This impressive debut novel—the first installment of the Gryphens duology—is a highly palatable blend of alien invasion thriller, apocalyptic fiction, and military sci-fi.
Set in modern-day America, the story revolves largely around Kara Dunn, a former video game developer who is now teaching computer programming at a university and finishing up her doctorate degree. But when she and her housemate, Viviane, are attacked while jogging in a park—an assault Kara was warned of by a mysterious cellphone call minutes before it happened—her entire life is turned upside down, and everything she believed to be true is suddenly put into question. Soon after the attempted assault, the government essentially kidnaps and coerces her into joining the Air Force to work on a top-secret project known as Prometheus. Now based in the Nevada desert, Dunn soon realizes that much of her work on a space combat video game called “Rampant” is the foundation for the Air Force’s covert training of pilots to do battle with an alien orbital attack, which was prophesied by a wounded alien the government captured decades earlier. But that’s just the beginning of an audacious storyline that includes more than a few bombshell plot twists. Everything about this novel is polished to a shine, particularly the tightly plotted narrative. Although some of the middle chapters drag a bit as the author attempts to simultaneously move forward several plotlines, sci-fi fans will find this page-turner utterly readable.
Powered by a courageous and endearing heroine at world’s end, like Ender’s Game for the 21st century.