A Book Review of Valiant by Merrie Destefano

Valiant by Merrie Destefano Book Cover.jpg

Book Summary

The Valiant was supposed to save us. Instead, it triggered the end of the world.

Earth is in shambles. Everyone, even the poorest among us, invested in the Valiant’s space mining mission in the hopes we’d be saved from ourselves. But the second the ship leaves Earth’s atmosphere, our fate is sealed. The alien invasion begins. They pour into cities around the world through time portals, possessing humans, forcing us to kill one another.

And for whatever reason, my brother is their number one target.

Now the fate of the world lies in the hands of me, a seventeen-year-old girl, but with the help of my best friend, Justin―who’s suddenly starting to feel like more―maybe if we save my brother, we can save us all.

Book Details

Valiant by Merrie Destefano
Published on December 4, 2018 by Entangled: Teen
Young Adult Fiction / Science Fiction / Alien Contact
Trade Paperback, 304 pages
Book source from Entangled Teen
My Rating of the book is 3.5 of 5 Stars.

 

Book Review

VALIANT by Merrie Destefano is a new sci-fi book for teen readers featuring time travel, aliens, and plenty of action. It’s a futuristic-thriller that takes place here on Earth after hostile aliens have invaded. The story follows a seventeen-year-old girl named Sara who tries to save the world, but in order to do so, she must repeatedly time-jump trying to save her brother who is the key to Earth’s survival.

The Valiant was supposed to save us. Instead, it triggered the end of the world.

There is a lot to love in this adrenaline-filled book, especially for science fiction readers.

The Earth seems to be in shambles globally, the US is in a Great Depression and natural resources are in ruins, with much of our survival and future hinging on the hopes of a new mining expedition being sent to Titan, only the expedition goes terribly wrong, and instead ends up alerting the Xua (aliens) to Earth’s resources. The launch of the Valiant was supposed to be a day of celebration but instead, it caused the Earth’s downfall.

Destefano has definitely created a race of scary aliens. These aliens have the ability to possess humans. They jump from body-to-body like switching outfits—only when they do it, it shreds the human from the inside-out from the sheer force of it.

Valiant by Merrie Destefano, image taken by Book Swoon.
Death was behind me, so I leaned into the future, a loop of time travel that would let me relive this horrible day, always hoping for a better ending. One where I somehow saved the world.

The books premise is really interesting with the additional use if time-travel.

If you have ever watched the movie Groundhog Day, a comedy starring Bill Murray who is caught in a time loop repeatedly reliving the same day, then you’ll understand the similar concept for VALIANT—only the consequences in this book are very different—our very existence.

Sara, the protagonist meets a rebel alien named Aerithin who, with his help, she can time jump in order to try and save her brother from the Xua. Each time she fails, she must try again doing something different in order to try and outmaneuver them.

I really enjoyed this concept, it led to many moments of adrenaline-fed and action-packed scenes between Sara, her brother, and friends against the aliens. Destafano packs a powerful reading punch when it comes to danger and action scenes.

To save the world, she must save him.

Too many moments of intense-action led to less connection with characters.

Although I really enjoyed the concept and page-turning quality of VALIANT, my main issue is how the fast-pace also made it hard to build a connection to the characters. I wanted to know more about Sara and her brother Justin’s connection to the Xua. There is also a sweet romance that is touched on, but I couldn’t get a good sense of either. The characters are definitely compelling, I just wanted more in-depth time spent one-on-one with them.

In the End

VALIANT by Merrie Destefano starts out with a bang and is a compelling new sci-fi story filled with plenty of action and danger. There is definitely room for a sequel and hopefully, more world and character building. I’m definitely curious to see more from this author!