Friday, November 30, 2012
Guy Friday-- Alien Invasions
Falkner, Brian. The Assault.
25 September 2012, Random House
Copy from YA Books Central and reviewed there.
In the future (shortly before I can retire in 2038), the Earth has been taken over by aliens from Bzadia. It started with a plea from a small group to be allowed to take refuge in uninhabited areas of Australia, but before long they were attacking that area of the world and moving slowly and inexorably through Europe. Only the US has remained free, and the military there assembled a small team of teenagers who were modified to look like Bzadians and trained in their customs and language, as well as military tactics. They are parachuted into the Australian outback with a mission-- to find the base at Uluru and blow it to pieces. To do so, they have to confront actual Bzadians and also deal with a traitor in their midst. Only the leader, Ryan Chisnall, has figured this out and is trying to keep his team safe and the mission on track. When the group finally gets to Uluru, they find out a horrendous plan of the Bzadians, but do their best to save civilians involved and get their team out safely.
Strengths: Wow. I liked the premise of the alien invasion, the description of the Bzadians and some of their gestures and phrases, and the twist when the group infiltrates Uluru. Boys will love the military action, weapons, and fighting. Great cover. Should probably have two copies!
Weaknesses: About half way through the book, I realized I had no idea what the team was doing in the Outback; it was explained shortly thereafter, but there was so much going on at the beginning of the book that I didn't even think about it. Good or bad? Hard to tell.
Sadly, this was not nominated for the Cybils. Drat.