Book Review: H.A.L.F.: The Makers by Natalie Wright

HALF The MakersThe Makers
H.A.L.F. Book 2
Natalie Wright
Boadicea Press, May 2016
ISBN 978-1523820924
Trade Paperback

From the author—

Erika Holt dodged death and departed Earth in an alien ship. It wasn’t how she’d planned to spend her senior year. Is Erika on her way to paradise? Or to a hell worse than the underground lab she escaped? 

The greys rescued Tex from A.H.D.N.A. and have promised him a life he could never have imagined. But what will he have to give up to become one with The Conexus? 

Jack Wilson is still Commander Sturgis’ prisoner, but a promise of freedom comes from an unlikely source. Will his liberation cost more than he’s willing to pay? 

Caught up in their personal battles, will any of them realize the threat that looms over us all before it’s too late? 

I read the first book in this series, The Deep Beneath, back in September 2015 and have been eagerly awaiting the next chapter ever since. I’m very happy to say the wait has been well worth it as The Makers is every  bit as entertaining.

The first thing that got my attention was the pronunciation and definition guide, a tremendous help when you’re reading a book involving unfamiliar terms and language. Will I remember any of it? No, of course not, or at least not much, but it certainly enhanced my enjoyment of the story not to have to try to remember all these details and foreign words. Actually, I probably will retain a few things, like “manthruin” which is a spice similar to our own cinnamon; I love cinnamon so I’m intrigued by this alien spice. I’ll also remember “mach” because it’s always useful to know how to ask for a toilet 😉

Sometimes, we discover that the things we know are not much like reality and Erika has certainly had to cope with a lot of reality since first encountering aliens but being in servitude to the aliens is definitely not what she and Ian want for their future. Unfortunately, their options are limited since they’re on an alien spaceship heading to….somewhere. Meanwhile, back at the ranch (so to speak), Jack was left behind on Earth and needs help from Dr. Sturgiss, not his favorite scientist, if he wants to remain alive and free. Meanwhile, Tex, a created hybrid alien/human, has to stay out of the hands of the aliens if he wants to retain his human side, his emotions.

Ms. Wright has worldbuilding down pat, creating an alien society and diverse people trying to fight off their control in a story that’s very plot-driven and completely engaging. At the same time, a plethora of characters that could be kind of overwhelming are anything but as the author has managed to make even peripheral players come to life. The aliens are referred to as “greys” and that can also be seen as a descriptor for the lack of a black and white clarity; all humans are not good and all aliens are not evil.

I’ve become quite fond of Erika and Jack and Tex and all the others and the H.A.L.F. series is an example of how adventurous and fun science fiction can be. The third and final book will be out in 2017 and I’m really looking forward to it.

Reviewed by Lelia Taylor, November 2016.

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