I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Exo by Fonda Lee
Published by Scholastic on January 31, 2017
Genres: Young Adult, Science Fiction
Format: Print, Print ARC
Source: the publisher
Buy on Amazon
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 . . .
Exo is a book that Aleya found while ordering new books for her library, and in turn got us both very excited at the chance of reading it. This, however, was before the chaotic world we now live in descended. Thus, reading this book after January 20th has proved a very weird sensation. At times, it was so real (in that the things happening in the books could potentially mirror our own world). Thus, it took me longer than most to read the book, because at times I needed to stop and breathe.
However, that doesn’t detract from the vibrant and VERY complex plot. This isn’t a book of dichotomies – sometimes the good side and the bad side aren’t really visible, nor are they the point. I think this will resonate with teens who are just starting to see the world this way.
The story starts right off with action and just keeps giving it to you. There is SO much happening and it is stretching the limits of a ‘typical, cookie-cutter’ story. There were several times when the story caught me off guard, and I got so excited that I didn’t know where things would end up.
The world that Fonda Lee created in this book was spectacular. Not only can you get a sense of what it is like to live in this world, but she created a complex system of people and aliens that work together in some new fragile ecosystem. While the humans have been conquered, they still live among and with these aliens, who have brought language, technology, and culture to the world. The relationship, while seemingly peaceful, is rather tumultuous. One wrong step could blow the whole thing up and crumble what little bit of civilization is left.
This is what I would consider a science fiction book that relies more on plot than characters. In fact, the one thing I wish would have been better is the characters and their development. I love a great plot that pushes me through, but I also love when characters grab me by the collar and take me along for their ride. I didn’t always feel that with Exo; however, the world and the story carried the book to be something incredibly interesting and worthwhile.
This book is one that will ask a lot of questions and will push you to ask a lot of questions. It’s going to make you work and think and really ponder, even after the last page is turned. And I for one, love that.
Three winners will receive a finished copy of EXO, US Only. Best of luck!
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