Annexation by Marisa Chenery
Publisher: Blue Swan Publishing
Genre: Young Adult, Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Contemporary
Length: Short Story (107 pages)
Age Recommendation: 16+
Heat Level: Sweet
Rating: 4 Stars
Review by: Astilbe
Kiri has had the same dream for four years since she was twelve. She travels to another planet, where she meets a boy who teaches her to fight. Always bruised come morning, she knows it’s no ordinary dream.
After two years of no longer dreaming of Cax, she questions if she hadn’t made him up. Then spaceships appear all over the world, and the boy she once knew is among the alien invaders.
Orphaned and alone, Kiri uses the skills Cax had given her against his own people, wishing to hurt them as they’d hurt her. The flames of rebellion are fanned ever higher, and Kiri has a role to play that could cost her everything.
Sometimes rebellion comes at a price.
It was fascinating to see how Kiri changed over the course of this story. I wanted to protect her in the beginning because she was so young and naive when I first met her. Watching her evolve from that personality into someone who knew how to stay calm and strong in a crisis was rewarding. Every step of her journey felt completely natural when it was happening, but I was still amazed at how far she came in such a short amount of time.
The characters involved in the romantic subplot shared such a complicated history that I was a little surprised to see them show this kind of interest in each other. While I liked them both quite a lot as individuals and they did seem to get along well, I would have preferred to see a bit more time spent exploring why neither one of them seemed to be that bothered by the obstacles they were facing. There were some excellent reasons why a relationship between them might not work out. If those reasons had been given more time to be resolved, I would have picked a much higher rating for this tale as I loved the rest of it.
The plot twists were nicely done. Several of them were so well hidden that I didn’t have any idea they were coming until they showed up. I really like being caught off guard like this, especially when the twists turn out to be things that fit in perfectly with the storyline once everything is revealed. While this wasn’t the first book from Ms. Chenery that I’ve tried, it is my favourite one of hers so far. I’m looking forward to seeing what she comes up with next.
Annexation should be read by adults and teens alike. It has something in it for everyone!