It's been a while since a story has grabbed me right from the beginning and kept my attention all the way to the end. A true science fiction ride that brings together technology, aliens, hybrids and so much more. I was captivated by the story, able to picture the characters and scenery as if I was in the story itself and playing like a movie. It ended with a cliffhanger that would satisfy even those that absolutely hate them because a realization was made at the same time.
For me, this story had a familiar feel to it. Not a negative, been there, done that feel, but the characters felt like a meld of several different ones from current science fiction culture. I felt a mix of Star-Crossed, Defiance, Alienated and more. The YA genre has come a long way with how it views aliens and given in to the fact that not everything is as it seems. Yes, aliens are still trying to do us in, but not all of them are, some actually have our back quite well.
The author has come up with an Earth, far in our future, that has gone through a transition due to wastefulness and a nuclear incident. She describes the climate, the feel of the environment and the catastrophic changes so well. It's a realization that made me wonder just how far we are from starting down the wrong path with the balance of nature or if we have already hit that tipping point. In ways, I felt a sense of mourn for the Earth as we know it.
Having read the author bio, she has put her past professions to good use with this novel. She was able to draw from her knowledge the way things could be. She also sensed a good story of the savior aliens swooping in to save us but with an ulterior motive. Her characters are strong, the relationships between all the different sections are diverse and the fact that she made use of the moon shows she has a plan for her story that won't cut things short and shows a layered story that keeps on giving.
I recommend this book to all readers of the science fiction genre, no matter how young or old. This is a story that intrigues, makes you think and really grabs hold of your attention. You will see just how creative the characters are and will find yourself wanting to tinker with extra equipment that you have laying around.
I look forward to the subsequent novels in this series and can't wait to read more about Helia, Kalo and the rest of the gang. I can't wait to read what the author will be bringing to the table next. Bravo Ms. Neal! You say that you haven't gotten your dream job of being a drummer in a rock band, well, I'm telling you that your creative mind are the sticks and the story is your drum. You have reached that goal and you are a rock star with it. Your screaming fans await the next book in the Starlight Age. Rock on!