Fifteen years after an alien invasion, Gail, a seventeen-year-old girl raised mostly in solitude, wanders through the slowly-crumbling world in search of a family she has never known. When she runs into a snarky “computer witch” named Crow, she becomes embroiled in a plan to take down the oppressive Mori—a 4000-year-old enemy of Earth. The two are joined by other people in on this plan, including a US marine trapped inside an experimental power suit, and a knife-throwing con man.When Gail accidentally kills the younger brother of the self-proclaimed “Duke of the East,” Gail is branded a criminal. While she traverses a post-technology world, Gail learns the importance of a “found family,” while also discovering the truth about her own heritage. She also learns that the Mori are planning a mass extermination of humans, and she may be the only key to stopping them.
Plot/Idea: 7 out of 10
Originality: 8 out of 10
Prose: 5 out of 10
Character/Execution: 8 out of 10
Overall: 7.00 out of 10
Plot: The speed of the plot leaves little time for crucial moments of development, such as world building and character backstory. However, the reader can easily forget about the missing pieces, as there are enough twists and turns to keep things interesting.
Prose/Style: Occasional moments of humor stood out in Swicegood’s otherwise-straightforward prose. Descriptors such as “the redhead” and “the witch” quickly became overused.
Originality: Swicegood’s decision to incorporate Irish mythology into the plot and his unconventionally naïve main character make this take on an alien invasion unlike any other.
Character Development: Characters Gail and Crow exhibit plenty of emotional growth throughout the story. A robot’s development from hunk of metal to husband, father, and friend was a pleasant—and touching—surprise.
Date Submitted: July 11, 2019