5 out of 5 stars
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Invasion of the Sects is an action-packed science fiction/fantasy novel set in a dystopian world where alien creatures, called sects, rule. It hasn't rained in fifty years, and water has become a rationed luxury. The ground is scorched, plants don't do well, and several water sources have dried up. WaterBear, a Native Indian also known as Josey, is the only one who can find water for the sects, a gift that keeps him alive. However, the sects have a taste for the eyes of blonds with blue eyes. One day, WaterBears' adopted daughter, Julie, almost became a victim of the aliens. He saved her in the nick of time, but, he knew he had to do something to free all lives, including humans, animals, and the elusive Tautarians (former non-human sect slaves) from the sect's rule. However, he quickly discovers that the sects aren't the only obstacle he had to face.
Invasion of the Sects has lots of positive aspects. But I found the amount of respect the author has for all lives to be the book's most endearing quality. Shane Hibdon crafted a world where humans, tuatarians, and animals live and work together with dignity and respect for each other. Their union is not without conflict, but their willingness to unite for a common goal shows what's possible, with good leadership, when people work together.
The novel is rife with constant action and suspense; hence, I had no time to get bored. However, what really held me spellbound was the author's uncanny ability to make the story feel ancient yet modern. One moment you are reading about WaterBear drinking from a cave pool; the next moment, the narration shifts to when he and his father found a battery-powered projector. The transitions are always subtle and seamless, but they kept my senses engaged and invested in the story.
Overall, the novel ended satisfactorily, with all the loose ends tied up. Still, I wish Shane had fleshed out the origin of the sects' invasion and the women of the Order of Julian a bit more. I have some unanswered questions about them. Hopefully, I will get answers in the prequel, no, I don't mean sequel, when it's out.
None of the quibbles I mentioned affected my enjoyment of the book. It's a well-narrated story that is replete with intrigue and endearing characters. Though I spotted some errors while reading, they weren't distracting enough to prevent me from rating the book 5 out of 5 stars.
The story is a beautiful medley of dystopian science fiction and action with trimmings of fantasy and romance. If you enjoy novels in these genres, the book will be worth your time.
Invasion of the Sects
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