by Blaine C. Readler
Full Arc Press

"The alien cicada popped up in front of them, hovering in the thick barn air just beyond the edge of the loft."

Rommy is driving home from work when he hears a mechanical whining sound directly above him. The next moment, he wakes up in a cabin with three strangers and no idea how he got there. Exploring, Rommy and the others find dead bodies that match pictures in the cabin and a vehicle that seems to be smashed from above. They soon realize that the buzzing they keep hearing is from a cicada that is following them around. The cicada, however, is not from this world. Their suspicions are confirmed when they spot an alien vessel targeting another group of humans in a distant cabin. In a world overrun with alien invaders, people bent on survival by any means may be their biggest threat.

Readler's novel does a good job in worldbuilding an earth that has been recently invaded. The need for information and the slow realization of what is happening is skillfully unraveled. As the characters deal with meeting their basic necessities and exploring the world around them, the tension grows correspondingly. The characters are likable enough, although the roles they play in the story seem to be more important than giving them depth. Readler's sentences are well-written, and he does a good job with pacing. The story is reminiscent of The War of the Worlds by H.G. Wells. Science fiction readers, especially those who like their stories a little more grounded without interstellar dogfights and lots of advanced technology, will find this book to be an enjoyable read. Also, the ending does a good job of wrapping up the protagonist's current plight while still leaving plenty for the reader to think about and the author to explore in later titles.

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