Some pairings are classics. Peanut butter and jelly. Macaroni and cheese. Cardboard boxes and cats. And John Scalzi and Wil Wheaton. So that is why I am here talking to you about Agent to the Stars. John Scalzi wrote it with his signature stylish humor with an out-of-this-world twist, and actor Wil Wheaton (Star Trek: The Next Generation, The Big Bang Theory, Stand By Me) brings to life in his narration.
Thomas Stein is an up-and-coming Hollywood agent. Several of his clients are struggling in their careers. But he also represents Michelle Beck, who has become a box office draw, and Stein gets her 12.5 million dollars for one upcoming role, so his stock at the agency is rising. But when his boss calls him in for a meeting, Stein has no idea what's really in store for him.
The Yherajk are an alien race, a gentle and intelligent one, that has decided to introduce themselves to Earth. However, they're not quite sure how to make the introduction without scaring millions or even billions of people. And it's not an ideal partnership. For one, the Yherajk communicate through smells, and many of their conversations to each other smell to humans like a most intense gas explosion (insert many fart jokes here). And their appearance is certainly different than humans. So they, and specifically their sole representative on Earth, Joshua, are concerned about how they'll be accepted.
So Thomas Stein, smart, successful agent is given the task of figuring out how to introduce the Yherajk to humanity. And he has to do this while continuing to represent his clients, dodging a sketchy journalist, keeping his boss happy, keeping Joshua out of trouble until the time is right, and figuring out exactly how to go about changing history.
While this is a fun novel, adding in the Wheaton narration takes it to a whole new level. His masterful reading adds depth and interest to what is generally not thought of as Scalzi's best novel. It was his first novel, and now some of the references do come across as a little dated, but the humor, the intelligence, the grace of his writing is timeless. This is a really fun listen, perfect for summer car trips or days at the pool.
Note to self: listen to Redshirts again. Loved it!