Conduit: The Beginning is an alien invasion story about the destruction of mankind from within and outside, reflecting the evolution of hope in the birth of a baby who hones extraordinary abilities after his mother is shot in a mall.
For Marc, placed in foster care after this event and forced to grow up in a challenging social system, these abilities have both plagued and supported him, but they seem pointless until aliens come to town.
When he learns of these beings' special interest in and deadly purpose for humanity, and the truth about his own origins, Marc comes to believe he may be the only one to save the world, even broken as he is.
A new day is dawning, for both Marc and humanity. But first, both must accept a revised vision of the world and their place in it, in order to survive the aliens' intentions.
From a president who becomes involved in the seeming peaceful relationship between races, but who faces treachery from his wife, to Jack and Adrianna Connor's handling of Marc after the shooting and years later, when Marc returns to date their daughter, Conduit: The Beginning excels in many satisfying twists and turns of plot that introduces a host of characters.
As lives become entwined and threats move from political to personal circles, Conduit: The Beginning builds a different kind of alien story that is as much about alienation and heroism on different levels as it is about a world-changing invasion.
Marc is an experiment from the past with the sole key to change the present...but only if he can survive the invasion to fulfill his potential.
James Alexander does an excellent job of depicting Marc's changing life, his uncertain progression through childhood into an adulthood that itself suffers a sea change, and the motivations and psychology of characters around him, who also evolve in different directions as they age.
Tension is well done and the story's unexpected progression places it above and beyond most (too-predictable) alien invasion scenarios.
The result is a sci-fi read covering the ends of some worlds and the beginnings of others. Conduit: The Beginning's ability to draw readers with a fine anti-hero flawed by his own mystery and uncertainties, yet able to step up to an unbelievable role, creates a read that's hard to put down.