Knopf. (The Overthrow: Bk. 2). Sept. 2020. 416p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781984894762.
Gr 5-7–The second book in “The Overthrow” trilogy proves to be just as absorbing as its predecessor, Bloom. Oppel does a stellar job of picking up seamlessly from its conclusion, when the hybrid teens had finally begun to make headway in the alien invasion of Earth. The evolution of Petra, Seth, and Anaya’s transformations into their alien forms continues to both enthral and horrify them. They are relieved to discover that other teens around the world are exhibiting these same alien features but, to their chagrin, they are rounded up and forced into a secret military bunker. They realize after weeks of experimentations on their alien bodies that it has taken a diabolical turn. The teens rally to rescue Seth from a life-altering operation and escape the bunker. It is here they discover their world has descended into even more chaos from the alien invasion. Strange eggs hatch into bizarre bugs that continue the havoc originally caused by the alien seeds. Even though the hybrid teens are immune to many of these alien manifestations, the humans are not. Petra endures an especially heart-wrenching loss when giant water walkers attack. This sequel is not for the faint of heart. Anaya and Petra’s guilt over leaving Seth behind when they escape the bunker is authentically portrayed, and typical teen experiences of attraction, jealousy, and anger will be relatable to readers. This is not a standalone, but it is well worth it to purchase Bloom as well. The appeal of fantasy, suspense, horror, and relationships will be too strong for readers to resist, and they will be avidly awaiting the final book in this series.
VERDICT An impressive addition to the outstanding trilogy. The teen characters must give in to their alien DNA, which can potentially help them to save Earth. This belongs on all young sci-fi thriller shelves.

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