Battlefield: Decay by J. F. Jenkins

DECAY
Battlefield: Decay by J. F. Jenkins
Publisher: Astraea Press
Genre: Sci-Fi/Fantasy, YA
Length: Full Length (267 pages)
Age Recommendation: 12+
Rating: 3 Stars
Reviewed by Cyclamen

A mysterious alien artifact has been found on Earth. JD Smith, Orlando Holmes, and Cadence Sinclair, have been given the task of finding it and unlocking its secrets. They’ve been on more dangerous missions before, so this should be easy, right?

But when Orlando is given an offer to make up for his past sins, and goes missing, the focus of the team shifts. Now they must scramble to not only find the artifact, but also their friend before they run out of time. Friends soon become enemies, and everything the teens have ever known about their lives is challenged.

No one ever wants a war to be fought at home. For this reason, a race of human-like aliens brings their war to earth, recruiting human adolescents to fight their battles. This novel is the third in the series Battlefield, and it again involves three teenagers, JD Smith, Orlando Homes, and Cadence Sinclair.

The book has an interesting premise, and I like the fact that we actually get to know some of the aliens, especially those who work with our main characters. The story is engaging, even without any knowledge of the earlier two books. J. F. Jenkins has crafted a believable plot with interesting characters.

The plot does jump between several story lines, and I found this a bit confusing, no doubt because I hadn’t read the earlier two books. That being said, I was more than happy to keep reading and let the pieces fill themselves in as I went along. There are still some gaps in my knowledge of this world, but overall, it came together. The plot usually moves along at a good pace, but there are some spots that are a big sluggish. However, it never got bogged down so that I didn’t want to continue.

Having three main protagonists as well as a number of near protagonists resulted in my never getting close to any of them. But each of the characters is distinct and interesting and the relationships between them are convincing. In addition to having to help save the world and rescue artifacts, these teens also have to go to school and deal with the usual teenage issues of relationships, parents, teachers, and so forth. Jenkins handles these topics with empathy and kindness.

Overall, I enjoyed this novel. I think fans of science fiction will find it to be a fun read, and I suspect that it will be even better if the earlier two books are read first.

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