This weekend I will be completing another first, in that I will be attending Essex Author Extravaganza! I have been reading up on authors for the last couple of months but finding myself increasingly disappointed in the lack of genre diversity. When signing author, Laura Morgan, let me know she had a YA Dystopian series under the Pen L.C Morgans, I jumped at the chance to take a break from the contemporary romance and what a discovery it was!
"In the year 3030 an alien species known as the Thrakorian’s attacked Earth. On Invasion Day the extraterrestrial race invaded the planet by force, however such influence was not needed. The Thrakorian’s took control easily from the indigenous race who foolishly believed they possessed it."
Kyra was just a young girl when invasion day happened, lucky to escape the destruction of her home she sought sanctuary from the invaders in the most unlikely of places, the scars from the thorns of the rosebush she hid in would remain on her body, but the kindness of the invader who rescued her would remain indelibly on her soul.
King Kronus, unlikely saviour of Kyra and now overlord of Earth, is largely untouchable to Humankind, he is a face on broadcasts at most to them. Kyra keeping her earlier encounter a secret from those around her, is forced to grow up an orphan along with the many others who lost their families on Invasion Day. Joining the military is the only option as far as she is concerned, she is bright and she knows that the Intelligence Division is where her loyalties to the Thrakorian's will take her.
Kyra's preparation for her chosen path serves her well, quickly making a name for herself at the training camp, she catches the eye of Sgt McDermott, but just how will their growing feelings for each other impact upon her long term plan of rising up through the ranks? Kyra's life is turned upside down by events, which start to spiral when a random event allows her natural code breaking ability to shine. Her abilities, however, lead her to start questioning all she has ever known and will it be possible for the alliances she has forged to protect her?
This book drew me in from the very first page, I loved that story began with quotes from future historical figures about how the earth was spiralling towards it's demise prior to invasion day. The author very helpfully also outlines the hierarchy and social/military ladder, which helps with understanding the future you are being taken to. The long term damage caused by an apathetic society reliant on a benefit system is entirely believable and I think that set the story up well. Kyra's drive is understandable and her encounter with King Kronus clearly gives her an extra edge. The story does raise a number of issues around friendship, trust, loyalty and even touches on domestic violence, which I felt to be a brave move in a YA book and one which was handled exceptionally by this author. Kyra is instantly likeable and her unfaltering loyalty starts to become her vulnerability in my view, leading her to truly life changing places and events. Although much of the story focuses on her military training, the pace is continual and doesn't falter, you find yourself rooting for Kyra throughout.
The story is one where you think you know where it's headed and then something happens to turn it on it's head! Just when you think it's a love story it almost becomes a thriller and then back to Sci-fi. I am loving the trend of strong young females in YA fiction and Kyra can certainly give Katniss and Tris runs for their money.
I cannot wait to read the second instalment in this series - this is most definitely a 5 star read from me.