Why I read it: Quite a few of my friends, representing a broad range of reading tastes have loved this book so I bought it.
What it’s about: (from Goodreads) Riley Cooper is on the run. Misha Tokarev, the love of his life, turned out to be an assassin for the Russian mob, and when it comes to character flaws, Riley draws the line at premeditated murder. Alien armor system McClane is also on the run, for reasons that include accidentally crashing a space ship into Earth and evading U.S. military custody. A failed prototype, McClane was scheduled for destruction. Sabotaging the ship put an end to that, but McClane is dubbed a bone rider for good reason—he can’t live without a host body. That’s why he first stows away in Riley’s truck and then in Riley himself. Their reluctant partnership soon evolves into something much more powerful—and personal—than either of them could have imagined.
Together, they embark on a road trip from hell, made all the more exciting by the government troops and mob enforcers hot on their trail. Misha is determined to win Riley back and willing to do whatever it takes to keep him safe. When hitman and alien join forces, they discover their impressive combined potential for death and destruction. It will take everything Riley has to steer them through the mess they create.
What worked for me (and what didn’t): It’s going to be a challenge to describe the plot in a coherent manner and without giving too much away. McClane (who, when we first meet “him” is known as “System Six”) is an “intelligent armor and weapons system with codependency issues”. I pictured him a bit like the mercury man (aka the T-1000) from Terminator II when he was all melty. He needs a scaffolding (if you like) to adhere to – he needs a host. He is connected to a host when the book begins but McClane doesn’t like him even a little bit and wants out. When he gets his chance, he takes it. But McClane cannot be without a host for long and survive. When cowboy Riley Cooper drives along in his truck (more about why Riley is driving later), he “hitches” a ride and causes the truck to stop and Riley to investigate. Then, when the hood is up, McClane invades.