Gravity (The Taking #1)
by Melissa West
Release Date: 12/18/12
Entangled Teen 284 pages
Summary from Goodreads:
In the future, only one rule will matter:
Don’t. Ever. Peek.
Seventeen-year-old Ari Alexander just broke that rule and saw the last person she expected hovering above her bed — arrogant Jackson Locke, the most popular boy in her school. She expects instant execution or some kind of freak alien punishment, but instead, Jackson issues a challenge: help him, or everyone on Earth will die.
Ari knows she should report him, but everything about Jackson makes her question what she’s been taught about his kind. And against her instincts, she’s falling for him. But Ari isn’t just any girl, and Jackson wants more than her attention. She’s a military legacy who’s been trained by her father and exposed to war strategies and societal information no one can know — especially an alien spy, like Jackson. Giving Jackson the information he needs will betray her father and her country, but keeping silent will start a war.
PHYSICSthe force that attracts a body toward the center of the earth, or toward any other physical body having mass. For most purposes Newton’s laws of gravity apply, with minor modifications to take the general theory of relativity into account.
extreme or alarming importance; seriousness.“crimes of the utmost gravity”
In Melissa West’s intriguing dystopian science fiction novel things have gone bad for the human race. Very bad. After World War IV, yes you read that correctly, unsurprisingly the Earth was no longer able to support life after the last nuclear exchange. However in a devil’s bargain the human race sacrificed their freedom to survive.
A mysterious alien race known as the Ancients revitalized the planet for a price, unable to acclimatize to the Earth’s atmosphere without assistance every citizen over age 10 was required to participate in “the taking”. The transference that allows the Ancients to survive on the planets surface was not something Ari was ever supposed to witness until the evening she “misplaces” her patch and realizes that her designated Ancient, the recipient of her sacrifice is being made to her greatest rival Jackson Locke.
Ari’s life plan is already set, destined to be the high commander after her father she is “engaged” to the son and heir of the President. She is in an untenable position, faced with betrayal of her father and by extension her race or war and possible global extinction. Jackson is an enigma, an Ancient passing as a human. Is he a spy simply looking to further the interests of his race or something more?
I adore speculative and science fiction, nothing holds the allure of space and more specifically aliens for me. If I were to attribute it to anything it would have to be those early episodes of Doctor Who on PBS but what cinched it for me would be the 1983 miniseries “V”. I challenge you to find any 10 year old that could resist reptilian humanoid aliens staging an invasion!
Ari is that perfect blend of bad-ass and idealist never straying too far to either side, that dangerous territory of whiny angsty teen or succumbing to stupid “I am invincible” heroine syndrome. West’s characterization truly was superior luring the reader with tantalizing glimpses of Jackson yet still leaving us wanting more without completely frustrating the reader in the process.
Gravity completely satisfied my alien loving soul and ensured that I would be one-clicking the second and third in the series without delay. If you have not read Gravity yet, I can only urge you to do the same.
About the Author
Melissa West writes young adult and new adult novels for Entangled Teen and Embrace and Penguin/InterMix. She lives outside of Atlanta, GA with her husband and two daughters and spends most of her time writing, reading, or fueling her coffee addiction. She holds a B.A. in Communication Studies and a M.S. in Graphic Communication, both from Clemson University. Yeah, her blood runs orange.
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