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Reviewed by Caitlin Lyle Farley for Readers' Favorite
The teenage boy remembers nothing from before the Welorin attacked Earth, not even his own name. He survives one day at a time, fleeing the deranged aerobics instructors and lawyers reeducated to crave human flesh; and the snatchers—humans working with the Welorin to capture what remains of humanity in the ruins of Washington DC and across the globe. With food and water almost impossible to find, and Welorin drones and fighter planes patrolling the city, it’s not long before the boy’s luck runs out and a crew of snatchers captures him. His sadistic overseers subject him to unimaginable horrors while ensuring his obedience via the collar around his neck. They force him to hunt down other survivors for their camps, a duty that provides the teenager with an opportunity to escape, a friend who names him Alaric, and a daring flight from Earth.
Scion of Conquered Earth by Michael J. Allen is an adrenalin-filled adventure that hits all the right spots. Allen’s vivid and engaging prose conjures a deeply convincing vision of a dystopian Earth in all its chaos and ruin. Alaric is capable, intelligent, and skilled without ever coming across as being anything more than a normal person and, while he does suffer from amnesia, this doesn’t create unnecessary melodrama in the story. Scion of Conquered Earth does feature torture, mainly in a psychological form, but Allen handles the topic well. What begins as a dystopian novel of survival in a world conquered by amoral aliens effortlessly shifts into the more exotic but no less thrilling arena of space travel.