Author: Robison Wells
Release Date: March 29, 2016
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary Science Fiction
Told: First Person, Past Tense
Content Rating: Older Teen (gruesome visuals, violence, violent alien attacks, kissing)
Format Read: ARC (trade)
Find On: Goodreads
Purchase On: Amazon | B&N | Book Depository
We are not alone.
Five days ago, a massive UFO crashed in the Midwest. Since then, nothing—or no one—has come out.
They have arrived.
If it were up to Alice, she’d be watching all of this on the news from Miami, Florida. Instead, she’s the newest student at a boarding school not far from the crash site—because her dad is the director of special projects for NASA, and if anything is a special project, it’s this.
And there’s no going back.
A shell-shocked country is waiting, glued to televisions and computer screens, for a sign of what the new future holds. But when the aliens emerge, they’re nothing like what Alice expected. And only one thing is clear: Nothing will ever be the same again.
* * *
In a Sentence: A thrilling and chilling contemporary sci-fi with quick wit, engaging characters, and a compelling story, despite a creepy alien element.
Dark Energy was a genre roller coaster that began a light contemporary sci-fi, plunged into horror at the middle, veered into a tense adventure before a thriller climax, and ended on a romantic note. From the first sentence I was instantly engaged by easy, witty writing with great banter, simple yet realistic settings, and a diverse and relatable cast of characters. Except for a few instances of rather vivid and unnerving horror, the story was fast paced and engaging with exciting and surprising twists, including an ancient mystery I found quite unique and interesting.
Alice was a fun and, in spite of the horror upbeat viewpoint character thanks to her easygoing attitude and adventurous streak, and the posse of fierce friends she collected were smart and snarky and I loved every one of them. (I especially adored her NASA dad and their close yet liberal relationship.) The romance was cute and sweet in the face of the action and adversity, and I appreciated that it took its time to build over the entire book. Given all the tension I felt the ending was plausible, and the story wrapped up nicely.
Conclusion: A thrilling read that always kept me engaged with effortless banter, relatable characters, and chilling twists. Despite a few rather squicky bits, I really enjoyed the quick and exciting read and look forward to trying more by Robison Wells.