A review by Domoni.
I would like to thank the author for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.
Earth 2022 is not much different than 2016. Except for the aliens. Visitors have been officially visiting for 5 years, though they have been visiting unofficially much longer. There are embassies for other planets and government relations are being made, though humans remain the same. Hostility against offworld visitors, disrespectfully called vadors, and children of mixed descent, called vullatos, runs rampant. Viral videos of attacks on the nonhuman population are a daily event. Fear leads to anger, and violence is human nature.
Three brothers just want to live their lives. They know their father was from off world, but they appear human and are happy to pass. When the youngest brother Lawrie, always a daredevil and adrenaline junkie, pulls a stunt that doesn’t quite work out, the boys are set on a path to find their destiny and fulfill a prophecy, whether they want to or not.
While their parents are away, the brothers throw a party. Lawrie decides to ride a big-wheel down a slide into a pool. When he hits the water, a bright green glow surrounds him and he sees a bloody man drowning beneath him. Reaching out to save the man, Lawrie starts to drown. Lyle and his twin Devon are suddenly mentally trapped with Lawrie watching this man drown. Lyle, being a telempath, is able to better understand what is happening. Devon does not have psychic abilities like his twin. Though he possesses inhuman strength and healing, he is determined to never be outed and persecuted. He balks at trying to understand the vision the brothers share. When Lyle dreamwalks and learns that the drowning man is their eldest brother Evan, long removed from Earth by their father, he pushes his siblings to help save him.
As the brothers are pushed into a life they didn’t ask for, their powers emerge, stronger than should be possible. When Lawrie witnesses a vullato being attacked, he has to help. But when he is injured in the onslaught, his elemental powers burst from him, causing an earthquake, and catches him up in a fight that outs him and his brothers to the world and sets them on the path to fight a war between many worlds.
This story is written so that each chapter is from the view of a different brother and rotates so you follow along and get their individual turmoil as the story progresses. The author did a wonderful job of creating four distinct and moving characters and a story that flowed and captured my attention quickly. I understood each brother’s view and was conflicted as the story moved forward and they all had little choice in what happened to them. The brothers were so human, with strengths and faults, bravery and mistakes. It has been years since I enjoyed such well developed personalities.
The author created a world around her characters that made everything seem very real. I was worried that the constant switching between views would impede the flow of the story and the world around the brothers, but it enhanced it in a way I haven’t seen in other stories written that way. I read this story in one day as I could not put it down. When it ended, I was angry that I have to wait to find out what happens to the boys. I cannot wait for the next book in the series.
This would be a great book for teens, especially young men. Rarely do I find books that are written about strong teen boy characters that I can recommend to my sons. The language is appropriate and the violence and romance aspects are not gratuitous. This book will be in my top 5 list of 2016.
My rating: 5/5 stars.
The Fourth Piece (Order’s Last Play #1)
by E. Ardell
Genre: YA Sci-fi/Fantasy
Release Date: July 8th 2016
Summary from Goodreads:
Admitting what you are will end everything you know. Embracing who you are will start a war…
Life is great when you’re good-looking and popular…so long as no one knows you’re a vulatto. Being half-alien gets you labeled “loser” quicker than being a full vader. So it’s a good thing Devon, Lyle, and Lawrence can easily pass for human—until the night of the party. Nothing kills a good time faster than three brothers sharing a psychic vision of a fourth brother who’s off-world and going to die unless they do something. But when your brother’s emergency happens off-planet, calling 9-1-1 really isn’t an option.
In their attempt to save a brother they barely remember, Devon, Lyle and Lawrence expose themselves to mortal danger and inherit a destiny that killed the last four guys cursed with it. In 2022, there are humans and aliens, heroes and monsters, choices and prophecies—and four brothers with the power to choose what’s left when the gods decide they’re through playing games.
Book I in the Order’s Last Play series
About the Author
Ardell spent her childhood in Houston, Texas, obsessed with anything science fiction, fantastic, paranormal or just plain weird. She loves to write stories that feature young people with extraordinary talents thrown into strange and dangerous situations. She took her obsession to the next level, earning a Master of Fine Arts from the University of Southern Maine where she specialized in young adult genre fiction. She’s a big kid at heart and loves her job as a teen librarian at Monterey Public Library in Monterey, California, where she voluntarily shuts herself in rooms with hungry hordes of teenagers and runs crazy after-school programs for them. When she’s not working, she’s reading, writing, running writers critique groups, trying to keep up with a blog, and even writing fan fiction as her guilty pleasure.
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