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Alight: Book Two of the Generations Trilogy Hardcover – April 5, 2016
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From School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up—In the first installment, a young girl awakens in a box only to discover herself surrounded by more boxes, filled with other living—and some dead—teens. The survivors of whatever event occurred have only one thing in common: they all believe it's their birthday. The second entry opens with Em and the rest of the Birthday Children arriving at their new home, a place called Omeyocan. While this is supposed to be a safe haven, the teens find signs that a lost civilization may have once lived there and might have met a horrifying end. Are they safe? Are there new enemies hiding in the jungle? What about enemies from within who might use the dangerous situation to remove Em as leader? Sigler's series is one that is hard to discuss without giving away too many spoilers. It is comparable to Ilsa Bick's "Dark Passages" novels in that it is so mind-blowing that it defies categorization. This series is recommended for all teen collections, especially those in need of titles that cross genres. Give to teens who request a book that is "totally different" from anything they've read before.
Praise for Scott Sigler’s Alive
“Suspenseful . . . [Alive] lives up to its hype, packing plenty of thrills. . . . A page-turner that whets the appetite for volume 2.”—Entertainment Weekly
“Fascinating and intriguing . . . a cross between Lord of the Flies and The Maze Runner and yet . . . so much more.”—Fresh Fiction
“A ripping, claustrophobic thunderbolt of a novel.”—Pierce Brown, New York Times bestselling author of Red Rising
“Unstoppable and real, M. Savage is one hell of a heroine. Get ready to be left breathless.”—Kristin Cast, New York Times bestselling author of the House of Night series
“Sigler has created a wonderful and engrossing character in M. Savage. Strong and smart, but with the naïveté and misgivings of any teenage girl, she’s someone you’ll definitely want on your side when s**t hits the fan, which it most certainly does.”—Veronica Belmont, host of Sword & Laser
“The puzzle unfolds masterfully, right down to the last page.”—Phil Plait, PhD, author of Bad Astronomy
Top customer reviews
Scott made me angry at one character, my heart bleed for another, and reminded me that the way one looks on the outside is in no way an indication of what they are on the inside.... At least not yet. The unique ideas and plot lines in this book are pure Sigler. Children who are trapped not just in shells, but also by their physical situation, and fervently pursued by their hidden pasts attempting to force them to remain trapped far into the future.
What could be more terrifying than to have your very existence threatened, not by death, but by being denied your own life? What could THAT mean? Read the book. What could be worse than leaving the frying pan that we were introduced to in Alive and entering the fire of Alight? Read the book. What could be worse than needing someone to trust but being unsure of everyone? And when you do think you've found one, even that one is.... Well... Read the book. What does it mean when the world you are told to be prepared for turns out to be as deadly if not more deadly than the people who prepared you for it? Read the book.
Science fiction, young love, threatened futures, duplicitous 'friends', and survival in the most mysterious of circumstances is the order of the day in Alight. I believe that every reader of this book will see parts of himself or herself in it. Someone will find a person who is a self doubter, a courageous leader, a double tongued zealot, a monstrous fighter, an ugly friend, a beautiful enemy, a stalwart supporter, a healer, a mechanical genius, a hot tempered beauty, and a scared child. I do not pretend to see easy parallels to other great or classic novels. It's too easy and inaccurate to say this is a reboot of a William Golding classic. It's too easy and unfair to dismiss this as just another kids in peril and now what will they do, novel. The author succeeded in making us care about the many characters. To actually be angry at one, shout support for another, and cry inside for still others.
I dragged out reading this book not because it sucked, but because I didn't want it to end. I really didn't. Read the book to find out why.
**Spoilers for book 1**
Alight picks up right after Alive leaves off, with Em and her group approaching the planet Omeyocan in their stolen shuttle. Once they land, they quickly realize that their situation is becoming more and more dire and the group is pushed to new lengths in order to save themselves. These teenagers are put through hell in Alight. Not only are outside forces making their lives pretty difficult, but there are also internal struggles that threaten to rip them apart! In Alight, each character is delved into more deeply as is their precarious situation and their new surroundings.
Em continues to be an amazing, selfless character who is most concerned with the well being of the people she has been chosen to lead. She is incredibly brave, sometimes to the point of recklessness. Throughout this book Em learns more about herself and the world her creator came from, and decisions have to be made, forcing Em to grow up incredibly quickly. Not only does Em have to grapple with her past and current selves and how they fit together, but she is also trying to navigate her feelings for not one, but two of the boys she woke up with.
I usually prefer my books with a little romance, but here it felt kind of unnecessary. The two love interests, Bishop and O'Malley are just about as different as two people can be, as are her reasons for having feelings for each. Both characters were amazing, don't get me wrong! I just didn't quite understand exactly why she had romantic feelings for either of them apart from (maybe?) raging hormones, having was born into an adult body. Luckily, the triangle bit of the romance is completely worked out by the end of Alight, so I don't think we'll have to deal with anymore of that.
A lot of people complained that Alive was a book about people walking. Alight is not that. This book is almost non-stop action from start to finish. The poor kids in this book cannot get a break for a second. There are multiple enemies working against them from the moment their ship lands - the adults, the planet itself and its inhabitants, as well as Aramovsky. (I can confidently say Aramovsky is one of my favorite villains ever.) Discoveries are made almost constantly and the mysteries seem to be unending.
The setting of Alight is also fascinating! The kids land on Omeyocan with absolutely no information about the history of the planet, which has obviously been inhabited before, but appears to be totally abandoned. I found the whole thing to be incredibly unsettling! Everything definitely gave off a very Mayan vibe and I don't know if you've ever seen Apocalypto, but no thanks.
With so many popular series suffering from second book syndrome, I thought Alight was breath of fresh air and I even enjoyed it slightly more than Alive. Did I think the romance needed to be there? No. But I didn't feel that it took away from the book either. Fair warning, this did end with a cliffhanger. The good news is book three comes out in just a few months! Alight was a solid second book with an amazing setting, some great character growth, and a quick moving plot. If you're a fan of dystopian fiction, this is a series you do not want to miss!
Actual rating: 4.5 stars