Ixeos Rebellion With rebel leader Darian free at last, the humans and outsiders on Ixeos must find a way to join forces and defeat the Firsts. The problem? All slaves are tracked with GPS, the Firsts are the only ones with power, and roving gangs hate the rebels just as much as they hate the aliens. As Darian and the outsiders from Earth travel the globe through the mysterious tunnels in Paris, they learn that the Firsts are preparing to launch another wave of biological warfare. With a transporter that will allow the aliens to target any city, anywhere on the planet, the rebels know they must stop them at all costs. As things get more dangerous on Ixeos, the outsiders find that they're pushed to their limit. Will they fight for freedom, no matter the price?
The McClellands are enjoying a lazy summer vacation at the beach when they are lured from our world into Ixeos, an alternate Earth. Finding themselves lost in a maze of tunnels under Paris and surrounded by strangers, they discover that they have been brought to Ixeos for one purpose: to take the planet back from humanoid aliens who have claimed it. With the aid of the tunnels and a mysterious man named Landon, the teens travel the world seeking the key that will allow them to free Darian, the long-imprisoned rebel leader. But the aliens aren't the only problem on Ixeos -- the McClellands have to deal with brutal gangs, desperate junkies, and a world without power, where all the technology is owned by the aliens, and where most of the population has been killed or enslaved. The worst part? There's no way home.
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“What do you think he’s going to do first?” Monkey asked. In his late thirties and of Mayan descent, Monkey was unused to so much inactivity. Since he’d been brought to Paris through a mining tunnel in New Mexico, he had been the point man for missions all over Europe. He rarely sat still. He had gotten his nickname because he was an expert climber and had evaded capture on several occasions by this skill. Now, confined to the tunnels for weeks at a time, he was antsy and ready to get started on the next thing.
Neahle shrugged and continued eating her apple. It was the biggest question on everyone’s mind, and no one had an answer. That didn’t keep anyone from asking. She tucked a long blond strand behind her ear as she chewed.
“Maybe he’s waiting for Landon to come back,” she said. “He’s gone out and met with a few people, but the Firsts are on high alert now. Maybe his dad has the strategy.”
Landon had brought all the outsiders to the tunnels. No one knew where he came from or how he had transported them to another world in another dimension. No one had known Darian was his son, either, until after he was rescued. Landon didn’t share much.
“Marty says things are settling down around the planet. The Firsts expected more attacks after the big day. Since nothing else happened, they seem confused.” Marty had cloned two cell phones using seldom active numbers from the Firsts’ network. This let the computer station and the tunnels be in twice-daily contact, a much better situation than their former method of hand delivering information once a week.
“Can they feel confused? I thought they didn’t feel any emotion.” Neahle dropped the apple core into her empty cereal bowl.
It was Monkey’s turn to shrug. “I don’t know if that’s an emotion. They don’t know what to expect, I guess. It was logical to think we’d keep hammering them after that huge coordinated attack. When we didn’t, well, they don’t know what we’re up to.”
“We don’t know what we’re doing either,” Neahle said with a laugh.
What Jennings looks for in a summer read
Summer reading… When you’re a kid, it’s not such a great concept, because the books assigned in school are never books you actually want to read. But once you get to make that decision on your own, it has its own delicious adventurousness about it.
For me, a good summer read isn’t heavy. I don’t want to have to think too hard, or be sad or angry. (A few tears are okay, but some books just make you sad for days, and that’s not a good summer read!) I like adventure, mystery, and a good laugh every once in awhile. Exotic locations are high on the list, as is a bit of history, or weird science trivia.
Right now I’m reading James Rollins’ new book, Eye of God. In the first 17% of the book (thanks, Kindle, for keeping track!), I’ve been to Macau, learned about dark energy and kinks in space/time, and seen enough bullets fly to start a small war. Before that, I’d reread all of the Percy Jackson books, starting with The Lightning Thief and ending with The Mark of Athena. While these have nothing at all in common as far as genre, characters or plot, they are both wonderful escapist fun.
We all still think of our summers as escapist, don’t we? Even when we have jobs and real life has set in, we harken back to those nostalgic days of swimming, beach combing, and playing with friends until our mom yelled, “Dinner!” The days are long, the fireflies are out, people dress more casually, food is fresher, there’s always ice cream in the freezer, and we can prop open our dog-eared paperback with a cold can of Coke while we suck on a popsicle.
Books that are great on a cold winter day by the fire just don’t cut it when your nose is sunburned and the grill is fired up for hotdogs. We can’t read War and Peace or Anna Karinina while the ac is blasting cold air, barely keeping up with the summer heat. We need the Stephanie Plum books by Janet Evanovich, or a Rick Riordan retrospective. Maybe revisit The Shining so we can remember those creepy ghost stories around summer campfires.
No matter where we spend our summer days – and I’m lucky enough to be writing this while at the beach – spend your free time on books that take you away to somewhere wonderful and fun. It’s the cheapest vacation we’ll ever have!
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