Homicidal Aliens & Other Disappointments

By . 6 CDs. 6:55 hrs. Brilliance Audio. 2013. ISBN 9781480518520. $54.97.
Gr 9 Up—In Yansky's sequel (2013), Jesse's world has changed a lot since the events in Alien Invasion and Other Inconveniences (2010, Candlewick). He's endured betrayal and the deaths of several people close to him, but also the rescue/return of his sidekick, Michael. While the book starts mid action, the back story about the alien invasion of Earth, the eradication of most of its inhabitants, and Jesse's developing telepathic abilities is provided through Jesse's memories, so newcomers can catch up quickly. Uncomfortable with being called the "Chosen One" after he killed one of the alien lords and escaped captivity, Jesse can't help the fact that his powers have increased. He is able to see variants of the future and tries to lead New America in positive ways, especially by convincing others that thousands of aliens are planning to colonize their world. Jesse is wise beyond his years and is a cynical yet naïve hero. His insights give him determination, especially when he has to stop a possible nuclear disaster. Narrator Alexander Cendese is good at conveying the various ethnicities and emotions of the many secondary characters, and he gives Jesse a gravelly Sam Spade voice. While the ending may seem a bit abrupt, there is plenty of action and surprises to keep the attention of listeners.—Edie Ching, University of Maryland, College Park

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