Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Alienation (C.H.A.O.S. #2), by Jon S. Lewis

Thomas Nelson, ISBN 9781595547545, January 2012

This is the second volume in a fun little series about teenagers who are The Only Hope for Earth's resistance to alien invasion. No, that doesn't make much sense, but, really, it doesn't have to. Lewis gives us an engaging group of teenage friends, a secret government agency that's supposed to be the main line of defense but may be compromised, secret heroes and villains, and a fast pace with neat stuff happening on nearly every page.

The intended audience is young adult readers, but if you can let go and enjoy the ride, it's entertaining for older readers, too.

Colt McAllister is the youngest of a large family of boys, and in the previous volume, his parents were killed right around the time he got accepted to the same Virginia military high school all his brothers attended. He's now living with his grandfather, a World War II veteran, while waiting to go off to that academy--which is the school for the secret force which is fighting the aliens. While he's waiting, he's hooked up with a few friends who'll also be going off to the academy.

It's not a quiet, restful time, though. Colt is, for various reasons, a Major Threat to the aliens, and they're out to get him before he can be trained and groomed for his destined role. Colt and his friends spend the time avoiding assassination attempts, which is really tricky because the aliens are shapeshifters and have a dandy little multinational medical devices corporation at their disposal. Of course, the teens also have access to some cool stuff; Colt's grandfather, World War II vet, is really the Phantom Flyer, a World War II hero who is believed to be just a comic book superhero. Colt and his friends get to practice with old, out-of-date versions of the modern equipment they'll be using at the school, and it's a good thing: it helps them keep Colt alive.

When they get to school, things get even more dangerous, as they discover that they can't assume anyone is trustworthy, because they can't assume anyone is who he seems to be.

Call it a guilty pleasure, call it light entertainment, but it's a lot of fun.


I received a free electronic galley from the publisher via NetGalley.

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