Everything changed on The Day. The day the windows shattered and the power stopped. The day Dol's family dropped dead. The day Earth lost a war it did...moreEverything changed on The Day. The day the windows shattered and the power stopped. The day Dol's family dropped dead. The day Earth lost a war it didn't know it was fighting. Since then, Dol has lived a simple life in the countryside, safe from the shadow of the Icon and its terrifying power. Hiding from the one truth she can't avoid. She's different, and she survived. Why? When Dol and best friend Ro are captured and taken to the Embassy, they only find more questions. While Ro and fellow hostage Tima rage against their captors, Dol finds herself drawn to Lucas, the Ambassador's privileged son. But the four teens are more alike than they might think, and the timing of their meeting isn't a coincidence. It's a conspiracy. Within the Icon's reach, Dol, Ro, Tima, and Lucas discover that their uncontrollable emotions, which they've always thought to be their greatest weaknesses, may actually be their greatest strengths.
Icons is intriguing, dangerous, secretive, and important. Mixed with self-discovery and self-realization is a mission to take back what was stolen. The world is, essentially, held captive, but there are those willing to rebel against these alien leaders, and there are those who possess the skills needed to save the rest of the human population.
Dol is afraid. So afraid. Not just of the Icons, or the Lords, but of herself. Of why she survived the Day when her entire family died around her. She's afraid of the reason she survived. She's different and she knows it, she can feel it. But why is she different?
And it's not just her. It's also her life-long friend Ro, the ambassador's son Lucas, and the newly-met Tima. They're all different, they're all marked, but they don't know why. Why were they brought together? Who is really pulling the strings? They're wanted for a reason, that much is clear, but what for?
When world-building is done well and the world feels believable, it makes the book that much more realistic. There is an aging of the current world, advancements in technology and the like, but there's also a de-evolving of sorts. No electricity in outlying areas, simple encampments and hideouts, lack of schools, new customs and currency and food and stories and songs and groups. There seem to be two sides, the hidden staying out of trouble side and the privileged and technologically-advanced side that serve the Icons and the Lords.
If aliens do come to Earth, what's to say that their intentions will be peaceful? These aliens came, and they killed, and they took, and now humanity has crumbled. But what was their true agenda?
Love and loss, the two go hand in hand. Dol constantly mourns the loss of her family, but she still has Ro. She has Ro whom she's cared for for years, Ro and his fiery personality and power, but she can't help but be drawn to Lucas and his innate charisma. In the end, it might very well come down to who she trusts the most, her most trusted friend or the son of the woman who does what the Lords command her to do.
Dol is pushed to make some extremely difficult decisions. Who to trust, what to believe, where to go. The biggest will be whether or not she chooses to put aside her fear of herself, of the things that make her different from everyone else, and if she'll embrace it to save herself and those she cares about. If she doesn't, they could all end up dead. A very intriguing start to a series with many questions left unanswered and more than a few possibilities opened up for the next book.(less)
Reese and David are not normal teens, not since they were adapted with alien DNA by the Imria, an extraterrestrial race that has been secretly visitin...moreReese and David are not normal teens, not since they were adapted with alien DNA by the Imria, an extraterrestrial race that has been secretly visiting Earth for decades. Now everyone is trying to get to them: the government, the Imria, and a mysterious corporation that would do anything for the upper hand against the aliens. Beyond the web of conspiracies, Reese can’t reconcile her love for David with her feelings for her ex-girlfriend Amber, an Imrian. But her choice between two worlds will play a critical role in determining the future of humanity, the Imria’s place in it, and the inheritance she and David will bring to the universe.
Inheritance is thrilling, mysterious, and ever so complex. This book is an exploration of many things, of being a teenager, of sexuality and attraction and the emotions behind them, of the other and the unknown, and, most importantly, of trust. The transition between this and its predecessor is seamless and fluid. The tension is just as high and the stakes are even higher.
Now the truth is out for Reese and David. Now the public knows that aliens are real, that they have been on Earth for some time, and that the two teens are different because of their encounter. Now comes the backlash from this information getting out, now comes the fear and the hatred and the confusion. But things are still being kept from them, hidden away in secret, and soon they'll learn that everyone from the US government to the Imria to covert groups have an agenda.
Reese is struggling to keep a hold on every part of her life. She has new abilities gained from the addition of the Imrian DNA, she has the government keeping her mouth shut tight to keep from exposing anything that might harm their credibility, and she has people both wanting a piece of her and wanting to hurt her. Plus, some hurdles have arisen in her love life. She really likes David, just as much as he likes her, but she can't forget Amber Gray, her Imrian ex-girlfriend. Reese doesn't know what to do anymore. All hopes of a normal life have been quashed, ruined by that car crash in Nevada. No decision she makes will please everyone. But she's spreading herself too thin trying to learn as much as she can about what's happening, and everything could explode around her as a result.
In literature, in YA, there is often an other, be it a character or creature or something more. The other is often feared, often not accepted, and often hated because it represents what the majority are not. As much as we promote openness and individuality now, our past is filled hatred towards those who didn't look like us. Racism and sexism still run rampant through society. Here, the other is a being not even from our planet. It's alien, it's unfamiliar, it's not human. What are their intentions? Will they be peaceful, reaching out to connect with other worlds and learn, or will they come with plans of domination and destruction? First encounters are complicated, first impressions are crucial, and trust will not be given easily. Reese and David have a slightly different problem in that they have become the other. What are they supposed to do now?
Just like with the other, this book explores sexuality. Reese's, in particular. In Adaptation, Reese was moving away from her crush on David and towards her attraction and connection with Amber. Here in Inheritance it's slightly the opposite with her and David together, trying to have a relationship, while Reese resents Amber for lying to her. But Reese still has the connection to Amber, it's still there no matter how much she'd like it to go away. I like how there were moments of Reese exploring her sexuality, trying to figure it out. I also liked the foray into sex versus gender. Sex is biology, what we come into the world as, while gender is more connected to sociology, what we identify as and how we want the world to see us. But what if the lines were blurred? What if there was no differentiation between genders, between sexes?
This is a thrilling book about a teenager trying to figure out a lot of things in order to have something that resembles a normal life, things like high school, her sexuality, her abilities post-alien experimentation, and one or two government cover-ups. A big part of this duology is that, yes, it's science fiction, but it's also about Reese and her discovering who she is, her identity and humanity, and that keeps the book grounded. It makes her sound more like a real teenager with real problems.(less)
When Miki Jones is pulled from her life, pulled through time and space into some kind of game, her carefully controlled life spirals into chaos. Insid...moreWhen Miki Jones is pulled from her life, pulled through time and space into some kind of game, her carefully controlled life spirals into chaos. Inside, she and a team of other teens are sent on missions to eliminate the Drau, terrifying and beautiful alien creatures. There are no practice runs, no training, and no way out. Miki has only the guidance of secretive but maddeningly attractive team leader Jackson Tate, who says the game isn’t really a game, that what Miki and her new teammates do now determines their survival, and the survival of every other person on this planet. She laughs. He doesn’t. And then the game takes a deadly and terrifying turn.
Rush is a fast-paced battle for survival with teenagers forced into a battle they never expected, forced to eliminate a threat they never knew existed, all for reasons unknown and unexplained. When Miki gets pulled into the game, nothing is under her control anymore, and she's forced to decide whether or not to join in the fight. If she does, she survives. If she doesn't, it's game over.
The vagueness and the lack of explanation at the start leaves the reader as much in the dark as Miki is left in, forcing both to constantly pay attention, forcing both to learn what must be done in order to stay alive. The others in the group know more because they've been in the game longer, but no one knows everything. No one knows the entire truth. Except for one person.
Miki needs to be in control, she needs to know what's going on so she can be in complete control of the situation. But things in the game are kept from her, reasons and answers she desperately wants, and so she flounders and pushes back at Jackson in her need to be in control. It's like she has an anxiety disorder: Miki needs to be in control, because once everything is under her control everything will work out and no one will get hurt. If she isn't in control, she can't fix it.
One thing that happened near the beginning that put me off was Miki's almost instant thought of, after seeing Jackson for the first time, how attractive he is. I didn't find it important at all. Miki has questions, she has concerns, she has no idea what she's been pulled into or where she is, and one of the first thoughts she has (not her exact first thought) is how good-looking this strange boy that she's never met is. She even acknowledges that her finding him good-looking shouldn't be a priority, yet it is. And she doesn't even like him, he keeps the truth from her and the rest of the group. It makes her look shallow and unfocused, especially when you consider her need for control and order.
This is one of those books where 'seemingly ordinary' teens are taken and tossed blindly into a complicated and extremely deadly situation. No prep, no instruction, just instant danger. They're being pushed, pushed to their limits, pushed to see how far they will go. How strong are they, how tough are they, how quickly can they think and move and run. Who or what is in control of the game? How are they manipulating space and time to pull them in from all over? What is the truth?
Hidden motives abound in this book, those of the ones in charge of the game, those of the Drau, even those of Jackson. Who is he really? Is there a way out of the game?
I expected a different kind of science fiction novel when I started this. I expected more science fiction, I expected a distant future and a sudden shift in Miki from her life to her new life in the game, perhaps something similar to Monica Hughes' classic Invitation to the Game. Instead I found a modern setting with science fiction elements, with video game references and shifts through space and time, with dark pasts on distant planets and danger always on the horizon.
I found myself intrigued by the game and the reason for its existence but not necessarily a fan of both the instant attraction and how early in the book it occurred. I'm curious enough in the game and the plot itself to want to know how the series will play out.(less)
After the 1st wave, only darkness remains. After the 2nd, only the lucky escape. And after the 3rd, only the unlucky survive. After the 4th wave, only...moreAfter the 1st wave, only darkness remains. After the 2nd, only the lucky escape. And after the 3rd, only the unlucky survive. After the 4th wave, only one rule applies: trust no one. Now, it’s the dawn of the 5th wave, and on a lonely stretch of highway, Cassie is on the run from Them, the beings who only look human and roam the countryside killing anyone they see. Who have scattered Earth’s last survivors. Cassie believes she will only stay alive if she stays alone, until she meets someone. This person may be Cassie's only hope for rescuing her brother Sam, or saving herself, but she has to choose between trust and despair, between defiance and surrender, between life and death. To give up or to get up.
The 5th Wave is a rather powerful and dangerous book, a look at what could happen to Earth and it's inhabitants if aliens do come with motives not so peaceful and pure. The world is shattered, millions are dead. The future for those left alive and on the run is bleak, but there are glimmers of hope. Some are still alive, still surviving, still fighting, still pushing to take back what was ripped from their hands.
It must be said that the summary of the book is misleading. It's not just about Cassie. Cassie's voice is crucial, vital, prominent, but it's not the one one. There are others who tell different sides of the same overarching story, others with different perspectives, different motives, different journeys. Different realizations. Different lessons. All the same story.
The human condition is a curious thing. We push and strive to survive, to stay on top. We don't seem to die away or stay down for long. We will fight for as long as we can, pushing through barriers, moving forward when it appears that all hope is lost.
Cassie is strong, she has immense courage and drive, but she is, in some ways, weak. Her love for her family, for her brother, both drives her and holds her back. Everything is for Sammy, but only as long as he's alive. His being alive is what fuels her.
I wonder if I've done this book any justice with this review. It's dark and twisted and complicated, dripping with death and secrets and lies. It's a very volatile and powerful book. It's not about the aliens, it's about the humans, it's about those who are still alive who have the strength to carry on fighting. They still have hopes for a future that doesn't smell like blood or fire or death. This book is about getting up and moving on, continuing that hard journey, and that kind of story transcends genre and connects with every single reader on a lever they never expected.(less)