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(Exo #1)

3.80  ·  Rating details ·  1,576 ratings  ·  348 reviews
It’s been a century of peace since Earth became a colony of an alien race with far reaches into the galaxy. Some die-hard extremists still oppose alien rule on Earth, but Donovan Reyes isn’t one of them. His dad holds the prestigious position of Prime Liaison in the collaborationist government, and Donovan’s high social standing along with his exocel (a remarkable alien te ...more
Hardcover, 384 pages
Published January 31st 2017 by Scholastic
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Average rating 3.80  · 
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 ·  1,576 ratings  ·  348 reviews

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Sabaa Tahir
Aug 08, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This book is original and fantastic and asks questions that I can't stop thinking about. Highly, highly recommend.
jv poore
Peace Day may be quickly approaching, but a battle is about to go down while something more sinister, bigger, bubbles beneath. Tension between the Global Security & Pacification Forces (SecPac) and humans is palpable; the humans’ hatred, disgust and raw fury with the zhree is tangible, yet they plan to celebrate a century of coexistence. Coexistence applies to the fifteen percent of mankind approved to exist among the zhree. The remaining eighty-five percent faded into shadows of themselves or m ...more
CW (The Quiet Pond) ✨
While reading, Exo by Fonda Lee, I just kept thinking, 'Finally. FINALLY.'
Finally, a young adult dystopian/science-fiction novel with a writer that understands the nuances and complexities of colonialism and oppression. Finally, a story that isn't just about the suppression of individualistic expression and calling it oppression, but a story that understands that oppression is systemic, involves power, and is more than about teens spearheading a revolution for the sake of plot and action. Finall
Last year I read Fonda Lee's debut novel, Zeroboxer and was surprised by how much I enjoyed it. I went in to Exo expecting to like it, and I loved it. Enough so that I'm adding it to my favourites 2017 shelf.

Lee has a gift for emotive storytelling and creative worldbuilding, which she puts to good use here. Questions of alien integration into human culture, the use of different technology and biotechnology, and who gets access to those things, all play out within the context of a story ultimatel
Fonda Lee
Nov 27, 2015 added it  ·  (Review from the author)
Recommends it for: anyone who likes action, science fiction, aliens, human conflict, moral ambiguity
Shelves: i-wrote-this
The second book in an author's career is often harder to write than the first, so as much as I love ZEROBOXER, I am especially proud of EXO. I set out to break a lot of tropes in this book, to completely twist the old "aliens conquer Earth" narrative, and to write an action-packed science fiction novel about soldiers and aliens and terrorists in a story that's ultimately about reconciling yourself with the choices made by your parents. Also, I would really like to have an exocel, wouldn't you?
Jul 31, 2017 rated it really liked it
One hundred and fifty years ago the Zhree came to Earth to invade. After a thirty year war they won. Now Earth is a Zhree colony on the edge of their space. Humans are a servant race, some of which have been taken into Zhree culture and marked as part of Zhree families/castes. A small elite of whom have undergone "hardening" as children, modified with Zhree biotechnology to have exocels, a retractable covering of armor and weaponry.

Donovan Reyes is an Exo with one of these exocels working for th
Mar 14, 2018 rated it did not like it
This book was lacking in everything but potential.

I picked up Exo because it had an interesting premise. Aliens have colonized Earth and the Prime Liaison's son has been captured by human extremists -what's not to love? Indeed, Fonda Lee delivered on the action and drama promised within the synopsis. However, the promises that pulled me in where entirely dampened by the fact that I didn't care about any of the characters. Not. A. Single. One. The cast simply came off as flat and ill-defined. Lit
Heather (The Sassy Book Geek)
Originally Posted On The Sassy Book Geek

3.5 Stars

**** Thank you to Scholastic for sending me a review copy of this book in exchange for an honest review****

I was on and off with “Exo” a lot because there were many things I enjoyed and a few that I didn’t so I was debating between a 3 star and 3.5 star rating which in the end I decided 3.5 was a good rating since I did actually enjoy myself.

The Plot

“Exo” gets into the action immediately at the start of the book with Donovan and his partner g
Feb 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
I was initially drawn to this book by the cover art, although I did not win the GR giveaway. Donovan Reyes is an exo soldier, and the son of the Prime Liaison between the aliens now ruling the Earth and the surviving humans. When Donovan was five years old, his father decided over the objections of his departed wife to have him "changed," undergoing an operation to create a hardened shell. Donovan is captured by the resistance, Sapience, on a routine patrol, and becomes uncertain of his loyaltie ...more
Jan 25, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc, 2017
Checkout my full review on my blog! http://omgbooksandmorebooks.blogspot....

An action packed sci-fi adventure, Exo is a exhilarating from start to end. This book captures violence, politics, and fighting. These kinds of books are unique in YA. I haven't found a sci-fi book with this much adventure and action packed goodness. I was on the edge of my set the whole time. One wrong move could, literally, start a war.

I love the world building. It is well thought out and very imaginative. The author c
S.J. Kincaid
Oct 26, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This book was such an unexpected, fantastic surprise, since I'd heard absolutely nothing about it beforehand.

The MC, Donovan, is an incredibly sympathetic character, the plot roars forward from the beginning and doesn't stop, the characters and opposing 'sides' are all multifaceted and complicated, and this world - 150 years into an alien colonization - is vividly fleshed-out.

I highly recommend this. I ordered Zeroboxer about halfway through reading this because I enjoyed it so much.
Christina (A Reader of Fictions)
Pages read: 49

Characters are flat, voice is bland, and I'm not invested in fifty pages. Buh bye now.
Lauren Stoolfire
Jul 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
Exo is my second Fonda Lee book and I'd say she's solidly on the path to becoming an auto-buy author for me. I quite enjoyed her brand of a post-alien invasion world and what that means for us. It's very unique and original. I can't say I've ever seen aliens quite like the zhree before now. Her world-building especially is fascinating. Plus, this dystopian definitely raises a lot of important questions and each side makes many valid points. I only wish we got a bigger picture of the wider univer ...more
Tim Hicks
Nov 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
I'm not going to downstar this because it's a YA book and I am decades away from being a YA. I think it does a good job of being a YA book.

There's a solid enough plot, and a good array of non-obvious moral choices.
Our hero's extreme moral righteousness is for once well explained as inherited.
The world-building is believable enough.

The characters? Well, lookit, I just finished the book an hour ago and I've already forgotten the hero's name. The characters are mostly there to surround him ((Do
Cori Reed
Feb 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
This was a YA sci-fi novel that was smart. Taking place on an earth that has been colonized by an alien race, it explores the ideas of colonialism, suppression, indoctrination, rebellion, trying to retain culture, and the many shades of grey involved.

Other people have written wonderfully thought out reviews. I particularly recommend the review of CW (Read Think Ponder). She breaks it all down brilliantly!

I literally bought this book because of a blind book shopping challenge, having not known an
Angela Blount
Apr 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sci-fi, ya
Originally reviewed for YA Books Central:

Suit up, sci-fi fans—this isn’t your standard fare alien invasion plot.

Several generations after being overtaken by a vastly different and technologically superior alien race called the zhree, humanity is divided on their perception of the occupation. Those who’ve strived for a peaceful and mutually beneficent co-existence live close to the zhree and enjoy their technological benefits. Those who’ve proven problema
Exo is a teen family drama set during an alien occupation of Earth. It is very much a young adult novel. I never read young adult books as a young adult - I was a literary snob back then - but I am trying it a little more now. I read an article by Lee in Locus Magazine ( that convinced me that young adult science fiction deserves more attention.

I have mixed feelings about this book. Like I said, it is very young adult. It is the first book I can remember
Jan 19, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: recommended
Y’all, I was genuinely expecting that Exo would effortlessly become a new favorite of mine, but I guess not even my author queen Fonda Lee’s phenomenal writing can overcome my complete lack of interest in alien colonization stories.

Yes, there were a lot of nuances in this story that numerous science fiction involving alien invasions tend to overlook. And yes, Fonda demonstrated her skills in world-building and in writing tension. And yes, I think that objectively speaking, Exo is a masterfully
P. Kirby ain't no Jade City.

Exo is a case of great premise with strong world building and conceptual foundations, but tepid characterizations and plot. A century before, an alien race called the zhree landed on Earth and declared it one of several far flung outposts in its empire. As you'd expect, humans weren't initially thrilled with the idea, but in time, thanks to the alien's willingness to share advanced technology, humanity has accepted their alien overlords. A small segment of humans, kn
charlotte, (½ of readsrainbow)

there were times where i was like i want more angst!!! (& yeah i'm surprised too), but that was mostly i wanted to dwell more on donovan's emotions, also the romance was mostly boring and somewhat underdeveloped. BUT the fact remains this is the second audiobook in existence i have enjoyed listening to and the angst that there was was exquisite
Too long to be half a book.
Jul 30, 2017 rated it did not like it
DNF. I got about halfway through, and I just found too many details that had me eyerolling. I can buy into the premise that an alien species invaded Earth, we fought, and we lost. I can buy into the premise that the alien species now co-exists peacefully on Earth along with humans. What I struggled with was finding any sympathy for Sapience. They want to wage another war, starting from a disadvantaged position, against a species that already crushed humans, even when humans had the advantage. Th ...more
femme fantasy freak
Jul 28, 2020 rated it really liked it
I fell in love with Fonda Lee’s writing after reading Jade City so I knew I had to check this series out. While Jade City is much more fantasy, Exo is hard sci-fi. And how refreshing!!

It has been a looong time since I’ve read any hard sci-fi. I became absolutely obsessed with sci-fi, especially space and alien hard sci-fi, after reading Stranger in a Strange Land by Robert Heinlein as a teenager. I read nearly all of his books and LOVED them.

However as I’ve gotten older, I’ve strayed more and mo
Ethan H
Jun 06, 2019 rated it liked it
I decided to read this book after our class decided to throw the book away because they didn’t want to read it. Buttheads. The synopsis that was given seemed interesting and I decided to give it away. That book has good qualities, but lacks others. Overall, it’s a good book, but it was a little but dry going through.
Feb 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ya, action-go-to, sci-fi
I loved the idea of this book. What happens AFTER the inevitable alien invasion?

As a world-building person, I really enjoyed all the description of places, the aliens themselves, the concept of the exocel.
I wanted to grow more attached to the characters than I did. It wasn't a super fast read for me. But those are the only real qualms I have.

It was an easy middle school booktalk - just gave them the set-up, and explaining that was so compelling that I ended up opening my presentations with it fo
Jess Crafts
Nov 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
You know those books where right from the start you just KNOW that this thing is going to happen and it WILL break your heart but it's so good and inevitable you read it anyway? Yeah. That was this book.
Donovan is a 17 year old soldier with exoskeleton armour policing an Earth ruled by aliens. Kidnapped by human terrorist factions who want control back with a loyalist political Father who works for the aliens. It has a really interesting social power structure and aliens that actually don't loo
Just not up my alley and pretty predictable. Although there was the colonization aspect of it that was interesting.
Jul 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
Fonda Lee is a master of world building and story telling. Just as a surface read, Exo has an engaging plot and complex characters. But, as one digs deeper, it isn’t just a fun story but a tale of moral complexity filled with grey areas. Of ‘benevolent’ colonizers against rebel terrorists where each side is both good and bad but mostly grey. Can’t wait to read the next book.
Jan 29, 2017 rated it really liked it
EXO follows Donovan, a security force with an excocel and the son of the Prime Liaison who works with the aliens that have taken over Earth for roughly 100 years. Donovan is dedicated to his cause and taking out those who rebel, but when he is captured by rebel forces, he finds conflict within himself he didn’t expect. But war is dangerous, and Donovan’s fate rests with people who despise everything he stands for.

The world building in EXO is fantastic. Lee crafts a unique Earth where aliens and
Jocelyn White
Aug 03, 2017 rated it did not like it
This was comically bad.

First off, the aliens were completely unbelievable, as in, you cannot believe them. They were literally gigantic mushrooms with a face that grew scissor hands. I can't even imagine what that looks like, plus, if we ever find aliens, I am 110% sure they won't look like that.

Second off, the "love." Basically, (spoiler), the main character randomly kissed a girl after just meeting her. Than they said, "I love you." WHAT'S WRONG WITH THEM!!! they just met, they don't connect
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Fonda Lee is the World Fantasy Award-winning author of the epic Green Bone Saga, beginning with Jade City and continuing in Jade War and Jade Legacy. She is also the author of the acclaimed science fiction novels Zeroboxer, Exo and Cross Fire.

Fonda is as a three-time winner of the Aurora Award (Canada’s national science fiction and fantasy award), and a multiple finalist for the Nebula Award, the

Other books in the series

Exo (2 books)
  • Cross Fire (Exo #2)

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