Expected publication: February 11th 2014 by Atria/Emily Bestler Books
This unoriginal story is not for me! The two authors John Connolly and Jennifer Ridyard have made so many mistakes, I wonder if this book ever got edited.
Showing vs. telling: especially in the beginning many elements are told instead of shown through character interaction, environments or action. It’s a big conglomerate of info-dumping that could have been avoided or altered to make me immerse into the story. Especially the “Prologue”, a retelling of the alien invasion, is rather boring in that regard.
Alternating POVs: this makes for a very disharmonious read as you will often encounter several POV changes in one chapter. Also the book mixes heavily omniscient and first-person narration which makes it that much more difficult to read or connect to the main characters.
Characterization: The Illyri are far too human! Their physiology is similar to humans but for being a bit taller and having no eyelids. I couldn’t detect many cultural differences from humans either. Many of the secondary characters seem rather one-dimensional.
High Fantasy instead of Science Fiction meets Young Adult: This book feels rather like a high fantasy mix with young adult characters. Why fantasy you ask? There is the Illyri Sisterhood, kind of your version of intergalactic witches. Next are the Illyri overlords who live in castles on Earth: Edinburgh castle, the London Tower, the castle in Prague, you name it. Why does an alien nation have a need for Earths dusty, medieval castles, I have absolutely no clue. And where are they living in the USA, where there are no castles? Disney Land?
The human resistance meets in old, shabby pubs and inns. I was quite honestly reminded of Lord of the Rings and awaiting the appearance of Frodo at any moment. Evil arrives instead in the form of another very common horror-movie plot twist: parasites have taken over the Illyri and next on their menu is Earth.
Of course our main male human love interest is 16 and already high up in the resistance army hierarchy. He has killed, he is one of the best spy masters we are told. Etc. I couldn’t care less. His name is Paul, of all names available the authors decided on this one. Paulus is Latin for “the small one”. I felt rather disappointed by the premise. One other minor point: If you tell people that the European headquarters for the aliens is in London, you’d better think again: England is an isle on the left side of the European continent. British might think they’re the center of the world, but they are not even close, whether it is politics or football/socker. The UK is not even in the EU. And to think that Scottish people now lead the resistance? There is even some mentioning of fighting at the Hadrian’s Wall. Next our Scottish lairds are wearing long hair and kilts. LOL.