Close to half a century after starfish-like creatures from a star 20 light-years away short-circuited Apollo 11's mission to the Moon, Alison Grossbard, her brother Arnold, his girlfriend Kayleigh Scott, and their friend Jo Purnell struggle with this impossible moral dilemma and the trials of growing up in coastal Virginia. Their actions will change their world forever.
*May Contain Spoilers*
Martin Berman-Gorvine questions humanity's actions against alien leaders in his science fiction novel, Heroes of Earth. When a new librarian shows up at school, the Chincoteague children think nothing of it. Until she shows them there is a passageway to parallel universes in which history varies and aliens don't rule the world. Upon learning that the world could be different, the teenagers vow to rebel against the aliens and birth a new resistance.
Berman-Gorvine writes his characters heavy with flaws which immediately helps them be more realistic to readers, though it doesn't make it incredibly easy to like them. Alison is the older sister of Arnold and has one good friend. She's decent in school and knows that she wants to go to college. Alison plays the mother-hen role as her mother is disabled for a good two-thirds of the novel. She knows she has to look out for Arnold and does a pretty good job at the beginning, but she isn't the rebellious type. I got the impression that she's the 'make the best of every situation' type, which is commendable in it's own right. I liked Alison's character the most, even if she was a little mean to Arnold at times. (What are older siblings for?)
Arnold, on the other hand, I had a hard time connecting with. I felt sorry for him when he was being bullied and was proud when he stood up for himself, but when his resistance turned into him being manipulated... I didn't care for that. Though he is a young man brimming with naivete. It was difficult to connect with someone being tricked into doing horrible things. Arnold is the main main character of the novel and the focus is definitely on him as he tries to fight back against the invaded aliens.
Kayliegh and Jo are Arnold's sort-of-sidekicks. Jo is from a parallel Earth where the United States never separated itself from England. She's a feisty firecracker who pretends to be tougher than she is. I enjoyed her spunk and liveliness. Kayliegh is a girl that Arnold goes to school with and gains sympathy with readers almost instantly because her home life is a steady stream of alcohol-induced abuse.
The story line begins with Gloria, the new librarian. Heroes of Earth slowly becomes a novel about rebellion and fighting against the 'Winged-Thinkers' who have taken over Earth. Arnold and Jo quickly form the Freedom Fighters of Earth, but Arnold also wants to join an established resistance. When Arnold finds himself the acting proxy of one resistance group, he thinks he is making a positive difference, but Alison can see he's being used. The plot heats up even more when the troop learns that new alien technology is a ploy for mind control and personal gain. Overall the story line was interesting but a bit confusing at first with the parallel universes and explanation of the alien invasion. The things that Berman-Gorvine creatively changed in history was also a bit of a stumbling block for me. I think fans of science fiction will appreciate this novel, even with the limited character connections and unclear world separations as it is undoubtedly entertaining and inventive.
Rating: 2.5/5 Cups