Review: Origins by Natalie Wright

Book 3 of H.A.L.F.

  • Title: Origins
  • Author: Natalie Wright
  • Genre: Speculative Fiction, Science Fiction, Young Adult
  • Year of Publication: 2017
  • Published by Boadicea Press
  • Series: H.A.L.F.
  • Rating: 4.5/5 stars

[ Warning ]:

H.A.L.F. is a book series where every book is the sequel to the previous one. If you haven’t read the second instalment and you are interested in doing so, please return to my review after finishing it because this article contains spoilers from it. I was provided with a complimentary copy of this book so I could give an honest review. Thank you, Natalie Wright, for sending me this book!

Here is the review some of you have been waiting for. Today I’m going to talk about Origins, the last instalment in Natalie Wright’s young adult sci-fi trilogy entitled H.A.L.F. If you are interested in how this story begins, please read my review for the first book in the series – The Deep Beneath – and if you want to learn more about the author, please visit Natalie Wright’s website!

Besides the greys or  the Connexus, the author introduces us to another alien race called M’Uktah, which live on Planet Uktah and even though they have super advanced technology such as spaceships, krindors (mechanised exoskeleton suits which work like killing machines) and scryrs (a sort of  psychic Google Glass that enables communication between Captain U’Vol and his crew), these aliens are still hunters who go on expeditions to other planets to invade, colonise and use their prey’s resources. Therefore, U’Vol, the captain of a Vree ship lands on KSarhi (the Earth) at the end of the second book, where they spread terror and chaos, especially in Europe.

“The hunt is merely the first phase, you see. Cull the herd and subdue the population. The second phase will begin breeding for farm stock. In the final phase, the planet will be a M’Uktah outpost and the Sarhi that live here a domesticated food stock.”  (p. 315)

However, this doesn’t mean that the U.S. is safe because, the American authorities are confronted with other life-threatening problems such as the mysterious virus that has killed a lot of people, which is strongly connected to the experiments the Connexus performed on Ian and Erika. Though there is an antidote, the Makers are interested in keeping it for the elite because they have a sinister plan to destroy the world and create a new one by involving only people from their shady circle. But Erika, Tex, Jack and Anna won’t let this apocalyptic scenario become reality.

Meanwhile, Tex’s brief encounter with the Connecxus has left deep scars and devastating effects on his mind and even Erika doesn’t recognise her friend anymore; but there’s no time to waste because they.are on the run from the Makers who want to use Tex for their own obscure purposes. It’s crystal-clear that something has happened to Tex because ever since he had been disconnected from the collective mind of the Connrxus, he became apathetic, weak and hostile towards everyone around him. However, an interesting journey awaits him, through which he discovers his origins and his true calling.

I was impressed by the way the characters evolve throughout the series, from typical teens living their ordinary lives in Ajo, Arizona, to courageous people who trick the military and a secret organization, in order to save the world from doom. They fight and kill aliens to defend themselves and each other and even though, I’m not sure how I feel about teenagers using guns, let’s not forget that this is a work of fiction and in this worst-case scenario, ordinary rules and laws are altered by the survival instinct.

I mentioned the themes in this trilogy before, but I liked how the author discusses hot topics like manipulation through the media, secret agendas or the New World Order, nuclear war, corrupt authorities, climate change, human evolution, genetics, colonization (of other planets) etc. I’m really surprised how many themes and topics this trilogy incorporates without deviating from the overarching plot of the novels. As Marcy Kennedy states in her brief guide entitled Fiction Genres, science fiction “explores questions of morality and identity and forces us to really consider what the future might be like if we follow certain paths.” (Loc.186-187); which is exactly what Ms Wright does in this trilogy. She shows us what mischievous people are capable of if they have the right tools and connections. We need more thought-provoking books like this one.

The book is detailed yet engaging. The author took her time to create different alien races, built their worlds, history, society, problems and advanced technologies, which are sometimes meant to do more harm than good. As well as in the previous instalments, we follow some of the most important characters (Erika, William Croft, Jack, Tex, U’Vol, and Commander Sturgis) in order to understand the layered story through each character’s unique perspective. The writing is beautiful and clear, the pacing is alert, there is a lot of suspense, the tension between characters, inner and outer conflicts, surreal settings of foreign planets, love, friendship, some gruesome scenes, betrayal and many adventures that make you skip a beat and root for your beloved characters.

[ Conclusion ]:

I highly recommend this trilogy, especially if you love reading young adult dystopian or sci-fi novels or speculative fiction, in general!

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