3 out of 4 stars
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Minutemen 2041 (Alien Onslaught) by Chris Momb is an action-packed sci-fi novel set in the near future. The narrative transports readers to a dystopian reality where every now and then, human-eating aliens break from their portals and underground hives to feed, leaving great chaos and destruction in their wake.
It’s the year 2041 to be precise, and much of the world has been invaded by aliens. As a counter-measure for the take-over that began seventeen years ago, every citizen must undergo military training while those who are fifteen and older are heavily armed and required to help in combating the recurring alien incursions. At seventeen years old, Tommy has only ever known the destabilized, alien-infested world. Thus, when the incursion alarms sound throughout his city, he is somewhat prepared when he is finally called to serve. This leads him on his first face-to-face battle with the extraterrestrials. While fighting the aliens, Tommy stumbles onto a strange and mysterious object that opens up a can of worms that immediately hurls him down a rabbit hole. Will Tommy be able to worm his way out of the dangers this new discovery brings? Will he understand the purpose and significance of the strange object? Finally, will the aliens ever be defeated?
One of the narrative’s strongest points has to be its commendable world building. The author’s writing style and use of details hauled me into the world of the characters. I could feel the suffocating governance and surveillance of the citizens. I shared the characters’ terror when the man-eating aliens attacked. Just like the characters in the novel, I, too, strangely grew accustomed to the regular citizens, including the teenagers spotting military grade weaponry and armory, and I was a little impressed by their world’s considerably advanced technology. All in all, I appreciated that all these aspects of the narrative were vividly described, as it made me feel as though I was a part of it as a silent character. In addition, the main character and supporting characters were well-defined and believable, which made it easy for me to become invested in the narrative and genuinely care for the characters.
I found the plot intriguing, and once the mystery and suspense elements of the narrative kicked in, I was hooked and could not stop turning pages. The action and battles that graced every few pages or so made for a more thrilling read. In addition, I appreciated the unexpected but relevant historical tidbits incorporated into the narrative. I also liked the relationship dynamics between the characters and the fluid dialogues between them.
The narrative covered a number of themes, such as friendship, romance, betrayal, and political conspiracy, all of which added to the main story. Every chapter opened with a quote, most of which made a statement about politics and war, the rules of government, the US second amendment, liberty, and enlightenment. The constant emphasis on pro-gun sentiments through these quotes and parts of the narrative may isolate and overwhelm those with differing views.
Overall, this could have been a fast-paced read from start to finish. However, there was so much focus on specific details about the different types of guns (weaponry) and their capabilities that it slowed the pace down for me. From the descriptions, there’s no doubt that the author is an expert and has a vast knowledge of guns and military-level weaponry and protocol. Therefore, I can definitely see gun enthusiasts and those with a keen interest in the military appreciating the level of intricate detail in that regard.
Despite being well-written, I encountered a significant number of noticeable errors, such as missing words (mostly prepositions), unnecessary articles, and typographical errors. The novel could use another round of editing; therefore, I rate this book 3 out of 4 stars. Fans of sci-fi novels that focus on the use of arms and alien invasions will enjoy this one. The novel works as a standalone, though the ending leaves room for an exciting sequel.
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