Conquest: The Chronicles of the Invaders
John Connolly & Jennifer Ridyard
Atria, 2014 (2014)
Reviewed by Hilary Williamson
ohn Connolly, well known for gruesome chillers like
Every Dead Thing
The White Road
, now partners with Jennifer Ridyard in this fast moving first in an exciting YA alien invasion trilogy.
arth is only the latest of the ruthless Illyri's conquests, the secret power behind their vast expansion being the Nairene Sisterhood,
. But though the humanoid aliens are nominally in control, there are strong Resistance forces working against them. Two brothers, sixteen-year-old Paul Kerr and his younger brother Steven are active in the movement in Edinburgh.
yl Hellais, daughter of Lord Andrus, military governor of Europe, is the first of her kind to be born on Earth. She rebels against the expectation that she stay safe in her father's Edinburgh Castle stronghold, especially on her birthday. A forbidden excursion with her friend Ani, both disguised as humans, results in their meeting the Kerr brothers. Syl and Paul feel an immediate attraction.
ord Andrus is unhappy when Grand Consul Gradus arrives on Earth accompanied by his Nairene wife, Archmage Syrene. There has long been tension between his Diplomats and the Military. In the meantime, Paul and Steven find bodies being moved through the sewers by the invaders - what are they doing with them?
atters quickly escalate. Syrene has a strong interest in Syl and Ani. The Kerr boys are arrested by the invaders and freed by their new friends, who get into very serious trouble for so doing, and discover that they have special powers along the way. There are captures and escapes and shocking revelations about Illyri experimentation on humans, and about key individuals in the story.
s this episode ends, the future looks bleak for our young heroes and heroines, who must make hard choices simply to survive. Though
starts slowly, it soon speeds up, with plenty of action and surprises to hold reader attention. I'm looking forward to more.
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