Featured Review: Cross Fire by Fonda Lee

Screen-Shot-2018-06-13-at-8.56.27-PM

About This Book:

Earth's century of peace as a colony of an alien race has been shattered. As the alien-run government navigates peace talks with the human terrorist group Sapience, Donovan tries to put his life back together and return to his duty as a member of the security forces. But a new order comes from the alien home planet: withdraw. Earth has proven too costly and unstable to maintain as a colony, so the aliens, along with a small selection of humans, begin to make plans to leave. As word of the withdrawal spreads through the galaxy, suddenly Earth becomes vulnerable to a takeover from other aliens races. Aliens who do not seek to live in harmony with humans, but will ravage and destroy the planet. As a galactic invasion threatens, Donovan realizes that Sapience holds the key that could stop the impending war. Yet in order to save humankind, all species on Earth will have to work together, and Donovan might just have to make the ultimate sacrifice to convince them.

 

*Review Contributed by Angela Blount, Staff Reviewer*

YA Sci-Fi At It's Best

Smart, well-paced, and intensely thought provoking. This series is on track to redefine sci-fi expectations for the YA genre.

Once again, the story is told in third-person past tense—entirely from the viewpoint of young soldier Donovan Reyes. Donovan is still mentally recovering from his time in captivity, and the loss of both parents to opposing ends of the conflict over the alien colonization of Earth. His instilled-since-childhood loyalty to SecPac and the Zhree is evolving—as is his perspective on Sapience, the recently fragmented extremist group his sort-of-girlfriend belongs to.

The human resistance (Sapience) is seemingly getting what they’ve always wanted. Thanks in part to the terror attacks and opposition they’ve been met with in recent years, the Zhree homeworld has decided that Earth isn’t worth developing or protecting any longer. They’ve ordered an evacuation of their entire species. And they’ve decided a small percentage of their human collaborators will evacuate with them, to preserve the human species in some form once the planet inevitably falls to the scavenging Rii.

But many Zhree were hatched on Earth and know no other home. For those carrying eggs, the trip back to their technical homeworld would endanger or doom their brood. And all would look forward to being dismissed and discriminated against as “offworlders.” As for the humans, the consequences are even more bleak. The evacuation of human Exos demands that most leave some or all of their families behind to face certain death—either at the hands of a vengeful Sapience anarchy, or eventually, to the whims of the genocidal Rii. 

Oh, the sociological and political nuances! 

There are still no easy answers to any of the moral conundrums we encountered in Exo, and I love it for that alone. But in Crossfire we do see that the prioritizing of survival demands a mighty shift in the power dynamic. The interpersonal aspects are truly honed in this installment. The closer relationships between the SecPac soldiers and some of their Zhree comrades illustrates the interrelational conundrums in their uneven governing structure. The tensions between homeworld Zhree and Earth colonist Zhree highlights a vast cultural and political complexity within the alien species itself. And the empathy-building connection between Donovan and Anya is used expertly to show both “sides” (or more accurately, the grey-area gradations) to the underlying issue of colonialism. 

The ethical quandaries abound. Is propaganda a means justified by its ends? Is access to tech advancement a privilege or a right? If you could guarantee your children a better life and doubled lifespan with the 1% chance of mortality up-front, is it worth the risk? Can there ever be true equality between fundamentally different species? What, exactly, constitutes “freedom?” 
One thing is certain—this series isn’t done asking hard questions that may never have clear-cut answers. Which should leave many a reader pondering the story long after they’ve reached “the end.”

Again, we see the romantic angle is more of a side-note amid the much bigger picture. But in this book, said angle felt more natural and enhancing than it did in Exo. There is now the sense that these star-crossed almost-lovers could actually be a catalyst to some desperately needed unity. If they can restrain their biases long enough to find some common ground to stand on…

Final Analysis: 
Superb worldbuilding, solid character development, lucid descriptions, and high action balanced by compelling introspection. It’s rare to find a series in which the second book actually surpasses the first… but here, Fonda Lee has done just that.

 

*Find More Info On This Book HERE*

YABC Staff's Current Reads ~ June 18th, 2018
It’s Live!! Cover Reveal: Through the White Wood b...

Related Posts

 

Comments

Already Registered? Login Here
No comments made yet. Be the first to submit a comment

FEATURED GIVEAWAYS

Latest Book Listings Added

 
4.3
 
0.0 (0)
Fifteen-year-old JL Markham's life used to be filled with carnival...
The Lost Legends
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
All her life, Princess Adalina heard tales of the legendary,...
 
3.0
 
0.0 (0)
In a series of interwoven fictionalized stories, Deborah Noyes gives...
In the Hall with the Knife
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
A murderer could be around every corner in this thrilling...
Birthday
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Boyhood meets The Sun Is Also a Star in this...
A Betrayal Exposed (Not Every Girl Book 3)
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Olivia Davenport’s life is finally going smoothly, until if falls...
Finding Mr. Better-Than-You
 
4.3
 
0.0 (0)
A heartbroken teen, with the help of her best friends,...
Freaky in Fresno
 
3.7
 
0.0 (0)
Influencers. Movie nerds. Beauty queens. And one pink convertible. Have...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Death marked her from her very first breath. ...
Only Mostly Devastated
 
4.3
 
0.0 (0)
Will Tavares is the dream summer fling―he's fun, affectionate, kind―but...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Defending everything they know could cost them everything they...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
They wanted a chance; they were given a choice: ...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Under pressure. Under fire. Some will rise...and some will...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
The action of Hunger Games, the scope of Maze Runner,...
Lucky Caller
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
With the warmth, wit, intimate friendships, and heart-melting romance...
Echoes Between Us
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
Veronica sees ghosts―more specifically, her mother’s ghost. The afterimages...

Latest Member Reviews

 
4.3
"JACK KEROUAC IS DEAD TO ME is Gae Polisner’s most recent YA Contemporary novel. Like in her other books, she..."
Woven in Moonlight
 
5.0
"Woven in Moonlight is a beautiful and lush fantasy, based on the culture and history of Bolivia. It is set..."
Julie Winsome M.D., Medical Detective Science Fiction Mysteries, Volume # 1
 
4.7
"Always fun to follow along with Dr. Julie Winsome Medical Detective! Great stories and I love the writing style..."
 
3.0
"WE ARE ALL HIS CREATURES by Deborah Noyes is a series of eleven short stories about the beloved showman, P.T...."
Jane Anonymous: A Novel
 
4.7
"JANE ANONYMOUS follows two timelines: one while Jane was captured for 7 months and one after she is back home...."
Finding Mr. Better-Than-You
 
4.3
"FINDING MR. BETTER-THAN-YOU starts off like a cheesy romantic comedy, but ends up being a lot more fulfilling light-hearted YA..."
Freaky in Fresno
 
3.7
"FREAKY IN FRESNO is a spin on the old novel, FREAKY FRIDAY. Ricki (nickname for Lyric) had a falling out..."
Only Mostly Devastated
 
4.3
"ONLY MOSTLY DEVASTATED is a charming YA contemporary romance that follows Ollie. Ollie had lived in California, until this year..."
Neffatira's First Challenge
 
5.0
"The descriptions are very beautiful and you can perceive the feelings of the characters to the point of empathy. ..."
Ink in the Blood (Ink in the Blood Duology #1)
 
4.3
"INK IN THE BLOOD is an engaging and atmospheric YA fantasy. Celia Sand was delighted when she was chosen to..."
Starfell: Willow Moss & the Lost Day (Starfell, #1)
 
4.0
"STARFELL is a charming and magic-filled middle grade fantasy that sweeps young readers away into another world. Willow Moss seemed..."
Journey of the Pale Bear
 
5.0
"What an adventure I just had! From the moment, I opened the book, I was transported to the 13th century..."
Hey Grandude!
 
4.5
"'Hey Grandude!' by Paul McCartney, illustrated by Kathryn Durst, is a fun, colorful, and exciting adventure. The illustrations enhance the..."
What I Want You to See
 
4.0
"WHAT I WANT YOU TO SEE is an interesting book that discusses homelessness, choices and their intersection with privilege, as..."
The 47 People You'll Meet in Middle School
 
4.7
"'The 47 People You'll Meet in Middle School' by Kristin Mahoney is an endearing look at an often hard time..."
Jesse and the Ice Princess (Gulf City High)
 
5.0
"Jesse and the Ice Princess by Michelle MacQueen is the first book in her new series Gulf City High, and..."
 
4.0
"The insatiable oasis will hunt down the thieves of this book and tear them apart, limb by limb, devouring their..."
No Map, Great Trip: A Young Writer's Road to Page One
 
4.0
"'No Map, Great Trip: A Young Writer's Road to Page One' by Paul Fleischman tells the story of the author..."
All the Stars and Teeth (All the Stars and Teeth, #1)
 
5.0
"ALL THE STARS AND TEETH is an imaginative and lush YA fantasy that transports the reader to a fascinating new..."
Wardens of Eternity
 
3.0
"WARDENS OF ETERNITY follows Ziva, a young woman who was abandoned as a toddler, became a ward of the state,..."