The terrifying aliens from Sanctuary (2018) are tracking the stolen ship full of teenage superpowered former prisoners, forcing the teens to turn themselves in to their corporate overlords to protect humanity.
After Kenzie translates alien transmissions and learns that the aggressive colonizers are actively looking for the missing (stolen) ship via a signal it sends out, they decide to surrender to a corporate rival of Omnistellar in exchange for the destruction of the ship. Kenzie, who is white; Chinese twins Cage (the sexy love interest) and Rune (the best friend); and company are quickly double-crossed and must try to avoid capture by a variety of dangerous parties while the alien threat closes in. Frequent bursts of (often repetitive) expository infodumps unrelated to the physicality of the settings are unwieldy and unpruned, distancing readers from the world instead of enhancing immersion. The storyline’s logic induces some real head-scratching moments, punctuated by chase scene upon chase scene, possibly to distract readers from scrutinizing the motivations and general intelligence of the characters, especially the antagonists. These chases also allow glimpses into the lives and backgrounds of the secondary characters—Russian Alexei, Irish Mia, Jasper Many Chiefs (who has dark hair in a ponytail and high cheekbones), and Egyptian hijabi Imani. An unsatisfying climax sets up the next book.
This action-heavy story’s execution is marred by an artless lack of strategy in the narrative techniques. (Science fiction. 12-adult)