One boy discovers his crucial role in the resistance against the aliens who enslaved humanity through mind control.
It’s been 18 months since alien ships appeared on Earth and emitted a control signal that wiped humans’ minds clean and turned them into slave labor. Sam, immune to the signal, fears he is the last free human and struggles to dodge the invaders, whose alien physiology is a “seamless hybridization of the organic and the mechanical.” A bad encounter with one leaves him with a dangerously infected wound, forcing him to risk leaving his hiding place during daylight for medicine—a near-hopeless mission. He’s rescued, however, by a member of the kid-populated resistance he didn’t know existed and quickly trains into one of their best Ops Team commandos. Through a series of dangerous missions—shootouts and explosions ahoy!—the resistance learns about the invaders and how to fight them, but it’s really after things turn for the worse late in the story that most of the exposition happens in one giant, 20-page infodump. Morally ambiguous decisions of the ends-justify-the-means nature add color to a straightforward heroic-rebellion plot. The prose leans toward the verbose, at its worst in stilted, padded dialogue. Walden writes more naturally in the exciting action scenes that effectively drive the plot to its sequel-promising conclusion.
For fans of action above all else. (Science fiction. 8-13)