REVIEW : 99 Days Book #1-99 Days Later Book #2 – Days Series – Matt Converse

NOVELLAs; 99 Days & 99 Days Later Book Cover NOVELLAs; 99 Days & 99 Days Later
Days Series Books 1 & 2
Matt Converse
LGBTQ Science Fiction, LGBTQ First Contact,
Encompasss Ink
May 27, 2021 & June 23, 2022
90 & 118


Life as we know it will never be the same.Flying saucers are spotted all over the world. But after one crashes into the San Francisco Bay, they disappear. Not far from the crash, Mitch rents his spare room to Claytone and quickly develops a crush. But what he doesn’t know is that Claytone will soon turn his world— and heart, upside down.Claytone’s final revelation will reach even further; it will change life on planet Earth— forever.


While the world awaits the aliens’ return in 99 days, Mitch pines to see one alien in particular.

Will Claytone return? If he does, is it crazy for Mitch to dream of a future with him? Will he pass the IQ test the aliens said they will mandate?

One thing is certain: in 99 Days, planet Earth—and Mitch—will never be the same.


Review by Ulysses Dietz

Member of The Paranormal Romance Guild Review Team


Book #2 3 STARS

I’m reviewing Matt Converse’s “99 Days” and “99 Days Later” together, because they belong together, and as a duo make one good-sized book. I’m also recommending that people buy both and read them consecutively.

These two books are clearly an homage to the legendary science-fiction film, “The Day the Earth Stood Still,” which was produced in 1951 and re-booted with Keanu Reeves in 2008. Not only is there a chapter in “99 Days” called “The Day After The Earth Stood Still,” but the two main alien characters are Claytone and Nicktow, evoking the celebrated commant from the films, “Klaatubaradanikto.”

There’s a reason for this. The 99 Days duo expresses the same kind of anxiety and fear that the world felt in 1951 and in 2021. In the early 1950s, it was fear of Communism and nuclear war; while today that same level of social angst is focused on global violence and climate change. Underlying this calculated parallel on the part of the author, is the uncomfortable truth that, since 1951, while “things’ have gotten better, the human race seems to have gotten worse. The only people who don’t feel that way today are, in essence, at the root of the problem.

Mitch is an author living in San Francisco, presumably in his 30s. For some odd reason he feels that living alone in a five-room house is way too much space, and he decides to get a roommate to use the spare bedroom. A tall, oddly attractive guy shows up at the end of Mitch’s open house and introduces himself as Claytone. The young author’s instant attraction reminds us that this is, after all, a romantic comedy of sorts. That is the largest difference from Matt Converse’s agenda and that of the films.

The first book deals with Mitch’s growing awareness of his feelings for Claytone, even as he has to come to grips with the reality of who this tall, mysterious man truly is. What I particularly liked about this book is the odd disjunct between the increasingly unnerving sci-fi storyline, and the gentle, almost whimsical relationship narrative.

The book ends on the most massive cliffhanger ever written, so of course you have to buy it. Throughout the book, Converse writes with an oddly flat tone, almost as if he’s Jack Webb in the 1960s Dragnet TV series from my childhood. There’s also a tendency to repeat phrases in a way that suggests the readers are middle-schoolers who don’t pay attention and need to have things repeated so they get the point.

“99 Days Later” opens where the first book ends, and here again is a striking dichotomy. What we’re really talking about is an apocalypse – and a well-deserved apocalypse – because the people who actually control the human race can’t get their shit together. This taps very much into the way I feel right now, at least. The human race is so deeply committed to selfishness and hatred, we are in a quagmire that we can’t seem to get ourselves out of. Up to this point, the philosophy of the books is more or less on the same page I am (as a deeply flawed human being).

Because I won’t do spoilers, let me just say that the solution, represented by the gentle, romantic alien Claytone and his seemingly emotionless robotic sidekick Nicktow, feels really off. I can’t describe it without spoiling the fun (and it is fun, in a kind of dark way); but there is an uncomfortably fascist tone that just made me enormously uncomfortable. The uncomfortable part is that these very harsh ideas have a certain appeal to me that makes me cringe. You’ll see.

The joke – if that’s what it is – is that “99 Days Later” is less about the apocalypse on earth than it is about Mitch’s relationship with Claytone. With all that happens in the second book; with all the questions raised; with all the moral dilemmas rising up, the attention is really focused on these two young men, one earthling and one alien, and how they feel about each other.

I’d like to have seen both of these books twice as long, with a lot more writing about what was going on to balance the genuinely lovely romance at the narrative’s core. The notion of a “love among the ruins” story is really charming, and Claytone is a memorable character. But I wanted to know more about the ruins.

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