on December 29, 2011
From a perfect life to pure chaos, that is Colt McAlister has been dealt. Shortly after his 16th birthday his parents were both killed in a car crash. Just it wasn't any random accident, no it was a hit and run target mission put on by aliens. Since then Colt has moved to Arizona to live with his Grandfather Murdoch, who is a famous -if only in comic form- hero. In Invasion, book one of the CHAOS series, we learned of Colt's family history with a secret government branch that focuses on protecting earth from aliens forces who are planning on taking over earth. Now it is Colt's turn to continue the family legacy and join CHOAS Academy with his old friend Danielle Salazar and his new friend Oz Romero. As a team they must learn everything they can before the Thule aliens invade.
As if this wasn't enough Colt is constantly in the cross hairs of a master assassin. Watching your back isn't good enough when the hunter is a skin changer.
I when I picked Alienation up I had just finished two fairly large books, one 500 pages another 400 and was happy to see that Alienation was a grand total of only 274 pages. When more and more authors are going for long 400-800 page books I started to wonder, can an author create a gripping book in so few pages? Well, Jon S. Lewis did it.
We start Alienation where Invasion left off. Colt is living with his grandfather getting ready to leave for CHAOS-Central Headquarters Against the Occult and Supernatural-training.
I really got to know Colt through Alienation. He learns so many things about himself in the book, some good and some not so good things. We see how he is willing to stand up for what he thinks is right and protect those he cares about. He also reacts the same as any other human would, making him more then just a `cool' character, which he is.
Same with Danielle, she doesn't get enough credit in my opinion. Smart, friendly and a pro-hacker I just loved watching her take over and help Colt as he was going through so much stress, not to mention the death threats.
Now what are we missing in this team? Yep, the muscle in the group. That is covered by Oz, son of CHAOS director Lobo, has grown up in the alien world and knows how to fight. He is a great character that I truly hope will get more of the spot light in the next edition of CHAOS.
We didn't get to see any alien planets this time but there were gadgets aplenty to make up for it.
I was thrilled with how this book turned out.
Another really cool this is a short 6 page comic that stands in as a prolog. I think that was one of my favorite parts.
So much is packed into such a small book, and the fact that it is small and can be read in a few hours is great.
Thanks to Booksneeze for giving me this review copy.
on April 5, 2013
Colt is still having a tough time adjusting to his new life since his parents were killed, he moved to Arizona to live with his grandpa, and making a new friend and reconnecting with an old friend. And, more recent, having defeated the CEO of the sinister Trident Biotech, an alien from the days of WW2. It all gets harder for Colt to live a normal life when people find out his grandfather is the real-life Phantom Flyer from the comics, an internationally-renowned hero who does not wish to be idolized.
Now things will get crazier for Colt after a senator has been assassinated and the assassin is hired to go after Colt next. Why? Remember the prophecy about the end of the Thule in Invasion? The government believes that Colt is the one prophesied about, and the assassin, a Thule named Krone, will stop at nothing to kill Colt.
This story seems like an advanced technological leap in the technologies used as compared to Invasion, where many things had subtle World War II nuances in the story, and this is, by far, more futuristic (even a few out-there nods by Colt's grandfather, Murdoch), even the cover hints at a highly advanced scientific age than the book's predecessor. Through a gradual process of events, however, as Colt finds out that his grandfather knew a dark secret of his past, that Oz's father has a dark side, is now paranoid about Oz, and ends up being paranoid to the point that he does not know if he can trust anyone.
In Invasion, there had been a brief scene in a church and that was the closest to being "Christian fiction" that story was. Here, it gets a bit more explicit, though nothing about salvation and redemption, but instead, it relies on the theme of seeking strength and courage from beyond one's self when facing dark times and it looks like there's no hope left. Especially when you feel like there is no one to trust.
With all these great things, there was only one downfall in this great story, well, two.
One was a couple spelling errors that threw me off a bit (could've used a touch more editing, just a touch in a couple spots) and a little bit of current teen slang that bugs me (not swearing, not even minced oaths, but slang statements that bother me since they make no logical sense to me like "I know, right?"). Beyond that, I would recommend this to any teen and adult who likes in-your-face science fiction with a good twist-filled, adrenaline-jacked storyline that has you guessing everywhere until the last page... then throws a jaw-dropping last twist on the last page.
Let the Domination begin!
Alienation by Jon S. Lewis is part of the young adult fiction genre that is lead by Harry Potter and the next group of Percy Jackson and the Chronicles of Nick just to name a few. All of these novels have the stock plot line: where we have a teenage hero, a girl side kick and buddy, going to a special school, a fellow student who hates the hero, a quest to save the world, and so on.
All these novels use these basic plot devices but what makes them different is how the writer adds to these devices. The Harry Potter books grew with each novel and the Rowlings use layers of details to enrich her novels. Jackson and Nick books both have various levels of enrichment or details that make them stand apart from the others in this field. Alienation reads like a line drawing, going from piont A to piont B to C to D with the least amount of discriptive details needed. The story feels like an out line strung together with one or two sylable adjectives.
I know that this is the second novel in a trilogy. I have not read the first book. Plus I know that you shouldn't compare this to Harry Potter. Harry Potter is a "freak" in the lit. world. However when you shop for a car you compare cars trying to find the best car. This no different, this story just didn't hold my attention that well. I am an older person and this is for a younger reader but the author should not dumb down his book because of that.
There are several places where the author could have really used discription to enhanced the story, for example the hover board scenes or the jet pack scene. The action scenes seemed just tossed off.
Alienation wasn't my "cup of tea." It may be yours but not mine
on February 17, 2012
On ordering this book I didn't realise it is the second in a series and I found it took a while before I fully grasped what was going on.
The story is based around a sixteen year old boy and his friends Oz and Danielle and their battle with the Thule, (who are six armed shape shifters), the Thule have used up the resources on their home planet and want to take over earth. Cole discovers that he was injected as a child with Thule DNA and is the probable betrayer of the Thule and according to prophecy he will save the earth. While the Thule prepare for their invasion, Cole and his friends go into the CHAOS academy to be trained to defend earth. Colt doesn't know who can be trusted as it is clear, early on, that someone wants him dead and that he is being followed. Cole is also the likely replacement for the current head of CHAOS (which surprised me as he is only 16 years old, until I remembered this was a book for juveniles' who would probably have no issues with it). The present head sends a Thule assassin after him and the rest of the story is about Cole trying to avoid attempts to kill him which include rogue combat robots, a shape-shifting alien assassin, and high speed car chases
To sum up: this is a boys' book with a simple plot and from an adult perspective, a little shallow, however, I am sure a number of preteen/teenage boys will enjoy it.
[Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255 <[...]> : "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."]
I was a little confused in the beginning of Alienation. I haven't read the first book in the series and comic book type stories are not my usual reading genre. Though, the author did an excellent job of catching the reader up in the first few chapters as to what had gone on in the first of this series.
Colt and his best friends Danielle and Oz are working, waiting until they enter the C.H.A.O.S Academy - a military academy where they will be trained to defend Earth against alien shape shifters. Also, there's a deadly virus that has erupted and it's killing anyone in its path within 48 hours. Is it biological attack? Maybe, but they still haven't successfully created a cure. Oz's dad is the current director of C.H.A.O.S. but many feel that Colt, even though he's so young, would be a much better fit in the role. Though, not everyone agrees with that, and Colt has several attempts on his life before he can make it to the Academy. Colt thinks he is just lucky, but others believe he has a gift. Then, when Colt takes a massive attack, he might not be so lucky after all.
Alienation is a fast-paced YA read with LOTS of action and unique characters. If you enjoy comics and over-the-top details you might enjoy this one. It's not one that I will continue to keep up with the series, as I think teenage boys or someone who enjoys the comic book style plot will enjoy it more than I did. Though, for it to keep me reading to the end for that I give it props.
on December 29, 2011
Sixteen-year-old Colt McAlister is back for another exciting adventure full of aliens and intrigue. This time, however, someone is determined to kill him. Thanks to the government's belief that Colt is the one who will save the world from an invasion of six-armed, shapeshifting aliens, he must survive multiple attempts on his life. His friends Danielle and Oz are determined to help him in any way they can, but can he truly trust them? Can he trust anyone?
The second book in the C.H.A.O.S. Trilogy, Alienation is an action-packed thrill ride full of conspiracies, danger, and of course, aliens. From hoverboards and nanotechnology to robots and jet packs, this book embodies any geek's dream world. Although fictional, the technology is described in such a way that it is fully believable and undeniably awesome. Colt, Danielle, and Oz continue to develop their close friendship as their characters grow in strength and depth. When the three friends arrive at the CHAOS Military Academy, they work together and separately to stop the plot to eliminate Colt. Through the wild, life-threatening events, Colt learns who he can trust and what friendship really means.
Yet again, Jon Lewis has done a wonderful job of writing a book that will hold the interest of both teens and adults until the very last page. Alienation shows the importance of thinking for yourself, as well as knowing when to rely on others. Teens are sure to love the adrenaline-laced adventures Colt and his friends experience, and parents will appreciate the thread of faith skillfully woven into the tale. With all of the questionable role models out there, Colt McAlister and his friends provide a welcome change with their determination to help others and do the right thing, no matter the personal cost.
I highly recommend Alienation, and the rest of the C.H.A.O.S. Trilogy, to anyone who loves science fiction, adventure, and high-tech toys. These books will not disappoint.
Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book from the publisher. This review and the opinions expressed in it are my own and based solely on the contents of the book and my experience reading it.
on January 23, 2012
I have to say I was impressed with J.S. Lewis's second installment in the The C.H.A.O.S. Trilogy. In my opinion ALIENATION is a pretty strong read, continuing the story of Colt McAlister with his pals Oz and Danielle as they start their training as cadets at the CHAOS Academy. Although Colt is still a reluctant participant; after all that's happened, he doesn't feel at this point that really has much choice in the matter.
In ALIENATION we really get a better look into the characters themselves. Some very important secrets about Colt are revealed not only to the reader but to Colt himself. In fact, we get to know Colt in particular really well. Also, a huge game changing conspiracy is uncovered and some new players are introduced as well.
This second book is a well executed `bridge' book for the trilogy; that Lewis skillfully crammed a lot into without slowing down or disjointing the story's flow in the least. So expect and another entertaining read with a ton of action and danger at every turn. Although this series is geared toward teens, by no means does that mean it isn't one that can be enjoyed by readers of all ages. Plus there is a pretty neat bonus at the beginning and end in the form of a mini comic that creatively stands as the prologue and epilogue.
on May 22, 2013
In 2010-2011, aliens seemed to be making a huge impression on the pop culture psyche. In the movies, the studios released Skyline, Cowboys and Aliens, Transformers, I Am Number Four, Battle: Los Angeles, and even Mars Needs Moms. On television, shows like Flashforward, The Event, and Falling Skies constantly reminded us that an alien invasion was all but imminent. Given this media attention, the ground was certainly fertile for an Christian alien book series. And that's exactly what we've got here... but is it any good?
NOTE: This is book 2 of the series.
In Alienation, the momentum and excitement of Invasion begins to unravel, and not in a good way. The story line becomes a little muddled and rather than a clear overarching plot, we have a collection of disjointed events cobbled loosely together by outlandish action sequences in efforts to keep the reader engaged. It feels like cheap thrills and erodes the fictitious reality established earlier. Also suffering, character development is pushed aside and all but ignored as the main characters dissolve into stock character wallpaper, making it difficult to truly care what happens to them.
This installment finds the trio (Colt, Oz, and Danielle) heading off to join the CHAOS training program at a secret headquarters. We've also learned that Colt is special, in that he was injected with alien DNA as a young child and he may or may not be turning into an alien. He certainly has unique capabilities, such as super strength, but he can't completely control when they are enacted, giving him a Dr. Banner/Hulk complex (no, it's not directly stated as such). Because of his condition, however, he's supposed to be the only one who can save the world from an alien invasion. Unfortunately, he's also on a secret hit list, targeted by the director of CHAOS, who happens to be Oz's father (hello, Peter Parker and Harry Osborn), who is simply trying to save his job.
There's a lot of insecurity, strained love sickness, and confusion portrayed here as the characters - particularly Colt - tries to identify his purpose in life. Lewis even takes a shot at diversity training as Colt grapples with the notion that aliens are people, too. Well, not people, but at least not automatically an enemy worthy of killing mercilessly. But Colt comes off as whiny more often than not and the moral lessons appear as billboards on the side of the road as we zoom by, propelled (or at least distracted) by jet packs and hover boards.
Action sequences pop up throughout the story and eventually the narrative ends exactly as you might expect. With the characters poised for book three and the reader somewhat uncertain of what they've signed on for.
- from TRudATmusic[dot]com[slash]raw (5/22/13)
on May 1, 2012
Invasion (A C.H.A.O.S. Novel)book 1 best to read first. Just did not flow well. It is a hard read, but once you get into it is somewhat interesting shape shifting aliens, high tech hover boards, and teens fighting aliens. My 14 year old just said too confusing and he gave up on finishing. It takes someone really intersted in the subject or who probably read the first book to really enjoy this one.
Jon S. Lewis's "Alienation," book two in the C.H.A.O.S. trilogy, is about sixteen-year-old Colt McAlister, the young man who might just turn out to be the salvation of humanity. You see, Colt's family allowed Colt to be injected with alien DNA when he was only six; to everyone's surprise, Colt's body was able to accept the DNA. No one knows if Colt will eventually have the powers of the Thule (six-armed lizard-like creatures who can shapeshift), but it is known that Colt has unusually fast reflexes and better-than-normal healing powers (both of these things are implied rather than stated, but are the truth).
Colt's grandfather, the Phantom Flyer, was one of the first agents of C.H.A.O.S. (the Central Headquarters Against the Occult and Supernatural) -- a United States organization devoted to stopping the Thule -- and his distinguished service is one reason why Colt is determined to fight. (The other reason is because the Thule killed his parents in book one of the trilogy.)
But Colt is not alone; his friends Danielle Salazar, a super-hacker, and Oz Romero, an extremely big, well-coordinated young man with a powerful father, have joined in the fight. Together, the three are about to enter the C.H.A.O.S. Academy to learn the best ways to fight against the Thule . . . and do their best to survive in the process.
Overall, this is a tight, well-written, suspenseful tale of young people who both want and need to make a difference. There's a good amount of violence (understandable due to the genre), there's some attempted romance going on with Colt (not with Danielle, who would seemingly welcome his advances, but with another young lady), and the general "feel" of this being a young adult novel is quite good.
With all that said, you might be wondering why I gave this book a strong four rather than rounding it upward. The main reason for that is the whole plot-twist regarding Colt's DNA and how it's been altered. The reason for the needed alteration is because there's a prophecy -- only one of the Thule can stop the rest of the Thule from attacking Earth and killing off humanity. That one Thule who is prophesied to stop the rest of them is called "the Betrayer." So the C.H.A.O.S. people believe that Colt is the savior of humanity because of the hundreds of thousands of men, women, and children injected with the alien DNA, Colt's the only one who managed to integrate it (reasons unknown).
Everything else in this book is logical to me, but this one thing doesn't sit quite right. But without that one, odd thing, there's no story here to tell -- and the story itself is quite good.
Bottom line: if you're looking for a suspenseful read that will keep you interested in turning the pages until the book is done, "Alienation" fits the bill.
Four stars, recommended.