Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Homicidal Aliens and Other Disappointments

Homicidal Aliens and Other Disappointments

Brian Yansky
Fiction
For ages 12 and up
Candlewick, 2013   ISBN: 978-0763659622

Not that long ago Jesse was an ordinary teenager living with his mother. Then the aliens arrived and in just a few minutes, literally, they killed millions of people. The survivors, including Jesse, were the few humans who can “hear” the aliens, who communicated telepathically. These survivors were enslaved and forced to do what the aliens told them to do. Jesse ended up working in the home of the alien leader, Lord Vertenomous. Over time Jesse’s telepathic ability got stronger, and when he and some of his fellow slaves escaped they managed to get away. For a while. When Lord Vertenomous finally caught up with Jesse, Catlin, and Lauren, Jesse did something no human had been able to do; he killed Lord Vertenomous by breaking something in the alien’s mind. He killed him the way the aliens have killed countless humans.

   Now Jesse, Caitlin and Lauren are with a group of rebel survivors, all of whom have some telepathic ability. Some of them have other talents that hopefully will be useful in the war against the aliens. The leader of the rebels, Doc, thinks that they need to fight back, to reclaim Earth. His son thinks they should go into hiding until the right time comes along. Then, thanks to his ever growing telepathic abilities, Jesse overhears an alien conversation and learns that millions more aliens are on their way. The survivors are very discouraged by this news but at the same time they look to Jesse for answers. Some of them think that Jesse is the mythic Chosen One who, it is said, will save them from their enemies.

   Jesse does not really think he is the Chosen One, but as his abilities get more and more bizarre, and as they allow his mind to travel through space and time, he begins to think that there may be a third solution. Standing and fighting against the aliens who have so many ships and weapons could be a disaster. Hiding from them is an option that does not appeal to him at all because there is no guarantee that they will be able to stay hidden. Could there be a third option, one that will give them a chance of survival? Do the aliens have a weakness that Jesse and the other survivors can make use of? Jesse does not know the answers to these questions, but he is determined to see if he can find them.

   In this sequel to Alien Invasion and other Inconveniences, Rick Yancy continues Jesse’s story. We learn that there have always been telepathic humans on Earth. These people live in groups and they generally have to keep their talents, their abilities, a secret because otherwise they will be labeled as “freaks” and will be persecuted. We also watch as Jesse comes into his own, as he learns that being a leader is a burden that comes with a lot of responsibility. By combining touches of bitter sweet humor with Jesse’s our thoughts and inner struggles, Rick Yancy takes us inside the mind and heart of a young man who doesn’t really know who, or what, he is.

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