Saturday, March 30, 2013

REVIEW: IXEOS by Jennings Wright

The McClellands are enjoying a lazy summer vacation at the beach when they are lured from our world into Ixeos, an alternate Earth. Finding themselves lost in a maze of tunnels under Paris and surrounded by strangers, they discover that they have been brought to Ixeos for one purpose:  to take the planet back from humanoid aliens who have claimed it.
With the aid of the tunnels and a mysterious man named Landon, the teens travel the world seeking the key that will allow them to free Darian, the long-imprisoned rebel leader.

But the aliens aren't the only problem on Ixeos -- the McClellands have to deal with brutal gangs, desperate junkies, and a world without power, where all the technology is owned by the aliens, and where most of the population has been killed or enslaved. The worst part? There's no way home.


I was supposed to review this yesterday but I got sidetracked and couldn't finish the book in time, so you're not seeing double!  I enjoyed IXEOS a lot and I will definitely be putting this on my sixteen year old son's reading list for summer. This is a totally clean read.

IXEOS has a plot filled with many intriguing questions.  Very deep questions like what does it mean to have a purpose in life?  How much would you sacrifice in order to set things right for others?  Can the human spirit be bred out of an entire planet of beings? And the best one of all – the hint that there is a greater purpose to everything that is happening to this trio of teens and the new world in which they find themselves.

“This is our future. If we don’t believe that life is just random chance, then this was
always our future.”

It’s a lot to take in, but before you start thinking this is a heavy read, it’s not.  It’s got just the right amount of fast-action mixed in with the questions.  The teens in IXEOS, Clay, Neahle, and Marty don’t really get a choice in this matter – and that part did bother me a little bit.  It almost took away from the altruistic nature of the underground group.

I also liked how each of the teens found their true purpose.  Landon, the leader of this faction of tunnel dwelling fighters, hints that everyone comes for a reason.  You’re not a prisoner, you’re free to leave, but if you do, then your job will go undone.  

That’s a pretty powerful statement.  He didn’t say someone else would have to fill your shoes, he basically said you have a job to do and you are the only one who can do it. Period.

There’s a lot of little hints that this is about something bigger than aliens taking over an alternate Earth and I can’t wait to see what that in in the next book.

I thought the high-stakes plot of locating the moving prison (that part reminded me a little of Howl’s Moving Castle) and rescuing Darian was pretty interesting, especially the decoding machine. And of course, as promised by Landon at the first meeting, each teen contributed a vital role in the rescue.  A role only they could complete.

I like books with a theme of fate, so I enjoyed this book a lot.  This is a very good read for a teen who enjoys the dystopian genre but is tired of all the depressing stuff and zombies.  There is drama in this book, but it’s of the thriller variety.  It’s not mental or gruesome.

Author Jennings Wright

Born and raised in Florida, Jennings spent her early years reading anything she could get her hands on, when she wasn't spending time in and on the water. She won a prize in the 6th grade for her science fiction stories.

Jennings attended the University of Tampa, graduating with a B.A. in Political Science, and almost enough credits for B.A.s in both English and History. She attended graduate school at the University of West Florida, studying Psychology. She spent time over the years doing various kinds of business writing, editing, and teaching writing, but mostly having and raising her family, homeschooling her children, owning and running a business with her husband, and starting a non-profit.

Thanks to a crazy idea called NaNoWriMo Jennings got back into creative writing in 2011 and hasn't stopped since. She currently lives in North Carolina with her husband, also a business owner and writer, and two children, and travels extensively with her family, and her non-profit in Uganda.

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