Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Review: Helia's Shadow by K.C. Neal

Book & Author details:

Helia’s Shadow: Part One by K.C. Neal
(The Starlight Age #1)
Publication date: November 23rd 2014
Genres: Science Fiction, Young Adult

Helia’s Shadow is for fans of The 5th Wave (Rick Yancey), The Hunger Games (Suzanne Collins), Divergent (Veronica Roth), and Legend (Marie Lu).

When the aliens arrived, they were hailed as the saviors of a dying Earth and dwindling human race. But the aliens didn’t come to help. Now, one human girl’s ingenious invention and one alien boy’s awakened heart are humanity’s last hope…

Nineteen years ago, aliens arrived on a barely habitable Earth with advanced technology and the promise of ensuring human survival in exchange for a place to settle. They were hailed as the saviors of humans and Earth.

Today, 16-year-old Helia wants two things in life: to step out of her over-protective mother’s shadow and become an engineer, and to stop hiding her relationship with alien boy Kalo. But the world definitely isn’t ready for a human-alien romance. And worse, the human-alien partnership is crumbling. Humans are arrested without explanation. Some of them are never seen again.

When the alien leader imprisons her mother on a false charge, Helia discovers the aliens never intended to help humans at all. Now, she must join forces with alien rebels. If she succeeds, humans have a chance at survival and she has a chance at love. If she fails, the dwindling human race dies out in slavery.



In previous iterations of my professional life, I worked as a bench chemist, a lab equipment tester, a biotech researcher, and a medical writer. Strangely, this sequence has not led to my dream job: drummer in a rock band. But my current gig is pretty sweet.

I love colored pens and sticky notes, sunsets and sunrises, digging my fingers into the dirt and nurturing the things that grow in it, and learning anything and everything. I’m a scientist who studies astrology, a go-with-the-flow Type A, and an impatient practitioner of daily meditation. A big bag of contradictions, just like everyone else.

Author links

Entertaining/Pleasant Read

Oh, aliens. Oh silly earth people who decimated their planet via nuclear war. Oh forbidden love. 

Sci-Fi Dystopian fans rejoice! This post-apocalypse style story will set your heart a racin' as there is nothing even remotely cute about humans nearly wiping themselves out of existence and aliens coming to colonize the planet. Yet somehow, even in all the muck of nuclear fallout and alien takeover love can happen. Love knows no race, no disability, no age, no gender, no intergalactic species. *sigh* Yeah, love is great.

Despite the romance aspects I do believe that this managed to be a solid story without the off-limits relationship (which was still sweet, okay, I admit it) . I may have read a bit deeper than intended because I kept connecting the dots between the big-brother aliens and some of our own fauxpas against humanity in both recent and current history.

Helia is a great heroine with strengths that carry her through without too much support from secondary individuals (more of this, please). Many of the characters presented (ex: Gordon, Ellerine, Helia's mother) felt natural and necessary to the plot and added depth to the overall experience of this book. And I mean, they weren't flat useless characters used to fill up page space.  As far as Kalo (the alien love interest), he was most certainly likable. I'm afraid I can't say much more than that because my opinion doesn't extend past that. He was just... likeable.

Most certainly action packed, with a pace that didn't lag unnecessarily around any boring plot points. Though I discovered that I'm not necessarily a fan of alien-themed Sci-Fi, I was pleased with the entire concept of this book overall, the character development, plot set up and world depiction (tragic and beautiful all at once). While this wasn't my favorite read of all time, it certainly wasn't boring. 

I would absolutely recommend it to readers with a strong interest in sci-fi or dystopian themes.


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1 comment:

  1. Great review, Auggie! I'm a big character reader so a realistic cast of non-fluff characters is always a big plus for me. And Helia sounds like my kind of MC, too! :) Glad you liked it!