REVIEW: Mandy and the Tentacle Monster by Bebe Harper

Mandy is abducted by aliens and kept as a pet. These aliens seem nice enough, but she needs to figure out how to communicate with them and get back to Earth. Her alien captor finds everything about his new pet adorable, from her tiny toes to her blunted claws to her shiny mane. He will do everything in his power to make sure that his cute little pet remains healthy and happy. But what happens when this giant tentacled alien finds out his lovely pet is a sentient person who wants more from him than pets and treats?

Warnings: Depictions of slavery

Category: M/F

Mandy and the Tentacle Monster is the first the Urf Oomans series of alien romance novels. It’s a lovely little ride, with not a lot of stress or conflict, but a fantastic amount of charm and adorableness.

WRITING
The writing is solid, and told alternatingly from the POVs of Mandy and Seven, the alien love interest. Seven’s POV starts us out, and ‘humans described through the eyes of aliens’ is always such a fun time, and the trope is used to wonderful effect here. The story follows Mandy who, after being kidnapped from Earth by the grey aliens, finds herself being adopted by Seven who thinks she is an unintelligent creature to be kept as a pet. Mandy tries desperately to communicate with her new caretaker, meanwhile Seven is perpetually overcome with how adorable his new little critter is. Eventually of course he does learn that humans are intelligent and their relationship is able to take off from there, but the overall entire tone of the story is cute, fluffy, and cozy. There isn’t much to stress about here, no big twists and turns, just page after page of really fun wacky alien interactions.

EMOTIONAL ENGAGEMENT
I utterly adored all of the alien characters in this series. Seven of course is a darling, but so are his shipmates as well as some of the other aliens that come in and out of the narrative. Each one is so unique as characters with their own vibrant personalities, and the story really makes you grow attached to each one of them- which is good, because it is the first in a series, and each of these dashing alien gentleman will get to be the star love interest in their own books! This series was lovingly set up here with a cast of emotionally interesting characters. As for Mandy, she is a very fun take-charge kind of gal, without being brash and abrasive like some romance novel leads. I loved her, and her chapters were always a fun read.

WORLDBUILDING
Not all of the worldbuilding makes a lot of sense, unfortunately. There is some plot twists about humans being the original DNA upon which all sentient life in the galaxy is based on, but that doesn’t really make sense with these aliens assuming humans are non-sentient pet creatures, if they share the same shape that all intelligent life shares, then it wouldn’t really stand to reason for this to be the case. Details about some of the characters being slavers and therefore shunned because slavery is illegal tend to be a little inconsistent, with weird plot twists that don’t really seem to fit together. But I do really love and appreciate the concept of these tentacle aliens being only able to procreate by implanting their eggs in a foreign species body, which is very Alien. Ultimately the worldbuilding doesn’t really need to make a lot of sense so I give it a pass even if it is very silly- really what we’re here for is the adorableness of the characters and the growing romance between them.

STEAMINESS
Wonderfully steamy smut, with some truly alien sex. We’re talking tentacles, oviposition, and an awkward time coming to terms with mutual attraction. The biology of the aliens is all sorts of fun for the sex scenes, and I loved how cute the romantic build up to it all was. Mandy has to be the aggressor, since her alien lover is so reluctant to harm her which is a great trope. It could have gone a little harder, a little rougher, and I would have liked the oviposition aspect to be more emphasized, but it fit the tone of this overall incredibly sweet book to have very sweet smut. It’s vanilla, but its very very well written vanilla and if I’m going to read vanilla this is the vanilla I want to read, hands down.

Absolutely loved this silly little book, and highly recommend it if you like some really sweet alien love stories with low stress and a high cuteness level. It really is a sweet read.

Have you read Mandy and the Tentacle Monster? Let me know what YOU thought by leaving me a comment!

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