Review Detail

3.3 1
Young Adult Fiction 4122
Dark Energy
(Updated: January 19, 2016)
Overall rating
Writing Style
Five days ago a UFO crashed in the Midwest. Alice's father is in NASA and gets to investigate the ship. To keep her close by, Alice finds herself sent to a boarding school not far from the crash. Then the ship opens and aliens appear that aren't the stereotypical green creatures but rather look very human. The leader promises he's here to teach the world peace but others, including Alice, have reservations. Then the children of the leader are sent to the same boarding school. No longer does anyone know what to think of the aliens. Only one thing is sure--things have changed.

Want worked: I'm a huge fan of Sci-Fi novels. Think Roswell meets Star Crossed. The dialogue in this novel is very punchy. I especially loved the banter between Alice and her father. The author does a great job showing the affection they have for each other. This is a huge plus as so many YAs have a tendency to either kill off a parent, make them dysfunctional, or have them totally clueless. Kuddos for showing a strong family relationship that does have it's own quirks.

Alice is biracial--Navajo and Anglo. I love the passages which shows her interactions with her Navajo grandmother. Alice is spunky, impulsive, curious, and bright. Things heat up when one of the alien teens becomes her roommate. The interactions between the aliens and humans isn't all positive. There are some that don't like their presence.

The aliens did remind me of the now cancelled CW TV series STAR CROSSED right down to them crashing on Earth, being detained by the US government, to the children of the leader going to the nearby boarding school. But that's where the similarities end.

The background behind the aliens was very intriguing and goes along with an ancient legend. I won't say anything more only to say that that part of the novel helped with the mystery behind them and the whys behind them coming to Earth.

One thing that did slow down an otherwise engaging plot had to be how fast the climax of the story came. It felt almost too rushed and not fleshed out enough. Since I'm not Native American, I felt I couldn't really point out if those scenes were authentic or not. At times though, a few of the depictions did bother me. The author does mention at the end of the book that he stayed with a tribe and went through a sacred ceremony. He then showed them the scenes and cut back until they were happy with the representation. He also acknowledges that he did the best of his ability by having multiple Native readers and on site research.

There are bloody and gory scenes. One scene in particular is especially graphic. This happens after Alice's father volunteers her and her roommates to investigate parts of the ship that he and his workers at NASA couldn't get to yet. The huge reveal on what really went on the space ship is very grisly. Add to that the bloody final confrontation between Alice, her roommates, and the aliens. The full impact of the conflict though goes by so fast it's not as disturbing as THE FIFTH WAVE.

Fast-paced engaging Sci-Fi tale where a crashed alien ship reveals a startling secret that involves everyone on Earth.
Good Points
1. Great banter
2. Intriguing premise of where aliens might have come from
3. Lots of action
4. Think Roswell meets Star Crossed
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