Dark Energy

Robison Wells. HarperTeen, $17.99 (288p) ISBN 978-0-06-227505-9
Wells (Blackout) has a misfire with this inconsistent tale, which opens after an enormous starship crashes in Iowa and skids hundreds of miles north. Seventeen-year-old Alice Goodwin relocates from Florida to Minnesota when her father, an important NASA official, is assigned to investigate the UFO. The thousands of surviving aliens, who look entirely human, are housed in a shantytown near the ship but, in an effort at interstellar communication, two alien teenagers are enrolled in Alice’s new boarding school, with one of them assigned as her roommate. The novel begins on a somber note with at least 18,000 humans killed in the crash (on top of alien casualties) but quickly veers into lighter banter among Alice and her classmates. Smart, wisecracking Alice realizes that something isn’t quite right with the aliens’ story, and she’s proven right when the Masters, the real owners of the starship, appear. Wells’s Masters are nightmarish but cartoonishly incompetent, and while the novel doesn’t lack for action, neither does it find its footing as it swings uncomfortably between humorous and horrific. Ages 13–up. Agent: Sara Crowe, Harvey Klinger. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 12/07/2015
Release date: 03/01/2016
Genre: Children's
Ebook - 288 pages - 978-0-06-227507-3
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