The Earthside Trilogy – Sherri Fulmer Moorer

Summary:

A planetary invasion, set over three novels. The first is Progenitor, the second Metamorphosis, and the final book is Emergence.

Main Characters:

Kalea Kerner: A driven business-woman, she becomes one of the first humans infected by the aliens through being touched by one of “the resurrected”. She becomes one of the main conduits of the energy race of aliens.

Annaliese Boyce: Wife to congressman Kieran Boyce, and an eminent psychiatrist in her own right, cousin to Kalea.

Hailey Reed: The main “ambassador” for the cybernetic race of aliens.

Minor Characters:

Bruce Burke: He became one of the energy alien hosts, after being healed of an ear infection.

Jane Halliday: One of the collaborators with the cybernetic aliens.

There are a myriad other characters throughout the three books.

Plot:

Earth in the near-future has developed an amazing nanotechnology, that can heal or cure most diseases, or slow down the progression of those too advanced to be currently healed. This nanotech resides within the body, and needs to be re-energised at certain intervals to keep delivering the benefits.

However, the world is at war, with various alliances all jostling for power and resources. The US is not directly involved, but supports certain factions.

We open in a hospital ward, where Kalea’s uncle Carson is dying. Lazarus-like, he wakens, and grabs the sleeping Kalea by her ankle. It seems to be a miracle, as the man reverts to full health.

Kalea herself now becomes a viral celebrity, the video of the resurrection having gone world-wide. Privately, she notices enhancements in her own abilities, up to and including reading minds.

Similar patterns and experiences are reported across the US, and then across the world. Unfortunately, the “miracle cure” patients soon revert to their previous illness levels, and then die. However, those like Kalea prosper, and those around them begin to notice aberrations in their normal behaviour.

Slowly, Annaliese realises that her cousin has somehow been taken over by another life-force, one she comes to call the energy aliens. These are a relatively benign group, who have surreptitiously inserted themselves on earth over the past few years/decades. Over the next few months, Annaliese and her US congressman husband seek and obtain US congressional funds to study those “possessed”, and also to discover more about where they come from. Who knew Congress could move that fast??

The energy aliens want only to live in harmony with their human neighbours, but they warn of a second race, the cybernetic aliens, who are building an invasion force, with the threat being imminent. The energy aliens describe how they suffered at their hands, and are seeking refuge, and hope to bolster Earth’s defences to defeat the coming storm.

The cybernetics use the nanotechnology as a means to control humans, the more tech you have, the easier you are to control. They are vastly superior in terms of overall technology, and seek the complete submission and domination of humanity. Their collaborators are promised a myriad of things, but one wonders will the cybernetics deliver, once control is established?

In the second book, we meet Hailey Reed, who becomes the cybernetic’s chief collaborator. She is driven by a sense of unfairness (her life had crumbled just before the aliens gave her a second chance at life), but hers is effectively a Hobson’s choice. She either collaborates, or dies. We learn the cybernetics plan to “evolve” the humans, which could be alien shorthand for genocide.

Earth’s technology has failed in the face of the aliens, and potentially is fatally compromised. Hailey recruits her own band, and seek to infiltrate the upper echelons as deeply as possible, to pave the way for a smoother invasion. Annaliese and Kalea become aware of this, and leads to violence as the struggle for power develops.

In the final book, Emergence, the die is cast. Earth is the only planet left that can support life, and it is a three-way fight for survival. Humanity itself is divided, as there is effectively a world war raging. One side believes the noise about alien invasions is merely a smoke-screen, and seeks to strike first before being struck. The cybernetics have arrived, and looking to terraform the Earth to their own requirements. The energy aliens are weak, and in retreat after being defeated by the cybernetics. Survival of Humanity itself hangs by a thread.

What I Liked:

  • Original take on the alien invasion genre.
  • Primacy of family, both in helping you through a crisis, and how devastating a fall-out can be.
  • The science was interesting, and believable.

What I Didn’t Like:

  • There was a lot of dialogue, which for me tended to slow the pace.
  • A lot of the dialogue was very scientific in basis, which of course is important to illustrate the “aha!” moments, but for me a little too much detail.

Overall:

This is a good trilogy for a YA audience, as it has a strong plot-line, very believable characters, and a consistent pace that moves the story along (though with the caveat above).

It is a good book for a holiday, as it will keep the young sci-fi fan entertained, and there are no concerns around gratuitous violence, etc. Recommended.

Acknowledgements:

I received a free .pdf copy of the Trilogy from the author, in return for an honest and objective review.

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