Thursday, December 31, 2009

Red Handed (Teen Alien Huntress, Book 1) by Gena Showalter (4/5 stars)

I liked the first couple books in Showalter's Alien Huntress series, but didn't like the last few. So, I had mixed feelings about reading the Teen Alien Huntress series. Luckily this was a pretty darn good book. It is not high literature, but is fun to read and full of action.

Phoenix has been through rehab twice already and is trying to kick her addiction to Onadyn for good. Still she needs to see her friends sometimes, so she sneaks out to a party to meet up with them. There she meets the super hot Ryan who warns her to leave because some Outers are coming to attack the party. Phoenix doesn't listen (she has a real attitude problem) and instead hangs around. When the party is attacked by Sybilins (water sucking aliens, that will literally suck you dry) Phoenix stays and fights instead of leaving like she was told. Afterwards Ryan knocks her out and returns her home. Phoenix's mom thinks she's been using again and this time it is the last straw. Phoenix's mom signs her up to go to a new "hard-love" rehab school. Only the school isn't what it seems to be and Phoenix is learning about *way* more than how to kick her habit.

This was a fun read and action packed. The characters aren't the greatest ever created, but they are somewhat interesting and engaging. The world Showalter has created with multiple human races isn't gone into in any great depth, but promises to be interesting. For those who have read the adult Alien Huntress series (definitely not appropriate for younger readers because of being so heavy on the sex) you will recognize many of the teachers at the school; Mia is there as well as Le'Ace. I actually liked this book a lot better than the Adult Alien Huntress series, maybe because more page space is given to action and plot.

While Phoenix is definitely not a role-model for young adults, she does grow throughout the book and starts to become someone readers can admire as the plot progresses. The action scenes are well-written. For those who have read Vampire Academy and are intrigued by the teacher-student relationship between Rose and Dimitri, you will find something similar in this book. Ryan and Phoenix really hit it off, but as Ryan is one of Phoenix's teachers their relationship is (of course) forbidden. This adds some nice tension to the story.

Much of the story is spent with Phoenix learning her new skills and learning about Otherworlders. The story is engaging and a fast, fun read. I am looking forward to reading "Blacklisted" the second Teen Alien Huntress book.

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