Tuesday, May 08, 2018


Exo. Fonda Lee. 2017. Scholastic. 384 pages. [Source: Review copy]

First sentence: The boy was watching them. Donovan had seen him before: number 53 by his jersey, ginger-haired, stocky.

Premise/plot: Love science fiction? Looking to start a new series? Exo is a futuristic science fiction novel for young adults. It's set on Earth a hundred years after a successful alien invasion. There are a few stubborn humans still fighting for independence and freedom; humans who want their planet back. But Donovan, our hero, isn't one of them. He's an exocel; he's been hardened--quite literally--by alien technology, by Zhree technology. He can armor up and down in a second. His enemies claim the exos are not human at all, and that they are traitors. Soon after the novel opens, Donovan finds himself in trouble. He's been kidnapped by the enemy, by a terrorist group Sapience. He's not killed perhaps because of whose son he is. (His father is Prime Liason between the humans and the aliens. His mother, well, I'll leave that for readers to discover.) What will Donovan learn in his captivity? Will his allegiance be swayed?

My thoughts: I found this a quick read. I do enjoy science fiction. I'm not sure alien invasion is my absolute favorite and best sub-genre of science fiction. But I enjoyed this one. I did. I definitely liked Donovan. Science fiction can sometimes be action-driven or premise-driven. Science fiction can sometimes be so science-fiction-y that characterization just doesn't matter all that much. I would not say that is the case with Exo. Yes, there is plenty of action. But Donovan and his parents are definitely fleshed out well.

This is the first book. I would love to learn more about the aliens who have taken over Earth. Are they as benevolent and good as Donovan thinks? Are they keeping secrets from the humans? Is life truly better after the invasion? Do they truly know what is best for us?

© 2018 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

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