There is a lot of room for great sorties when we talk about aliens, so alien invasions are among the subjects that would definitely catch my attention in books.
My mind was totally blown by this story, though. Why, you ask? Because we, humans, are the invaders! That right there was the little detail that had me reading them back to back.
We are talking about a world that discovered there was life in another planet and immediately sought to make contact, or no nefarious reasons but to learn from each other. And then, they met us. And we, with our overinflated war machinery and shoot first, ask later philosophy, shot them down –literally– and overtook their planet.
It sounds about right, doesn’t it?
This is a story full of details. Just how I liked them. H.E. Trent imagined a whole world: Jekh. From the color of their skin and their stature (due to the levels of oxygen and light on their planet) to their social structures and relationships (two-thirds male population is bound to create differences).
My favorite part of this story is the uprising of the jekhans. This was, basically, a story of a whole species overcoming the oppression of alien invaders, us. For me, that was the absolute best part.
Awkwardly, most of the story is NOT about this uprising, but about three siblings, the McGarry‘s, and their romantic entanglements with the locals. Full of complications when they’re pushed into a culture where the biological imperative asks for two men/one woman triads.
“She didn’t like that word, tantrum. (…) tantrums were for children, not grown women who’d made men’s lives moderately more difficult by demanding an iota of respect”.-Salvo
There are a lot of cultural clashes, challenges to the gender roles and miscommunications. It is a truly interesting story, occasionally interrupted by sexual scenes. Until the end of the third book, Salvo, where the uprising is suddenly successful and we were left totally out of the loop.
While the natives are finally fighting back an retaking their capital from the inside, guerilla style, we are reading about the last of the McGarry siblings, Owen, and his emotional issues. That was really disappointing.
All in all, It’s a very GOOD story, but I’m not really interested in reading the last two books of this series. Once the uprising is over, everything else in the story feels meaningless.