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.
Few authors are able to get convincingly into an alien mind and make it both unique and relatable. Told entirely through the viewpoint of Raskli, a gruff Growlan female, the story charmingly takes apart the human winter holidays and puts them back together through a fascinating kaleidoscope.
When Raskli is tasked with finding out why the sole human on the ship, Jen, is “not behaving within previously observed species parameters,” She sets of on a journey to understand humans, their emotions, and their culture. We get to see humanity from the outside, with often hilarious results.
Martinez has a gift for this sort of societal critique that is in full force here, but it’s tempered with the gentle spirit of the outwardly ferocious Raskli, and the feelings that arise in her for this hairless human.
Blending equal parts of sweetness and humor with just a little angst, Safety Protocols is a great Christmas read that will leave you grinning.