Saturday, February 2, 2013

Early Review: The Burn Zone by James K. Decker

Release Date: February 5, 2013
Published by: Roc
Source: Provided by publisher

Plagued by overpopulation, disease, and starvation, humanity was headed for extinction—until an alien race called the haan arrived. And then the real trouble began.

It’s been a rough day for Sam Shao. As part of a program that requires humans to act as surrogates to haan infants, Sam has been genetically enhanced to bond with them. So when three soldiers invade her apartment and arrest her guardian for smuggling a dangerous weapon into the country, Sam can sense that something isn’t right. One of his abductors is a haan masquerading as a human, and the supposedly fragile haan seems to be anything but.

Racing through the city slums, trying to stay one step ahead of the mysterious haan soldier, Sam tries to find the man who, in her twenty years, has been the only father she’s ever known. Could he truly have done what he is accused of? Or did he witness something both human and haan would kill to keep hidden? The only thing certain is that the weapon is real—and lost now somewhere in a city of millions.

Fighting the clock, Sam finds an ally in Nix, a haan envoy devoted to coexisting with humans, or so it seems. But what she really needs are answers. Fast. Or else everything she knows—and everyone she loves—will burn.

The Burn Zone is a fast-paced, action-packed sci-fi debut full of twists and turns that will constantly leave you guessing.  

Decker has created a gritty and complex world where the cities are overpopulated and the people are poor and starving. Most blame the declining conditions on the alien race now inhabiting their world, while some cling to the hope that they may be the answer to their salvation.

Sam, the story's protagonist, is a surrogate mother to the haan infants and one of their supporters. She chooses to focus on the ways that they have benefited from the haans' presence as opposed to others who see only what they have taken away. She feeds and cares for each infant in exchange for a stipend and is able to communicate with them through brain-band mites that each surrogate is enhanced with.

From the very beginning, the story delivers intense action scenes that leave you on the edge of your seat. Sam quickly discovers that her guardian, Dragan, has been labeled a traitor. He arrives home and is chased by soldiers who have been ordered to take him into custody.

Sam's attempts to aid Dragan have the soldiers pursuing her as well and she learns that they are searching for a twistkey and a child named Alexei Drugov. She eventually discovers that Dragan has placed him in a secret location and it becomes imperative that Sam take possession of the twistkey and find Alexei or millions of lives will be lost. She receives help from her friend Vamp and finds an unlikely ally in a haan named Nix. 

Lies unravel, secrets and conspiracies are revealed, and Sam is no longer sure of who she can trust. It all leads to an ending that can only be described as an adrenaline rush and the twist presented in the last chapter leaves you wanting more.

I would highly recommend The Burn Zone to any fans of action-packed sci-fi thrillers with page-turning mysteries.


Braine TS said...

Exciting! Although I am not into aliens it sounds like the action parts more than made up for the sci-fi bits.

Addicted2Heroines said...

I don't often read books that feature aliens, but this one was awesome. And the protagonist was smart and capable. I think you would enjoy it.

Kah Cherub said...

Wow. That sounds very different. Color me intrigued. O.o awesome review!

Addicted2Heroines said...

Thank you! <3

Melliane said...

I didn't know this one but I'm intrigued. Mainly by the world. thank you!

Addicted2Heroines said...

You're welcome, Melliane. Thanks for stopping by!

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