Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

The Assault

The Assault

Brian Falkner
For ages 13 and up
Random House Books for Young Readers, 2012   ISBN: 978-0375869464

Back in the 1940’s, Earth was visited by the Bzadians, aliens from another planet. Human technology at that time was relatively primitive, so the aliens were able to watch and observe humans without being detected. After completing their survey of the planet, they left in the 1960’s. Then, in 2014 the Bzadians came back. This time they made no effort to hide, and they arrived in transporters, asking for asylum for the people on board. They explained that their home world was dying, and all they wanted was to create a home in “a tiny corner” of Earth. The transports landed in the arid central part of Australia, and the Australian government was prevailed upon to accept the refugees. More and more transporters arrived until six thousand of them lay on the Australian desert, which was when humans began to worry that perhaps the visitors were not refugees after all. On June 17, 2020, the Bzadians attached Australian military forces and the war between the aliens and humans began.

Now it is 2030, and the Bzadians control most of the planet. Only the countries of North and South America, now called the Free Territories, are still in human hands. The only thing that stands between the Bzadians and the Free Territories are two huge oceans. Coming from a planet where there is little surface water, the Bzadians do not know how to fight at sea. In addition to their skilled navies, the one thing that the humans have that the Bzadians do not have are satellites. These at least give the humans a little advantage over their otherwise technologically advanced foe.

So far, the humans have fought defensively, without much success, but now they are on the offensive. It is time to attack the Bzadians. Lieutenant Ryan Chisnall and his five team members are given a very difficult job. They have to get inside the enemy’s main headquarters and hit them where they are most vulnerable. The headquarters is located inside the great rock known as Uluru in the middle of the Australian outback. Chisnall and his team have been modified so that they look like Bazadians, and they have learned how to speak and behave like the aliens as well.

The mission has barely begun when Chisnall realizes that one of his team members is a traitor. Chisnall’s landing device is sabotaged and it is a miracle that he does not die when he lands on the ground. From that moment on he does not trust anyone in his team.

While the Bzadians are busy dealing with diversionary attack, Chisnall and his team members manage to get into the enemy installation that surrounds Uluru. Getting inside the rock is going to be incredibly difficult though, and some of the Bzadians are suspicious of Chisnall and his people. Somehow Chisnall needs to complete his mission before his disguise is blown.

In this exciting thriller, Brian Falkner gives his readers a story that is full of surprises. It is fascinating to see how the humans and the Bzadians try to outsmart one another, using any means at their disposal to try to win the war once and for all. Readers who have an interest in thrillers full of action will especially enjoy reading this title.