I received a complimentary copy of the book from the author or publisher. All opinions are my own.
Quick Summary of Xenogeneic: First Contact by Lance Erlick. Xenogeneic is a science fiction thriller about first contact with an alien race that lost their civil war and wants to take over Earth. Dr. Elena Pyetrov’s father vanished in space 18 years ago while searching for extraterrestrial life. As an aerospace engineer, Elena travels into space to search for answers and continue his work. Her ship is pulled off course and crashes. She suspects extraterrestrial interference.
The alien Knoonk lost their civil war in a distant star system and fled to Earth’s neighborhood to hide and regroup. They seek a new home—Earth. Unable to live in Earth’s toxic environment, the aliens kidnap and use humans to genetically modify their species to adapt.
Surviving the crash, Elena and her shipmates are transported to a closed cave system where the Knoonk monitor and control everything. Elena tries to make a connection with her hosts and find ways to work together, but Knoonk leaders rebuff her and force the humans to submit as slaves. The aliens use illusions, distractions, and social experiments to learn from their hostages and keep them off balance. Resistance by captive humans brings swift punishment to break the human spirit.
While Elena continues to look for ways to cooperate with the Knoonk, it becomes apparent that there can be no compromise. The Knoonk want to capture Earth for their species. It is winner take all. With time running out, Elena must dig deep to uncover the alien plan and find a way to stop them before the human race faces enslavement and extinction.
The author creates a setting that readers can settle into. I felt the heat and the water as I read the author's Regina Shen series. I didn't "feel" the setting in this book in that same way--but, I still give the author credit for creating a world so far outside of our own that readers will settle into throughout the story. He offers great details and setting descriptions.
Strong Female Characters Take Center Stage. I love the author's character development in his female leads--both on the hero and villain sides. His characters have strong personalities and strong convictions--no matter which side of good or evil they reside.
Would I recommend Xenogeneic: First Contact? I love this author's writing style and his science fiction world development. I liked this book--in spite of the fact that alien-encounter-type stories are not my usual favorite. Erlick kept the scenes flowing, the action building and the characters growing in such a way that I couldn't put down the book and was sad to see it end. I enjoyed the story that he created and his characters even with their flaws and quirks. If you like a space themed novel with strong female characters--this book should be on your reading list.
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Meet the Author
Lance Erlick writes science fiction thrillers for young adult and adult readers. He is the author of The Rebel Within, The Rebel Trap, and Rebels Divided, three books in the Rebel series. In those stories, he explores the consequences of Annabelle Scott following her conscience.
He authored the Regina Shen series--Resilience, Vigilance, Defiance, and Endurance. This series takes place after abrupt climate change leads to the Great Collapse and a new society under the World Federation.
His latest novel is Xenogeneic: First Contact about encounters with an alien race aiming to take over Earth.
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