3 out of 4 stars
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The Defender of Babylon, written by Allen W. Pease, is a sci-fi adventure for teenagers and young adults. In this imaginative story, the fourteen-year-old protagonist, Rhyan Ivars, and his fifteen-year-old best friend, Michael Francis, find themselves up against an alien threat.
It all starts when a UFO in distress contacts them and asks for help. It has the shape of a perfect sphere and a System of Artificial Mentality, aka Sam, runs it. The teenagers learn that Sam came from planet Babylon, which has been at war with the Syreans for more than a hundred years. The UFO sustained damages in the war and thought it could find help on Earth. But the Syreans come after him and threaten to wage war on Earth, too. In the following eleven days, a lot happens! To avoid a hostile alien invasion, Rhyan must dominate advanced technology, travel through space, and overcome many threats and dangers.
The protagonist is a lovely and well-developed character. What I liked the most about this story was how the author developed Rhyan’s interaction with Sam – it was the crux of the plot. Their minds could be linked together. While connected, they can see everything that the other sees, which empowers them mutually. Sam’s powers reach their full effectiveness only when it becomes one with its operator, and Rhyan finds a way to do it, which transforms them into an unbeatable force. Rhyan grows as he learns to link into Sam’s systems, so this is also a coming-to-age story.
It’s hard to explain another aspect I enjoyed without giving away any spoilers. What I can say is that Sam’s connection with Rhyan results in a life-changing discovery for the teenager. I also appreciate closing in a narrative, and the author does a great job of tying everything neatly. Additionally, the book carries great lessons of friendship, conflict resolution, and resilience. I believe it bears a heartening message, especially for young readers.
In closing, I found no negatives worth mentioning. The sci-fi background and the coming-of-age story go together beautifully in this engaging novel. It has an energetic arc, and the characters are well-developed. Also, there is no profanity or anything offensive in it. It is a fun read that I would highly recommend for teenagers and young adults. The only reason I’m taking a star away, rating it 3 out of 4 stars, is that I found several minor editing mishaps in it. After another round of editing, I would gladly give it the highest rating.
The Defender of Babylon
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