Spoiler alert! If you have not read the first book– go no further. You have been warned!
Alight (Book 2)
Summary from Goodreads:
“If it’s war they want, they messed with the wrong girl.”
M. Savage—or Em, as she is called—has made a bewildering and ominous discovery. She and the other young people she was chosen to lead awoke in strange coffins with no memory of their names or their pasts. They faced an empty, unknown place of twisting tunnels and human bones. With only one another to depend on, they searched for answers and found the truth about their terrifying fate. Confronted by a monstrous enemy, they vowed never to surrender—and, by any means, to survive.
The planet Omeyocan may be the sanctuary Em and her comrades seek. But the planet for which they were created turns out not to be a pristine, virgin world. Vestiges of a lost civilization testify to a horrifying past that may yet repeat itself. And when a new enemy creeps from the jungle shadows, Em and her young refugees learn there’s nowhere left to run. They face a simple choice: fight or die.
In the midst of this desperate struggle, their unity is compromised from within—and a dangerous zealot devoted to a bloodthirsty god moves to usurp Em’s command, threatening to lead them all down a path to violent doom.
Alone (Book 3)
Summary from Goodreads:
“We thought this place was our destiny—not our doom.”
Pawns in a millennia-old struggle, the young people known only as the Birthday Children were genetically engineered to survive on the planet Omeyocan—but they were never meant to live there. They were made to be “overwritten,” their minds wiped and replaced by the consciousness of the monsters who created them.
Em changed all of that.
She unified her people and led a revolt against their creators. Em and her friends escaped an ancient ghost ship and fled to Omeyocan. They thought they would find an uninhabited paradise. Instead, they found the ruins of a massive city long since swallowed by the jungle. And they weren’t alone. The Birthday Children fought for survival against the elements, jungle wildlife, the “Grownups” who created them . . . and, as evil corrupted their numbers, even against themselves.
With these opponents finally defeated, Em and her people realized that more threats were coming, traveling from across the universe to lay claim to their planet. The Birthday Children have prepared as best they can against this alien armada. Now, as the first ships reach orbit around Omeyocan, the final battle for the planet begins.
ARCs provided by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
This series got better and better as I read. When it was discovered what was really happening on Omeyocan in the third book, I was blown away. There are so many layers to this whole plot that it was just like peeling an onion, and I’m still not sure I got every layer peeled away.
Em’s character continues to grow and mature through out both books. The second book takes place almost immediately upon their arrival on Omeyocon and spans only a few weeks. The third book starts a year later, and you can tell that Em has matured in that time. She continues to lead her people, but she relies on her friends more to help her do it. Again, we hear her doubts and the troubles that plague her through her internal dialogue. We also only see the other characters through her interactions and thoughts. So even though there are other characters that I liked in the series, I didn’t see the growth in them that I saw in Em. Many things happen in these two books to Em and her friends and it is amazing that they survive at all, let alone grow and change.
So many plot twists and turns, that I was thankful we learned it all through Em and not multiple characters. Very creative aliens too. I really liked the Springers and even though they were quite vicious I liked the Wasp like creatures in the third book. Their descriptions made them sound really interesting. The Springers, the aliens already living on Omeyocon when Em’s crew arrives, was a fascinating culture. I also liked some of the animal like creatures that they encounter on the planet.
Some of the issues of religion added an interesting layer to this series. As did societal roles and expectations. When Em realizes what the symbols on their foreheads mean, especially hers, it was great to see her rise above that. I liked that other characters chose not to follow what their symbols meant either. It made the idea of choice that much more important to the story, and to the ending.
All in all a wonderful, exciting, fast-paced science fiction trilogy! If you like violence, betrayal, a little bit of mystery and a tiny bit of romance mixed with religion and aliens this is the series for you!