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

Everything I Thought I Knew
 
4.3
 
0.0 (0)
A teenage girl wonders if she’s inherited more than just...
The Morning Flower (The Omte Origins, #2)
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
New York Times bestselling author Amanda Hocking returns to...
The Hunt
 
4.5
 
0.0 (0)
Death marked her from her very first breath. Being...
Swallowed by a Secret
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
One dead father. One lying mother. ...
Circus of the Dead Book One
 
5.0 (2)
 
0.0 (0)
There are many ways to die at the Circus...
Roaring
 
3.0
 
0.0 (0)
Colt Clemmons is an agent in a specialized division...
Court of Lions
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Court of Lions is the long-awaited second and final...
More Than Just a Pretty Face
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
For fans of Becky Albertalli and Jenny Han, a...
The Adventurers Guild: Night of Dangers
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
After the events at Llethanyl, city of the elves, Zed...
And Then I Turned into a Mermaid (And Then I Turned into a Mermaid, #1)
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
For fans of Emily Windsnap and Maybe A Mermaid, And...
After the Worst Thing Happens
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Left reeling after her thoughtless mistake causes a terrible accident,...
Hirana's War: Book Two in the Eloia Born Series
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Praise for Eloia Born “Loved it! A well-written narrative...

Latest Member Reviews

The Night Country (The Hazel Wood #2)
 
4.0
"Alice Proserpine thought she was mostly back to “normal” life after breaking from her story in the Hinterland, but when..."
Ghost Boys
 
5.0
"Jewell Parker Rhodes writes electrifying middle grade stories that pack emotion into every sentence, and GHOST BOYS showcases that skill..."
Everything I Thought I Knew
 
4.3
"What worked: Intriguing plot of Chloe, a seventeen-year-old super achiever, who ends up collapsing during her senior year in high..."
Sunshine in the Shadows: Book 2 of the Sunshine Series
 
4.7
"This one is probably the least exciting out of the 3 books, but its lovely getting to know the characters..."
Sunshine Reigns: Book 3 of the Sunshine Series
 
5.0
"This my favourite book of the 3-part series. Sunny comes into her own with a very satisfying ending."
The Adventurers Guild: Night of Dangers
 
5.0
"THE ADVENTURERS GUILD: NIGHT OF DANGERS by Zack Loran Clark and Nick Eliopulos is the culmination of a Middle Grade..."
And Then I Turned into a Mermaid (And Then I Turned into a Mermaid, #1)
 
4.0
"AND THEN I TURNED INTO A MERMAID is a cute and funny middle grade fantasy that follows Molly. Molly is..."
After the Worst Thing Happens
 
5.0
"AFTER THE WORST THING HAPPENS is a compelling middle grade about dealing with death and loss. Army Morand absolutely adores..."
Hans Christian Andersen: The Journey of His Life
 
4.7
"Like most other people, I grew up devouring Hans Christian Andersen’s stories. His fairy tales are the first stories I..."
Sheep Dog and Sheep Sheep: Baaad Hair Day
 
4.0
"SHEEP DOG AND SHEEP SHEEP: BAAAD HAIR DAY is a comical picture book about haircuts. Sheep has lovely curls that..."
My Words
 
3.5
"MY WORDS is a cute picture book about language and the power of words. Ava shows the reader how words..."
Sun Flower Lion
 
5.0
"SUN FLOWER LION is a great early reader picture book. Told in very brief chapters, the book captures a brief..."
1789: Twelve Authors Explore a Year of Rebellion, Revolution, & Change
 
4.0
"What worked: Fascination collection of essays that show the impact of the year 1789 in the world.In this anthology, twelve..."
The Pros of Cons
 
4.0
"WHAT I LOVED: I genuinely can't imagine four different events happening simultaneously in the same complex, but it happens..."
BRB I'm Going to Disneyland
 
4.0
"'BRB: I'm Going to Disneyland' by Courtney Carbone is a cute, quick read. As a novel written in texts, emails,..."
 
5.0
"Loved it!"
Feast of Peas
 
4.0
"'Feast of Peas' by Kashmira Sheth, illustrated by Jeffrey Ebbeler, is a cute story that captures how something might be..."
He Must Like You
 
5.0
"'He Must Like You' by Danielle Younge-Ullman is an intensely provocative look at the various ways in which consent, upset,..."
How the Stars Came to Be
 
5.0
"Reviewed for YA Books Central Beautiful in every aspect. The book: This is a story about how the..."
Unscripted
 
5.0
"A book so real it can be u comfortable at times. The story: Zelda doesn’t have a..."