taking any chances, and has set up shop in the area to guard the ship and prepare for the day when something -- anything -- happens.

Across the road from the military fence around the ship, is an assorted group of misfits and odd-balls in camper vans, keeping a close if jaundiced eye on what goes on around the ship -- and they don't want to miss a thing. Between these two disparate groups, is Annie, busy gathering intel.

I can't give you anymore than that. I didn't see the ending coming, and you won't either -- at least not the whole ending. Left me wondering if there will be a sequel. I'll read it if there is.

NOTE: Steve Carlson does a GREAT job voicing all the many characters in this one -- including a couple of teenage girls -- and that's no mean feat for a guy who sounds like Wilfred Brimley's nephew! He really brings the folksy! Awesome job, Steve!


Highly Recommended -- for people who love: Well written/read sci fi audiobooks that make them laugh out loud; smart teenage girls who save the world, and quirky folks who travel in camper vans -- with guns.

127 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

A space-ship lands in a small town...

Any additional comments?

What a fun book. I love books that are full of interesting concepts and ideas.

I expected the usual, spaceship invades, chaos ensues... This was different. Spaceship invades, nothing happens, until it does. The reason nothing happens is both interesting and important. When things do happen, it's also for both interesting and import reasons. I'd give a plot summary, but I don't think I could do better than the one listed without giving something away. I must say that I love the idea of a spaceship that lands and does nothing and it and the accompanying military guard simply becomes a weird footnote in the small town.

The other reason why I like this book is that the characters make sense. They are often forced to deal with difficult and weird situations, but they deal with them in ways that I could see happening. The characters feel real, they each have their personalities and motivations I don't think I ever hit a place where I felt like they acted only to serve the plot. At the same time, the plot was well thought out and moved forward at a good pace (when I read a review or two online, a couple said that the plot bogged down a bit in the middle, maybe because I listened to the audio book version, but I didn't feel that way).

Speaking of the Audible version, Steve Carlson did an excellent job reading this story. The characters were given a lot of life and each had a distinct voice, not always an easy thing to do, especially when the cast of characters include teen aged girls, government agents, space-ship watching kooks and more.

Anyway, I really enjoyed this book. It's a good read and planted some good ideas to think about.

117 people found this helpful

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I loved it!

There is so much to like about this book.

1) The characters. Oh, they were so much fun to read about, especially Annie. I want to have at girl over for a movie marathon.
2) The story. It is a scifi book and it is more than a scifi book. Kept me interested the whole way through.
3) The humor. That was an unexpected delight. I found myself laughing out loud and giggling through several passages.
4) Rated PG. Yep, a scifi book that kids can read. There was an innocence that permeated the story. I felt like I was watching a movie with my family, and we were all enjoying it without mope having to cover my kids' eyes and ears.
5) The narrator. Oh. My. Goodness! Steve Carlson can voice act his socks off! His reading style caught me up into the story so well I would find myself looking around to make sure I wasn't actually in the story myself. And he captured the humor with just the right delivery. So well done!

More, please Mr. Doucette!

84 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

YOUR SOMETHING LIKE THE LOCAL TOM SAWYER

HIS PROOF WAS, THAT HE COULD NOT FIND ANY PROOF
I was seriously thinking this was like a updated Tom Sawyer with a girl as Tom, when one of the main characters said actually that. I had even written down in my notes, Mark Twanish. While I liked Tom Sawyer, I was not crazy about Huckleberry Finn, which was a couple of hours longer. I listened to almost eight hours of this before I gave up. It just moved to slow. When something did happen it was too little too late. I put the narrator on one and a quarter speed, which helped for a little while, but still the story is too slow.

SLEEP WALKERS

78 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

A book for young adults.

It's probably written for the level of 7th graders to possibly 10th graders. An okay story, with questionable science - I would not recommend it for adults or those who are looking for a plot for grownups.

62 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

Zoombies? Really?

What disappointed you about The Spaceship Next Door?

Wrongly "labelled" stupid zombie story that could have been so much better.

Would you ever listen to anything by Gene Doucette again?

Not if he writes about Zombies

What didn’t you like about Steve Carlson’s performance?

Depends on the book. Not the most exciting performer to listen to, but I can think of some titles where his voice performance may work wonders.

You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

An initial good synopsis, I like the characters and small town atmosphere. But it took a long time for events to really get started, and then it got worse as Zombies took over.

Any additional comments?

Keep the religious zombie stuff labeled as such, so we can avoid it.

44 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

Relentless

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

This book could have used much stronger (or any) editing at every stage.

What was most disappointing about Gene Doucette’s story?

This book reads like a NaNoWriMo project: word count is king. When the author has a choice to leave anything out of the story, or put it in, he always puts it in. If he can show it by way of character-driven dialogue or just tell us about it through narration, he always narrates it. If he can narrate it in 2 words or 200 words, he narrates it in 200 words. If he can add even more words to the narration by contradicting everything he’s just said, he’ll do that too.

I’ll give you an example. It will be painful.

The 2nd chapter (where the actual characters are first introduced) begins: “There were about 17 different ways to get to main street from Annie’s front door by bicycle. Annie had tried all of them, and like to brag about it in circumstances where such bragging was appropriate—which wasn’t all that often.” First of all what kid, even a smart or nerdy one, brags about the number of routes to main street?? Why would you remark on the fact that someone liked to brag about it but only under certain circumstances? What exactly are these circumstances where it’s “appropriate” to brag about how many routes there are into town from your house, as if anyone would care?

It goes rapidly downhill from there. The next long, plodding sentence ends “…she never bothered to count them so the real number was likely closer to ten or eleven.” Okaaay but sure, she likes to brag that there are **seventeen**, an oddly specific number that implies she has counted them. But it doesn’t stop! The author then begins describing each of the routes in detail, throwing out street names and landmarks without any reference to anything the reader can have a grasp on. “Two of those ways were over bridges on the south side of main, that were impossible for her to use without having begun on the wrong side of the river.” What am I supposed to imagine here? That “two of those ways” weren’t actually ways at all?

After all of this, the subject of the routes from Annie's house—or even the fact that she uses a bike—never comes up again. It’s completely irrelevant to the story. Also, all of the things you might reasonably infer about Annie from this introduction — that she’s a nerd, a liar, possibly autistic, that she obsesses over transportation — also turn out to be dead ends. The whole opening is just misleading filler, written almost on purpose to baffle your imagination.

The rest of the book is just more of the same.

Which character – as performed by Steve Carlson – was your favorite?

Steve Carlson is a good narrator but the characters in this book are all written to sound the same. Not much he could do!

What character would you cut from The Spaceship Next Door?

Without a doubt, the narrator. The ponderous novel would become a highly entertaining half-hour listen.

35 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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Horrible

This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

This was a Stephen King want to be writer. If you like rambling and no clear direction this book is for you!

What do you think your next listen will be?

I have several on my wish list that should fit the bill

What didn’t you like about Steve Carlson’s performance?

He has a great voice and he was the only reason I finished this book.

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

Anger and disappointment. Angry that I wasted a credit and disappointment on how underwhelming this book really was.

Any additional comments?

I always tell myself not to read the first 10 comments - they are always someone who knows the author. This book had such high marks all around that I figured it would be a good listen. There was an epic failure in the reviews of this book. Run don't walk away from this one.

34 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

An okay YA scifi story killed by the narration

The Spaceship Next Door is a wholly derivative mash-up of other popular horror and sci-fi, with nothing particularly unique to merit a full novel. There were plenty of twists attempted to resurrect the story when it started dying, which was often, and mostly they were ineffective. I lost interest maybe half-way through, once the town-wide zombie chase began. While I kind of, sort of enjoyed it, I spent most of my listening time thinking "how much more is there?" and being disappointed when I realized the answer was "lots". Never a good sign.

Adding to my frustration was the fact that the audiobook production was bizarre. While listening, I often wondered if anyone actually produced this audiobook, or if some grandpa was dragged in off the street to read it cold and then leave before any edits could take place.

First off, why would you choose someone who sounds like an 80-year-old, life-long smoker to narrate a book that follows a precocious 16-year-old girl and occasionally a 30-something man? And if this particular man with the gravelly voice was the best choice, why was he allowed to mispronounce so many common words over and over again?

My favorite mispronunciations:
appo-calliptic for apocalyptic
Loo-boo-tahn for Louboutin (which should be pronounced Loo-boo-tan)
non-cor-prell for non-corporeal

Funniest, of course, was appo-calliptic, the novel's genre. You'd think, of all things, that would be a no-brainer.

Three stars for the story, lowered to two because the audio version was such a disappointment.

33 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Another Fun Book

What a great time I had listening to this book. Gene Doucette has a wonderful sense of humor and Steve Carlson's timing of this humor made me laugh out loud more than five times at least. I'm 50 and enjoyed it and sent it to my 13 year old daughter because I know she will too.

32 people found this helpful

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  • Graham
  • 07-26-17

would listen to again

loved it . many times laughing out loud in the car . annie outlook is great and is someone i know anyone would love to meet and chat to even without a spaceship about .

1 person found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Jeffrey Slater
  • 07-14-17

Worth a read

Entertaining and a different take on first contact with aliens. It's never going to be a classic, but I'm happy I read it.

1 person found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • Douglas W.
  • 10-05-18

Disappointing

Unimpressed with this poor tale. Not much enjoyment and wish i had left it alone 😕

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  • Renee
  • 02-07-22

Love it

Absolutely perfect. Love the story, the characters, and this book.
The main character is a masterpiece, relatable and intriguing.