Kirkus Reviews QR Code
ICONS by Margaret Stohl

ICONS

By Margaret Stohl

Age Range: 12 - 18

Pub Date: May 7th, 2013
ISBN: 978-0-316-20518-4
Publisher: Little, Brown

Humanity’s only hope against an alien occupation is a quartet of teens with emotion-based superpowers.

When the aliens landed on Earth, they cowed humanity into submission with the mass murder of several cities via an electromagnetic field generated by the alien Icons. Dol somehow survived and, under the care of the compassionate Padre, has developed a deep friendship with fellow vaguely superpowered teenager Ro. They hide from the Embassy that “oversees” Earth–alien relations by shipping humans off to work as slaves on mysterious, never-defined projects. On Dol’s 17th birthday, the Padre gives her a mysterious book explaining who and what the Icon Children are. Inexplicably, she decides not to read it; this is part of a pattern of clunky information-withholding that sits awkwardly and frustratingly alongside exposition. Embassy soldiers capture Dol, and after an encounter with a more-than-he-seems mercenary, they bring Dol and Ro to the Embassy where they endlessly bicker with fellow Icon Children Lucas (the Ambassador’s son) and silver-haired Tima. With all that squabbling, readers will feel like they are reading the same scene over and over again without the payoff of plot progression. Dol’s torn between best friend Ro and mysterious new Lucas, yielding a clichéd romantic storyline. Top-secret documents filed between chapters make the invasion and mystery of the Icon Children more interesting than Dol’s narration does.

Those without superhuman patience should pass. (Science fiction. 12 & up)