***Disclaimer: I was provided a free copy of the book in exchange for a review.***
Despite the title, this is a serious sci-fi/horror story aimed at middle grade/YA readers. The story is slow to build, alternating POVs between the Amish and the crew of a cargo ship and exploring the personalities and cultures of both, setting up their inevitable clash even in the face of impending doom. Intentionally or not, Kerry Neitz works in a few pointed characterizations about the Amish way of life- such as while refusing to resort to violence themselves, taking lives in their defense- while not exactly approved of- is met with little to no resistance. There’s also lots of juxtaposition regarding the unwavering rule of law (Guild bureaucracy and the Amish Ordnung code) vs common sense and doing what’s right.
The plot reminded me of the movie, Lonestar- multilayered and nuanced, but tying everything up at the end. The setting is straight out of ALIENS: everyone’s trapped on board with beasties of highly questionable origins and heading towards an unsuspecting settlement. The pseudo-science also works; you can tell that Neitz did his research to set things up to go with some interesting characters, only dragged down by the pot-boiler plot/sub-plot setup. Could also use a little more editing to tighten up some clunky sentences, but once things get going, you’ll be used to it.
AViS is a solid read with a surprising amout of subtext to it. Not bad, not bad at all. Check it out.
Word Count: 26,000
Cover Artist: Lyn Taylor
Book Description: When it comes to hand-to-heart combat, no hold is barred.
Molly Ryan survived one attack, and she’s not about to be a sitting duck for another. With her attacker harassing her from his jail cell, she packs up her life in Chicago, follows her Delta Force brother to North Carolina and gets work in a pub. Men in uniform are definitely off her menu, but her boss’s friend, Army Ranger Callum Eversman, is one hot hunk she’d like to sample.
Home on a two-week furlough, Cal has agreed to watch over Molly as a favor to fellow Ranger Noah Harper. Accomplishing his mission without her noticing? That’s going to be tough, as any idiot can see their sparks of attraction from a mile away. Despite her hands-off-military-men policy, Molly is tempted to indulge, just this once, in a no-strings-attached fling. No dating, no kissy face, no hearts involved. But when her past threatens her future, there’s only one man to turn to. The one who’ll risk everything—body, heart, and soul—to protect her.
Available directly from Samhain Publishing and major ebook retailers.