In this sequel to Invasion (2010), Lewis continues the series opener’s breakneck pace, fascination with gadgetry, improbable alien creatures and comic-book logic.
Young hero Colt is back with pals Oz and Danielle, only this time they’re headed to the CHAOS Military Academy (Central Headquarters Against the Occult and Supernatural). Colt’s Grandpa, a World War II hero, is the real-life basis for the Phantom Fighter, a comic-book character, and life often imitates the comics here, as when Grandpa’s car suddenly sprouts Gatling guns on each side of the hood, among other modifications. Early on, Colt learns through a memory extraction that he has been injected with the blood of the Thule, aliens who resemble six-armed walking reptiles. According to their legends, he is the “Betrayer.” The omniscient narration is usually filtered through Colt’s perspective, but there are interludes in which the stories of others are followed. Presumably this is meant to heighten suspense, but it simply manages to push the plot beyond credibility. The romance that leavened the first book is missing, and such gadgetry as “concrete foam,” two-way radio transceivers implanted in the auditory canal and clothing constructed with nanotechnology overtake the plot. The illustrations that would be integral to actual comics are sorely missed, and the simple descriptions of such improbable doings leave a lot to be desired. The ending is open for further adventures, with the Thule still threatening.
Action? Yes. Sense? Not hardly. (Thriller. 10-15)