Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Book Review -Invasion & Author Interview with Jon S. Lewis

By Jon S. Lewis
Published by Thomas Nelson
Released on January 4th, 2011
Ages: 12 & UP
Source- The Publisher
4 stars- I Really Liked It

Colt McAllister is drawn into a war against things he thought only existed in comic books.After a car wreck takes the lives of his parents, Colt moves to Arizona to stay with his grandfather. There, an informant tells him that his parents were actually murdered because his mom, a journalist, was getting ready to write a story exposing Trident Industries. Along with Oz and Danielle, his new comrades at Chandler High, Colt vows to uncover the truth. But the more they learn, the more bizarre reality becomes. Mind control, jet packs, and flying motorcycles only scratch the surface of what they discover. Colt is recruited by a secret organization called the Central Headquarters Against the Occult and Supernatural. But the battle isn't just against an out-of-control giant corporation. A gateway to another world is opening, and the invasion has already begun (quoted from Goodreads).

Jon S. Lewis has done a fantastic job at introducing a new Sci-Fi book that both YA and adult readers will enjoy. I've never read anything quite like this before, as Invasion is a really fun read with it's shape shifting aliens, mind control technology, a secret government agency, flying jet packs, flying motorcycles, out of this world adventures, danger and even a little romance.

Invasion took me by surprise as I really enjoyed all that happens on this wild ride. There's so much I'd like to say, but I don't want to risk giving away any spoilers. I enjoyed how the plot twists are uncovered and the characters. Sixteen year old Colt McAlister is a very intelligent teen, who hails from a highly respected family, who's also part of a secret government agency.
When Colt's parents are killed, Colt is sent to live with his Grandfather in AZ and if dealing with his life being turned upside down wasn't hard enough, Colt's quest for truth will lead him on adventure of his life as uncovers the clues into what and who killed his parents.

Mixed into this sci-fi adventure are to sidekicks and friends Colt relies on to help him. Dani, whom he grew up and Oz, someone he knows is familiar, but can't remember from where. I really liked the three of them, as they are all very realistic, relatable teens living in a brilliantly creative, yet real world. Each of them offers something different to the story- Oz is the good looking fearless, secretive know it all (I mean that in a good way) who knows everyone, and everything. Colt is the typical surfer boy from CA who's a little bit more laid back, and who has intelligence to possibly be the next leader of C.H.A.O.S., and help rid the world of killer aliens. Dani is the brains of the group, and there isn't anything she can't hack into. She's also the only one of the group who doesn't know about CHAOS, the secret government agency, and I love that she can be all girly and yet still act like one of the guys. The romance was written perfectly for the book, as Lily and Colt's chemistry is great. Lily is a beautiful student he meets on his first day at his new school. No, there's no kissy scenes, just a sweet romance that will hopefully grow into something more in the sequel.

I liked how Jon brings a bit of WWII history via a great war hero in Colt's grandfather, and put his own spin on what many thought/think were secret government cover ups. He brings to life comic book heros from the story, mixes that with aliens, gateways, and adds in some pretty amazing characters, high tech gadgets, cover ups, secrets and a lot of adventure. What I enjoyed most about reading Invasion, was how engaging it is. I really enjoyed being apart of a world where everything going on seemed believable. I credit that to Jon's writing and being able to mold together a unique Sci-Fi story with a realistic setting and main characters.

Invasion is a book I recommend picking up if you're a fan of adventure, Sci-Fi or just want to enjoy reading a fun, fast paced, engaging story. I'm looking forward to reading more this series, when Jon's sequel is released next year.

We're excited to have Jon S. Lewis with us today here on Mundie Kids & on Mundie Moms. Jon's newest release for YA readers is Invasion, a fantastic Sci-Fi, adventure and just a little bit of romance (don't worry, there's no kissy scenes).

In two sentences or less, how would you describe Invasion?
Colt McAlister's parents weren't killed by a drunk driver, they were murdered by a corporation running a mind control program -- and they want to take over the world. Colt wants to find his parents' killers, but he gets wrapped up in a secret world filled with aliens, robots and advanced technology that can threaten our very existence.

I love reading a book that has little of everything in it- suspense, danger, action, romance, which Invasion has. What element did you enjoy writing the most?
Strangely, I found myself enjoying the romantic components between Colt and Lily, a girl who seems to have everything -- she's beautiful, her parents have money, and she's loved by everyone -- she's even dating the guy every girl wants. But we find out some important facts about Lily's past that draw her and Colt together.

Where did your draw your inspiration for the story from?
I spent a lot of summers with my grandma growing up, and every day for lunch she'd read me a story. It rotated between David & Goliath and Pinnocchio, and I always wanted to do something with David & Goliath, but I gave David a jet pack and Goliath is a giant robot.

Colt's a great character. In what ways do you find Colt relatable? Is he someone you would have been friends with growing up?
What I like about Colt is that he really has it all -- he's a good looking surfer from San Diego, but he's humble and he doesn't take himself too seriously. I suppose I'd have a streak of jealousy when I first met him, but he'd win me over.

We really like that recently there's been a selection of great releases from a male's point of view, which was some what absent from the YA scene a few years ago. What are some of your favorite books with a guys pov?
Lately it's been Scott Westerfeld's re-imagining of World War I with LEVIATHAN and BEHEMOTH, as well as Eoin Colfer's AIRMAN.

What do you enjoy most about being a writer?
I enjoy the collaborative process of working with the editorial team to make my writing something it would have never been if I just wrote it and put it out there for the world to consume. I'm sure there are super talented writers out there who could get away with out it, but those individuals would be the rare exceptions.

Thank you Jon for being with us today!
Be sure to find out more about Jon's writing by visiting him on his site here http://www.jonslewis.com/
Following him on twitter here http://twitter.com/jonslewis
To learn more about Invasion and the C.H.A.O.S. Novels, visit this site here
I would be most content if my children grew up to be the kind of people who think decorating consists mostly of building enough bookshelves. ~ Anna Quindlen

Good children's literature appeals not only to
the child in the adult, but to the adult in the child.
~ Anonymous ~