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FICTION/Graham Heather
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Science fiction
Suspense fiction
New York : Tor 2017.
First edition
Item Description
"A Tom Doherty Associates book."
Physical Description
397 pages ; 25 cm
Main Author
Heather Graham (author)
Other Authors
Jon Land (author)
Review by Booklist Reviews

Yes, this genre-blender has elements of a suspense thriller, but, at its core, the novel is 1950s-style science fiction, like Robert Heinlein used to write, with a teenage hero, a girl buddy, and futuristic weapons, this time "plasma rifles." Alex Chin is a high-school footballer with a bright future until he's slammed during a game. Hospital tests cause the machinery to explode and the doctor to mutter, "the scan showed a shadow." Alex and girl-pal Sam begin an inquiry while on the run and, with the help of a large cast, learn that Alex was transported here from another planet; the aliens are growing us for food. But Alex is a child of the good element, with knowledge to thwart the food scheme—the "shadow" in his head—and he and Sam must battle the evil aliens while trying to save the world. Heinlein knew how to drive a narrative line through the fantastic stuff; Graham and Land try to do the same thing, but they sometimes allow the premise to slow things down. Still, this is a treat for fans of retro genre mash-ups. Copyright 2016 Booklist Reviews.

Review by Library Journal Reviews

Graham, a Romance Writers of America Lifetime Achievement Award winner and a ThrillerMaster at this summer's Thrillerfest, and USA Today best-selling author Land ask why anyone would want to kill the doctor and parents of injured high school football star Alex Chin and target Alex himself? [Page 59]. (c) Copyright 2016 Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Review by Library Journal Reviews

In just 24 hours, Alex Chin went from being a popular high school athlete with the whole world in front of him to an injured fugitive trying to make sense of his parents' murder and hiding from their killers. Adopted as an infant, Alex possesses special abilities that were previously unknown to him but that are valuable and dangerous to others. His parents and doctor all died as a result of knowing his secret. On the run with tutor and NASA intern Samantha, Alex tries to piece together clues and confessional videos from his late parents in an effort to learn as much about his past and birth parents as he can before he becomes the next victim. This collaboration by suspense novelists Graham (Night Moves) and Land ("Caitlin Strong" series) feels familiar—think Netflix series Stranger Things or the 1986 film The Manhattan Project—and what it lacks in originality, it makes up for in pacing and occasional suspense. Short, brisk chapters keep the narrative flowing. VERDICT Both the authors' fans and readers who appreciate the thrillers of Catherine Coulter will find this title entertaining.—Nicole A. Cooke, GSLIS, Univ. of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Copyright 2016 Library Journal.

Review by Publishers Weekly Reviews

Alex Chin, the hero of this ambitious, technology-centered SF thriller from bestseller Graham (The Unseen) and Land (Strong Cold Dead), has enjoyed an outstanding football career at San Francisco's St. Ignatius College Prep, until he's knocked out on the playing field during a game. Thereafter Alex finds himself battling a clandestine group that includes a vicious homicidal general, androids posing as cops, and a shadowy figure known as ash man. Fortunately, Samantha "Sam" Dixon, a brilliant fellow high school student with a crush on Alex, fights by his side. To ensure the world's survival, Alex must discover the secret of his origin, which his devoted, loving parents have kept from him, and unearth a vital piece of information, which he's unaware is already in his possession. Alex's perilous journey to solve these puzzles while trying to avoid those bent on destroying him can seem interminable at times, but his developing relationship with Sam will keep readers emotionally invested. Agents: Lucy Childs, Aaron M. Priest Literary Agency (Graham); Natalia Aponte, Natalia Aponte Literary Agency (Land). (Jan.) Copyright 2016 Publisher Weekly.

Review by School Library Journal Reviews

Alex Chin, the star quarterback, and his science-loving tutor, Samantha Dixon, are thrust together in a 24-hour science fiction adventure. Family members die, government officials lie, and the two teenagers discover that Alex's adoption was the beginning of a global crisis. Sam, who's interning at NASA, has connections, while quick-thinking Alex possesses sharp reflexes, and the two must collaborate to escape from the government special ops team and superhumans trying to capture or kill them. With adolescent main characters and nonstop action, this sci-fi page-turner could have easily been published as YA and will have plenty of teen crossover appeal. California's Alcatraz and San Francisco provide the perfect setting for this roller coaster of a novel. The budding romance between Alex and Sam barely has time to bloom among the cloak-and-dagger activities, but hopefully a sequel will continue the relationship and offer a resolution to Alex's problems. VERDICT Buy where fast-paced action thrillers and science fiction such as Rick Yancey's The 5th Wave are popular.—Sarah Hill, Lake Land College, Mattoon, IL Copyright 2017 School Library Journal.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

When a college-bound football star is targeted by the same forces that kill his family and land him in the hospital, he flees at the side of the school valedictorian he loves to investigate the dangerous truth about his real identity.

Review by Publisher Summary 2

When a college-bound football star is targeted by the same forces that kill his family and land him in the hospital, he flees at the side of the school valedictorian he loves to investigate the dangerous truth about his real identity. By the best-selling author of the Krewe of Hunters series and the best-selling author of the Texas Ranger Caitlin Strong series.

Review by Publisher Summary 3

From acclaimed thriller-suspense novelists Heather Graham and Jon Land comes a story of action, mystery, and the endurance of young love in The Rising. Twenty-four hours. That's all it takes for the lives of two young people to be changed forever. Alex Chin has the world on a plate. A football hero and homecoming king with plenty of scholarship offers, his future looks bright. His tutor, Samantha Dixon, is preparing to graduate high school at the top of her class. She plans to turn her NASA internship into a career. When a football accident lands Alex in the hospital, his world is turned upside down. His doctor is murdered. Then, his parents. Death seems to follow him wherever he goes, and now it's after him. Alex flees. He tells Samantha not to follow, but she became involved the moment she walked through his door and found Mr. and Mrs. Chin as they lay dying in their home. She cannot abandon the young man she loves. The two race desperately to stay ahead of Alex's attackers long enough to figure out why they are hunting him in the first place. The answer lies with a secret buried deep in his past, a secret his parents died to protect. Alex always knew he was adopted, but he never knew the real reason his birth parents abandoned him. He never knew where he truly came from. Until now.

Review by Publisher Summary 4

Heather Graham and Jon Land team up in this pulse pounding adventure of a young man and woman racing to save our world from a terrible fate