I'm absolutely flailing with the awesomeness of this story. I would give it more than 5 stars if I could.
I saw the cover and title and without reading the blurb figured it for a western of some kind. This is thriller sci-fi all the way that's riddled with an intense manhunt from start to finish.
It has jumping POV's: aliens, military, mobsters, cowboys but it never once seems a gratuitous literary gimmick. It works. It works so well. I loved being in everyone's head and it made this story rich and layered. It never once felt jumpy or disjointed.
System Six/McClane is an alien military armour and weapons AI. He heartily dislikes his host and refuses to fully bond with him. In searching for a way to save himself from destruction he screws with the navigation system of the ship. That throws it far of course and accidentally causes it to crash land in the Texas desert almost on top of a US Military exercise.
One firefight later we have a desperate alien looking for a ride out of the mess it's made. Hello Riley Cooper, cowboy extraordinaire, a man on the run from his Russian mobster boyfriend and goons. Riley literally stumbles over System Six and so begins a beautiful partnership that starts out a tad hitchhiker from hell but mellows out over a shared love of nachos, cold beer and orgasms.
This is intense and fun and had me on the edge of my seat. I won't spill the beans about the romance but it rocked my world. It turned out in a way that I never expected it would and I love that it surprised me.
This is one of the best books I've read this year. Hands down. Can't recommend it enough. Just go read it.