In a futuristic landscape ravaged by war, a colony’s hopes for survival hinge on one teenage boy in this fast-paced, action-packed story “filled with interesting plot twists, compelling characters, and gripping action” (VOYA).
Querry Genn is in trouble. He can’t remember anything before the last six months. And Querry needs to remember. Otherwise he is dead weight to the other members of Survival Colony 9, one of the groups formed after a brutal war ravaged the earth. And now the Skaldi have come to scavenge what is left of humanity. No one knows what the Skaldi are, or why they are here, just that they impersonate humans, taking their form before shedding the corpse like a skin.
Desperate to prove himself after the accident that stole his memory, Querry is both protected and tormented by the colony’s authoritarian commander, his father. The only person he can talk to is the beautiful Korah, but even with her, he can’t shake the feeling that something is desperately wrong. Whatever is going on, Querry is at the center of it, for a secret in his past not only makes him a target of the Skaldi’s wrath, but the key to the colony’s future.
Debut author Bellin weaves a bleak postapocalyptic tale of survival against overwhelming odds, centering around an amnesiac teenager who plays a pivotal role in his colony's attempt to stay alive. Fifty years after civilization is destroyed by war, humanity's remnants wander the Earth, scrounging to survive while staying one step ahead of the Skaldi, predatory aliens who destroy their victims from within by stealing their bodies. Querry Genn, son of Survival Colony 9's leader, can't remember anything prior to a Skaldi attack six months ago, leaving him outcast and confused. When the colony is ripped apart by tragedy and betrayal, Querry must step up to act as leader and take the fight to the Skaldi. Bellin's worldbuilding may be a little too effective: his setting is a blasted ruin, his antagonists are nebulously evil, and his characters are desperate and depressed (readers may begin to feel the same). The climax relies on a poorly explained deus ex machina, and it's hard to find hope for the beleaguered survivors as they trudge through society's ruins. Ages 14 up.