Tuesday, March 6, 2012

POD-Stephen Wallenfels


Stephen Wallenfels

Ace, Apr 24 2012, $7.99

ISBN: 9781937007430

In Prosser, Washington, the screeching noise wakes up teenager Josh and his dad. They quickly realize they have no phone, internet, radio or TV service. They are stunned to see the humongous grayish spheres. Josh watches in horror as the newspaper delivery person Jamie vanishes into a light. Father and son quickly realize anyone outside is zapped so they rush back inside their home wondering what to do when their food and water are gone. The pair gets on each other’s nerves as time slowly passes while under “house arrest”.

At the same time in Los Angeles, tweener Megs says good-bye to her mom in a hotel parking garage. Soon afterward the sphere arrives. Megs quickly realizes anyone outside is zapped as she sits in her mom’s car. She enters the hotel where those in charge brutally control supplies, viciously keep families apart and ruthlessly kill any opposition.

Rotating perspective between the protagonists, readers obtain a throwback survivor science fiction novel that is a sort of The Lord Of The Flies inside a pre-virus The War of the Worlds. The comparison between the subplots is enlightening as the lead pair considers how much their lives changed as they recognize their world will never be the same. The cast is solid especially Josh the teen and Megs the tweener who act their respective age, and while we never meet the aliens outside the POD that adds to the sense of terror. Ironically, humans behave eve more horrid towards each other than the POD invaders in an entertaining young adult thriller.

Harriet Klausner

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