In The Spaceship Next Door, Gene Doucette uses a mashup of science fiction and horror tropes to explore what happens in a small town after a seemingly cataclysmic event ... The book is a slow burn that builds to a somewhat goofy ending. Still, it’s a fun and heartwarming send-up of classic science fiction.
Sorrow Falls, Massachusetts, is an average-enough town—except for the UFO that landed there three years before ... With a dynamic character like Annie and the background of a UFO, The Spaceship Next Door is a must-read hit. Originally self-published in 2015, Doucette’s series starter deserves a wider audience.
16-year-old heroine, Annie Collins, is the smartest and most capable person in her little mill town in western Massachusetts, with the possible exception of her odd, home-schooled best friend, Violet. Annie is also probably the one who knows the most about the spaceship that landed in a nearby field in Sorrow Falls three years ago and has been sitting there ever since, observed with dismay and interest by the military and a group of 'alien watchers' camped out in RVs equipped with surveillance equipment as close to the ship as the military will allow ... Doucette takes his time advancing the plot, which finally picks up its pace in the last quarter of the book ... the science behind the fiction is largely unconvincing, and Doucette's dialogue is often clunky and overloaded with exposition. But the town is vividly realized and described, and its physical and social reality helps ground the more unlikely elements of the story in a sense of place. Doucette's dry sense of humor and obvious affection for his characters go a long way toward compensating for the novel's meandering progress.