Review by Penelope Adams
Member of the Paranormal Romance Guild Review Team
After religious zealots start a nuclear holocaust causing a nuclear winter earth survived, then a meteor strike flooded the entire eastern hemisphere annihilating life there. The northern ice cap shifted, covering Alaska and Canada, creeping toward the United States. The South American rain forests withered, tipping the balance of oxygen in the atmosphere threatening the remaining life on earth. In the United States, domes were constructed; in the year 2233 this has become the American way of life. When a small alien spacecraft is detected with a life form on board, Colonel Matthew Robbins is tasked with intercepting it and determining if the life form is a threat to the U.S. Matthew is stunned when he discovers it’s a small boy who was put into the vessel at the age of six. For two years, the boy whose name is Andre, managed to survive what was his exile and death sentence by sheer will power. Matthew knows he cannot destroy this child, so he defies his orders, saves Andre and eventually takes him home where he and his wife, Linda will raise him as their own. As Andre grows up there are only a handful of people who know he is an alien, his father’s commanding officer, Commander Lawrence, the corpsman who took care of him upon his arrival on earth, Officer Cal Grey and Commander Lawrence’s daughter Katrina, who Andre fell in love with at first sight. Andre wants to grow up with the American dream, captain the high school football team and marry his sweetheart, but his past will eventually catch up with him and he and his loved ones will be forced to make choices that will change them all.
Author J.E. Taylor starts this futuristic tale in the year 2255 with a setting that tells us things are not so great for the citizens of Earth, and then takes us back to the beginning of the story in 2233. We follow Andre and his family through the years and watch as he grows into the typical teenage boy and eventually into a strong, confident man. Most of the story is centered around Andre’s late teenage years, not an easy time for any young man but add the fact that Andre is far from typical, he cries blood tears, can read minds and has other untapped powers that are revealed to the reader as Andre is forced to use them. Life inside the domes is pretty much the same as we know it, kids go to school, adults go to work, everyday life is made up of the same things it is now. The only exception is that they do drive hovercraft instead of the cars of today and most people have never been outside the domes.
Matthew is the typical military father; he believes in rules and expects Andre to follow them. Andre does his best, but as he becomes a teenager he develops a pretty strong temper. He and Matthew butt heads often, with Linda working as the buffer between the two. Linda and Matthew think of Andre as their son and no matter what, their love for him is as strong as any parent for their child. Andre feels the same way, he can remember his parents from his home planet but to him Linda and Matthew are Mom and Dad. It’s obvious to all three that Andre is growing into powers that are not human, and I think it scares them all just a little. Andre wants to be the son his parents deserve and succeeds most of the time but his powers do get away from him occasionally. He fell in love with Katrina Lawrence when he was eight years old the first time he saw her and that didn’t change as they grew. Katrina was fascinated with Andre at first, she grew into a willful, wild young woman who despite her father’s orders, was determined to get to know Andre better. She was not always a likeable young lady and there were times I wondered if she loved Andre or was just attracted to him because she wasn’t supposed to be. Either way, she and Andre were pivotal to the story and in the end there was no question of their true devotion to each other.
This was an interesting story that, for the most part, moved well and had a pretty good group of characters to get to know. There were a few times I got lost in trying to follow Andre’s original planet’s politics and, even though it’s an action packed book, my mind did wander a bit and I had to reread bits. Anyone who likes science fiction should enjoy this book, there is violence – some pretty graphic but I don’t think it’s anything that should preclude it from being read by the young adult crowd.