The Rise of Io by Wesley Chu
Ella Patel – thief, con-artist and smuggler – is in the wrong place at the wrong time. One night, on the border of a demilitarized zone run by the body-swapping alien invaders, she happens upon a man and woman being chased by a group of assailants. The man freezes, leaving the woman to fight off five attackers at once, before succumbing. As she dies, to both Ella and the man’s surprise, the sparkling light that rises from the woman enters Ella, instead of the man. She soon realizes she’s been inhabited by Io, a low-ranking Quasing who was involved in some of the worst decisions in history. Now Ella must now help the alien presence to complete her mission and investigate a rash of murders in the border states that maintain the frail peace. With the Prophus assigned to help her seemingly wanting to stab her in the back, and the enemy Genjix hunting her, Ella must also deal with Io’s annoying inferiority complex. To top it all off, Ella thinks the damn alien voice in her head is trying to get her killed. And if you can’t trust the voices in your head, who can you trust?
Exciting, action-filled and dramatic! This is a sci-fi adventure, although it’s set on Earth and the aliens aren’t little green men (both of which are definite pluses). It’s a mix of action and thriller, with some nice tense moments; a good read for anyone who likes either of those genres! I haven’t read the rest of the series – although I believe they’re set in the same world, not necessarily concurrent. Certainly it doesn’t affect this book if you haven’t read any of the others.
While the set-up at first seems fairly simplistic (there’s a good side and a bad side, and the Baddy Is Bad) it gets more complex later on. I admit I struggled a little to follow the twists, but that’s more my not reading closely enough than any fault of the writing! Certainly it makes for some interesting action twists in the second half of the book. I liked Ella and the other characters are fun, nasty, interesting and attractive – Chu’s writing is fun and the character descriptions definitely give you enough insight into the figures that surround Ella.
So overall, it’s fun, action-filled, and worth a read if you like action sci-fi – I’m not sure if I’m going to pick up any of the others, but it was certainly a good recommendation! (via Books on the Hill).