Friday, April 22, 2016
Em Savage may have just led her followers to certain death. She led them to victory against the grownups and managed to take a ship to a planet called Omeyocan, most likely previously settled by the grownups. Em and her people finally arrive, but their paradise disappoints. All of the key files of information have been erased, leaving them just as in the dark as they were before. Buildings full of food are found, but rendered inedible by an insidious mold. Their hunger problem grows exponentially when they find a whole new group of children in coffins. On top of this, Aramovsky is trying to indoctrinate everyone, undermine her authority, and take over control of Omeyocan. Can Em keep control and keep her people from starving?
I love Scott Sigler's books, but I wasn't a huge fan of Alive, the first in this series. The ending was exciting, but too much of the book was spent just wandering around and not knowing anything. I felt the story had more potential, especially where it ended. Alight dispels my complaints about Alive. The action is nonstop and not just about interminably walking. Our characters are trying to discover their progenitors' pasts and figure out how to live on this new planet despite monumental odds in the form of food poisoning mold, hunger, and hostile occupants. Much of the book is spent trying to uncover the mystery of their past: the meaning of the symbols on their foreheads, if Matilda was as evil as she seems, the mysterious species that already lives there, and how to operate all of the unfamiliar technology.
The characters have grown on me since the last book. Their language and thoughts were quite simplistic because they were mentally very young, but since they have experienced so much and their progenitors' memories have been slowly surfacing over time. Em is my favorite character because she works hard to provide the best for her people, but makes mistakes along the way. Matilda's rage and violence are within her and she struggles to overcome them. Em's choices are her own and she strives to be different than Matilda, who was obviously a megalomaniac ruler. Aramovsky enrages me because he's so smart about his manipulation of his people against Em using the religion he knows little about. It gives him power over those who feel powerless and need something to believe it. I hated him, but he was a fully fleshed out character that isn't just a mustache-twirling villain.
Alight is infinitely better than Alive, which bored me a bit. I see now that the first was necessary to set up the story and characters, but the second just blows it out of the water. I didn't know what to expect going in and I wasn't disappointed at all. Not only does the book have mystery and action, but a dash of romance as well. I didn't feel it was necessary, but it didn't overpower any part of the book. I'm looking forward to the next book, which is set up to be pretty epic. A few different possible enemies will converge on the world and an epic war seems to be inevitable. I can't wait for the final installment.
My rating: 4.5/5 fishmuffins