Review of ‘Alien Seas’ by Roxanne Smolen (April 2015):
Alien Seas is the third book in Roxanne Smolen’s Colonial Scouts Adventure series. While all of the main characters from the previous books return for this story, the lead character is now Natica. Being a Colonial Scout is dangerous both physically and mentally. After the tragic death of a colonist during a recent mission (see Alien Jungle), Natica fears she has lost what it takes to be a scout. Wracked with guilt and jealous of her best friend, Impani, she decides to return home for her sixteenth birthday with every intention of staying there. Unfortunately, things aren’t as stable and happy as she remembers them. The fierce rivalries of gangs, pirates, and environmental extremists have not only changed her planet; they have also ripped her family apart. Her twin brother is missing. Topping things off, Impani has followed her home and insists on helping her search for her brother.
Alien Seas is a thrilling adventure story set on, Naiad, a world dominated by the ocean. Author Roxanne Smolen deftly creates a futuristic frontier-like feel by combining elements of the old west and pirates with just the right touch of technology. While the story conjures great visuals, this is not a tale about gadgets. Like the first two books in the series this is a story that focuses on her characters. Despite being a highly trained Colonial Scout, Natica is much like any other teen, full of doubt, angst, and fear. Her battle with her inner demons as well as how she relates them to her past and current life is the crux of the story. Smolen skillfully twists and turns events just inside the edge of believability to keep readers guessing about their resolution until the very last moments of the story.
Alien Seas features many action sequences, numerous conflicts, and a dose of teenage romantic angst. Smolen handles all of these elements in an age appropriate manner. If it was a movie it would be rated PG. So while it’s targeted at the YA market it is also appropriate for strong MG readers and crossover adults who are interested in a fun-filled adventure. I highly recommend Alien Seas to any such readers.
**In the interest of full disclosure, I received a free copy of this book **
My Amazon affiliates link for Alien Seas Colonial Scouts Adventures Book 3