(Avoiding my usual pre-empt to these books…)this is the continuation of much loved (by me) series that follows aliens-that-look-like-humans-but-with-superpowers as they start on the next stage in their journey and find the next teenager in their entourage. These are never going to be the most well-written or deep of books, but it grabs that 5 rating through sheer thrill factor.
The story, as a quick reminder, follows John Smith who set out from Paradise, Ohio, to save earth and his own planet, Lorien. It turns out that he’s an alien, and to boot he has supernatural abilities. And the antagonist- Mogadorians! Aliens hell-bent on destruction and razing planets. Though I could bore you with details of their exploits up to now, the most important thing to know is that it’s basically like a Sci-Fi action movie. The main characters move from spot to spot and in between the kind of battles that makes an nerd (or person who’s ever dreamed of having special powers) drool in contentment, they manage to squeeze on romance, vulnerability and deep-set personal issues.
Don’t take my sarcasm to heart, because I genuinely like these books. I can’t really equate them to anything else (except perhaps the original animated Avatar with Aang), but they manage to tell what is an Sci-Fi action driven story without it becoming too much. Yeah, the romance is a bit rushed and silly, and okay, the personal issues tend to be your run-of-the-mill teenage angst, but if you like these books and you read them, you’re doing it because it lets you inhabit this world where such things are possible.
In terms of the story itself, without giving anything away, I’d say this does better in that regard than the other books. There’s a clearer goal (SPOILER FOR BOOK 2 ALERT!) in how they want to rescue Sam, they want to find the others, and want to figure out a way to actually prevail over the Mogadorians. There’s also some foreshadowing which, though overplayed, made me squirm with pleasure with the thought of what it meant in a future instalment.
The only part I had somewhat of a problem with was the ending. It seemed a bit overly rushed and unexplained. You might say to me “It’s a cliff-hanger, Alex!” but there’s a difference between leaving some things unsaid and telling me absolutely nothing about what has just happened. I'm being a bit judgemental, but given how much I enjoyed the rest of the book, I think that balances it out.
I’ll say thank you to Karen of For What It’s Worth here too! This was the final instalment of a prize I won almost a year ago! She knows how much I appreciated it, but thank you again!