Hosted by Rockstar Book Tours
Author: Fonda Lee
Pub. Date: January 31, 2017
Formats: Hardcover, paperback, eBook
It’s been a century of peace since Earth became a colony of an alien race with far reaches into the galaxy. Some die-hard extremists still oppose alien rule on Earth, but Donovan Reyes isn’t one of them. His dad holds the prestigious position of Prime Liaison in the collaborationist government, and Donovan’s high social standing along with his exocel (a remarkable alien technology fused to his body) guarantee him a bright future in the security forces. That is, until a routine patrol goes awry and Donovan’s abducted by the human revolutionary group Sapience, determined to end alien control.
When Sapience realizes whose son Donovan is, they think they’ve found the ultimate bargaining chip. But the Prime Liaison doesn’t negotiate with terrorists, not even for his own son. Left in the hands of terrorists who have more uses for him dead than alive, the fate of Earth rests on Donovan’s survival. Because if Sapience kills him, it could spark another intergalactic war. And Earth didn’t win the last one . . .
Fonda Lee writes science fiction and fantasy for teens and adults. Her debut novel, Zeroboxer was an Andre Norton Award finalist, Jr. Library Guild Selection, ALA Top 10 Quick Pick for Reluctant Young Adult Readers, Oregon Book Award finalist, and Oregon Spirit Book Award winner. Her second novel, Exo, releases from Scholastic in February 2017.
Fonda wrote her first novel, about a dragon on a quest for a magic pendant, in fifth grade during the long bus ride to and from school each day. Many years later, she cast her high school classmates as characters in her second novel, a pulpy superhero saga co-written with a friend by passing a graphing calculator back and forth during biology class. Fortunately, both of these experiments are lost to the world forever.
Fonda is a former corporate strategist who has worked for or advised a number of Fortune 500 companies. She holds black belts in karate and kung fu, goes mad for smart action movies (think The Matrix, Inception, and Minority Report) and is an Eggs Benedict enthusiast. Born and raised in Calgary, Canada, she currently resides in Portland, Oregon.
EXO follows Donovan, a security force with an excocel and the son of the Prime Liaison who works with the aliens that have taken over Earth for roughly 100 years. Donovan is dedicated to his cause and taking out those who rebel, but when he is captured by rebel forces, he finds conflict within himself he didn’t expect. But war is dangerous, and Donovan’s fate rests with people who despise everything he stands for.
The world building in EXO is fantastic. Lee crafts a unique Earth where aliens and humans have a shaky relationship both internally and externally. With his father, Donovan has been enmeshed in a specific mindset all his life, and when his world gets shaken, he has to question everything, and the answers reveal a complex situation that is personal in more ways than one.
The action progresses perfectly throughout the narrative. There isn’t so much happening all at once that the reader gets lost and misses the nuances, nor are there any dull moments where you can’t feel the tension mounting in the characters and in the world around them. There’s a consistent edge of “If someone makes the wrong move, war could be unleashed,” which propels the story forward and makes for a surprisingly quick read.
Fans of thrillers, sci-fi/futuristic narratives, and a blend of action, romance, and family conflict will love EXO.
Rating: 4 Intergalactic Stars!
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3 winners will receive a finished copy of EXO, US Only.