I live 30 minutes from the setting of this story. Just like anyone travelling down HWY 17, I saw the Minnow Trap billboards with the Grey Alien head on it. It peaked my interest, so I bought this book and later it’s sequel.
Yes, the Birch Lake alien-invasion story was silly and farfetched, but it was fun reading a story that takes place in my backyard. I've never been able to read a novel and so closely picture the locations. Anyone that cottages in Northern Ontario can just picture the lake, and it was fun having actual towns and businesses name-dropped in the story - including the damn trading post I bought the books at!
As for the criticisms about the characters: throughout the book I couldn’t tell if this was a satire of Sudburians or an honest take on cottaging retirees (having the characters eating and/or drinking or talking about eating and/or drinking in every chapter) but then I realized that this is how a lot of Sudburians talk. Frankly that’s how anyone outside of Nickel Belt sees us, so I’d say Horeck gets Sudburians right.
The book is not without it’s flaws, but it was a fun read that I couldn’t put down. I’m glad I picked it up and found out what those billboards were all about.