Valiant by Merrie Destefano
Paperback, 400 pages
Expected publication: December 4th 2018 by Entangled: Teen
~Rating: 3.5 – 4/5 stars~
The Valiant was supposed to save us. Instead, it triggered the end of the world.
Earth is in shambles. Everyone, even the poorest among us, invested in the Valiant’s space mining mission in the hopes we’d be saved from ourselves. But the second the ship leaves Earth’s atmosphere, our fate is sealed. The alien invasion begins. They pour into cities around the world through time portals, possessing humans, forcing us to kill one another.
And for whatever reason, my brother is their number one target.
Now the fate of the world lies in the hands of me, a seventeen-year-old girl, but with the help of my best friend, Justin―who’s suddenly starting to feel like more―maybe if we save my brother, we can save us all…
*a copy was provided by NetGalley*
Sci-fi, aliens, time travel, and futuristic things. Yes, YES, and YEsss. All things I love. But this, I liked it just enough, that it fell short of great.
Valiant is different and unique in its own way. A very quick, action packed, fast paced read. It definitely will grip you from the start. I’m excited for when it actually does come out.
Although the beginning of this book felt VERY rushed. A LOT happens in the first few pages that I felt like it could have been a whole book in itself. You just hit the ground running, and as a result, there is very little context given for the characters and the state of the world. But as the story progresses we do get a bit more of this.
Some times it was difficult to keep up with, there’s just so much going on. I love the story, just wish it was told a little differently, I don’t know why but it feels like the story is being told in such a way that everything is scattered, and you have to pick up the pieces and just make sense of it on your own terms. I mean between the alien invasion, time travel, portals, military conspiracies, romance, etc. I feel like the story could have been richer if there had been fewer of these elements.
Honestly, I just wish there was more explanations, descriptions, development, and maybe a bit more world building. But it’s literally, Action, Action, Action. Hardly any character development.
Also, in a way, it reminded me of Venom, with the whole ‘aliens on earth’ or ‘aliens trying to invade earth’ thing, and this quote from the beginning of the book is a pretty good description of what I mean.
‘A Xua can leave a host’s body and possess another person if it wants, but humans weren’t built to withstand it. Our insides get ripped to shreds. Sometimes you can even see the claw marks on the body, torn apart from the inside out. Sometimes it’s a full-body explosion.’
Mhmm, similar in ways but, different.
The bit of ‘romance’, I wouldn’t even call it that, it was literally Justin & Sara having known each other in school for however long. There was no real build up, just Sara saying ‘I love you’ to him, when she thought he was dead/dying or whatever.
“You have to stay alive, Justin,” I whisper. “No matter what. I love you.”
AND THEN THE NEXT DAY.
He cups my face in his huge hands. “I heard what you said last night,” he whispers, so softly no one else can hear him. “I love you, too.”
Their relationship did develop a bit but in an unnaturally fast way, imo.
“I was worried I would lose you, too,” he confesses as he lifts his head. He cups my face in his right hand. “The Xua took your brother, but he might not be dead, Sara. You said those doorways go to different timelines, right? Maybe he’s with Aerithin. Or maybe Aerithin will still come back—”
Also, the ‘skin site’ thing was a bit confusing. It seems like it’s some kind of identification thing/something phone-like where you can call people? listen to music? listen/watch the news? -some kind of ‘new’ fascinating technology that everyone is crazy about; like when a new version of the IPhone comes out. Or something like that, not 100% sure, unless I’m missing something? – so I went back to my kindle and literally searched ‘Skin Site’ and it’s mentioned A LOT, I’m realizing now, it was described a bit, but still really ‘confusingly interesting’. I’m not going to give too much more away, though.
I feel like I’m just rambling on now….
I’m really hoping there will be a sequel, because I like where this story is going. I feel like if the story and universe was expanded on, it could be the next big sc-fi series/book. BUT only if universe was expanded on, like back story on the aliens, Justin, or any the other characters. If you enjoy action-packed YA science fiction, then I highly recommend it!
NOTE: All quotes taken from this uncorrected copy are subjected to change in the final edition.
CURRENTLY A FULL-TIME NOVELIST and magazine editor, Merrie Destefano’s next novel, LOST GIRLS, releases on January 3, 2017. Her other novels include AFTERLIFE and FEAST, both published by HarperCollins, and FATHOM, which was self-published. The editor of Victorian Homes magazine, she has also been the editor of American Farmhouse Style, Vintage Gardens, and Zombies magazine, and was the founding editor of Cottages & Bungalows magazine.
With 20 years experience in publishing, she worked for a variety of publishing/broadcasting companies that include Focus on the Family, The Word For Today, and PJS Publications (now Primedia). Besides editing and writing, her background includes print buying, writing/producing radio promos, directing photo shoots, developing new products, writing jacket copy for books, creating sales media packets and organizing direct mail campaigns.
Born in the Midwest, she currently lives in Southern California with her husband, two German shepherds, a Siamese cat and the occasional wandering possum. Her favorite hobbies are reading speculative fiction and watching old Star Trek episodes, and her incurable addiction is writing. She loves to camp in the mountains, walk on the beach, watch old movies, listen to alternative music—although rarely all at the same time.