Series: Broken Skies #1
Release date: March 2014
Release date: March 2014
Thirty years ago, there was the Collapse. A massive war fought with biological weapons and followed by plague. Almost everyone died.
Ten years ago, the aliens showed up. They made one of our cities their own and that's where they stay, for the most part anyway.
One year ago, I killed two men and went a little crazy.
Today, the aliens took my brother and I will do whatever it takes to get him back even if it means partnering up with the enemy, an alien boy who makes me think things I shouldn't and makes me feel things I don’t understand.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
The only person she knows who had a subscription to Writer's Digest at eleven and was always excited to write research papers, Theresa has been putting words to paper since a young age. She writes predominantly in the sci-fi and urban fantasy genres. Residing in central Virginia, she juggles two kids, a husband and a full-time job in addition to her writing and in her free time she reads almost anything she can get her hands on.
So, I was completely unsure what to expect when I initially started reading this book. I knew that is was some sort of post-apocalyptic novel that involved aliens. I definitely got a whole lot more than I was expecting! I always feel like I have to re-iterate this every time that I read a self-published novel, but I have been burned so many times in the past when giving my time and energy to self-pubbed books. This book is so much more than just one thing - it has sci-fi, post-apocalyptic, adventure, romance, family secrets, drama and a hint of cultism going on as well, with the society that Jax and Jace join to stay alive. The book starts out with the two of them living in that society (Bridgelake), abiding by the sexist and domineering rules of Dane (the leader). Jax is chafing under his reign, in a place where a girl like her, who was raised to be independent, has no basic human rights and is a bargaining tool of the men around her. One day when Jace goes out to hunt and Jax follows him, they witness the landing of an alien ship. Jace is taken away by the intruders, and Jax is only left with an alien boy they abandoned to help her find him again. Lir is stubborn, somewhat mysterious and has his own motivations. But as they journey together and overcome many obstacles, some of them deadly, Jax builds a bond of trust with him - and maybe some other feelings too. Once they reach the city where Jace is being held, will Jax have their new bond shattered by the secrets tainting their fragile connection? Or will they be able to save each other?
Jax is a heroine who has been through a lot. It becomes obvious after reading this for a little while, that she is struggling to live normally in the aftermath of an assault. Jax was catatonic for some time afterwards, which forced Jace to make some harsh decisions. The domino effect from his decisions is still happening, even months later. I loved that the twins, while they happen to love each other, do not have a perfect relationship. Jace is trying a little too hard to protect Jax, dominating her every waking move and keeping important secrets from her. Factoring into this as well is their best friend, Flint, who also happens to be the son of Bridgelake's villainous leader. At first, I thought this was going to be another love triangle with Jax, Lir and Flint. I was like, "Oh great. Another one." But then Theresa Kay pulls a surprise out of left field, that fits completely in with the story mind you, that shears off the Flint corner of the triangle! Leaving a still very complex, and beautiful romance between Jax and Lir. Hats off to Ms. Kay for that! Their journey is wonderful and exciting, with never a dull moment. All the way from her breaking him out of jail in Bridgelake, to an incident at a trading post that threatens to break Jax, to a rattlesnake bite that changes both of their perspectives. Not to mention all of the stuff that happens once they reach the city where Jace is being held captive!
The world-building in this book was wonderful, and I always felt like I was trekking alongside Jax and Lir in the woods. Also the idea that humanity nuked itself into oblivion, while not exactly new, is definitely effective and believable. The thing I was curious about was just how many people survived in other ares of the world. Especially after an encounter with Lir's cousin Rym, who gets his slang from "British vids" according to himself and his sister (and who is kind of hilarious - I'd love to see more of him)! The brutality of humanity is emphasized, but also the secrets and betrayals of the E'Rikon alien society as well. There are political, inter-familial power struggles going on and the aliens have some major issues that could lead to the end of their race as a whole. They are unable to sustain themselves on Earth, without finding some way to fuse their DNA with the humans'. Let's just say that there is more to that particular endeavor than anyone originally thought... And the secondary characters were interesting as well. Peter, the ex-Priest, who is living on his own and gives shelter to Jax and Lir on their journey. Emily, the seemingly good Bridgelake girl, who has a hidden rebellious side and is desperate to change her restrictive society. Also, Lir's parents and uncle, who have motives that are unclear until the end of the novel. Lir himself is a mystery until it seems that he's chosen his side in the struggle - opposite of where you thought he was! Probably my one problem with this book, was the presence of some seriously distracting spelling errors near the very end. But this is an advance copy, so hopefully they are fixed in the final release. Other than that, I absolutely loved it beyond all measure! SO DYING FOR THE SEQUEL! I NEEDS IT NOW! The pulse-pounding action from start to finish was breath-taking! In other words, pick this one up and be destroyed by the cliffhanger in the best way possible. You'll fall in love!
VERDICT: 4.5/5 Stars
*I received an ARC from the author and tour host for the purpose of this blog tour. No money or favors were exchanged for this review. This book was published March 14th, 2014.*