Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Authors, Aliens and Earthlings

YA paranormal today ... there are vampires, zombies, angels, fairies, werewolves, dragons, witches, time-travel, special abilities and surviving post-apocalypse ... and ALIENS of course. I generally try to vary the themes of my reads, but recently have read several books where aliens come in contact with our Earth (which is different than books set in space ... at least to me). I thought I'd reflect on a few for my Recent Reads post for July ...


I'm currently reading the final book in the 5th Wave series. I read book one in November 2015. I really liked it! The second book was out, but I had to wait for my hold at the library to come in, so I didn't get to read it until a month later. I did NOT like book two nearly as much. I do like a conclusion, so as the final book became available at my library, I put it on hold, and that hold came in. I hope I can remember what happened to continue on with the story!  No - I haven't seen the movie and I don't really plan to (I'm a bit anti-movie at the moment).  Just as a general peek into this series ... the aliens are NOT nice, and are attempting to annihilate the human race.

Really ... none of the aliens have been very nice in any of my recent reads!

  • The Cage: I listened to this in audiobook format, which I think really added a lot to the experience. Several of the characters had accents, which I don't think MY mind would have added nearly as successfully as the narrator. Here there are several different alien types. The Kindred aren't as bad as the others. In an attempt to save/preserve the human race, they have taken six teenagers and placed them in a "nature preserve" if you will. Other aliens will keep humans as pets, in personal zoos, performance displays, or even sell body parts. This book did make you think about human treatment of animals, even with good intentions. While the story started off very promising, I wasn't too impressed by the end. There is a sequel, but ...
  • Forging Zero: Some books are quick and easy to read. This is NOT one of those books. There are a multitude of different types of aliens, all with unpronounceable names, indescribable body types and abilities ... my brain had a tough time attempting to keep track. The poor human (children no less) have been taken and forced into an alien army. This was a VERY violent and complex book! While the protagonst is just 14-years old (and other children are major characters) this isn't really for a YA audience.There are two sequels, and they are available in the Kindle Unlimited program.
  • Dawn: I listened to this as an audiobook (part of my Kindle Unlimited trial) and wonder if my brain would have pronounced the names similarly.  In Forging Zero, the main aliens were the Ooreiki, here, they were the Oankali. Like Forging Zero, this was quite complex, not an easy read. Neither book is YA (due to language, sexual content and violence), at least this one has an adult as our protagonist. As with "The Cage" ... the aliens believe they are doing a good thing in taking humans to preserve (and breed) the human race, which is destroying itself. There are sequels here, but they aren't part of the Kindle Unlimited program, nor available at my library, and I'm not sure I'm invested enough to actually PAY for them ...
  • Saven Deception: The blurb for this sounded promising ... and you as the reader aren't even aware this is about aliens to start, it's simple set in a post-apocalyptic world, which was interesting by itself. The prologue however, introduces you to the aliens, and then they resurface a little later. While having tons of good reviews, and a promising setup, I found myself rolling my eyes a lot and having to push myself to finish. No plans to continue with sequels.
So I'm mid-40s ... I really shouldn't be reading YA books. But on second thought, I don't know that any of these qualify as young adult. I'm not easily offended or put off by content, but I know many are, and that parents might like to know what is in a book before recommending it to their teen. I try to include a "Parental Perspective" when I review books on GoodReads, noting proFanity (that's my little "f-bomb" indication), sexual content and violence. I think all four of these had all three!


In an attempt to leave things on a lighter, more positive note ... I'll spotlight one more "alien" story.  No extreme, end-of-world alien take-over here, although there is literally a "take-over" ...

Our little ET is stranded on Earth until he can find a way to contact home (hmmmm, that storyline sounds a bit familiar!) He needs to inhabit a body to survive, so he takes over a human boy on the verge of death (cancer). He fixes the body and assumes his identity, but isn't able to fool the girlfriend, who can tell her boyfriend while now healed, is not the same. 

I can't say this was a great book, but it was easy and enjoyable and a couple parts even made me laugh out loud. There were some serious and sweet moments too ... it's a book I'll look back on fondly.





 

At least ONE alien was nice ...

You can read my (more in depth) reviews (and those from others) on GoodReads!






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