Alexandra Bock, a young ER nurse, has discovered aliens are real. She discovered this by being kidnapped by them as they were destroying her planet’s population. But there’s more to it than just aliens taking over the Earth. And although Alex has reason to deem aliens untrustworthy, she finds herself interested in Gryf Helyg, one of her rather attractive cell mates. And oh, yes, he’s blue.
Turns out, there are good aliens and bad aliens, and the blue Matirans are definitely the good ones. They’ve been protecting Earth for thousands of years, are responsible for the myths of the lost city of Atlantis; and if you look hard enough, you can find more than a few of their words that were adopted by the ancient Greeks. But they weren’t able to stop the invasion, and now Gryf is working alongside Alex to try and fix things.
Oh, and the two of them are the soulmates of an old Matiran prophecy, fated to turn around dark times.
So, here’s the thing. Aliens, by definition, come from different planets with different gravities and different skies and temperatures. They would have different evolutions because they are not from Earth. Even if we set aside the fact that the Matirans are bipedal (which is a very human-centric thing to think of as being at the top of the food chain) and blue (their one real alien feature), I cannot conceivably believe that humans and Matirans have “internal anatomies [that] are indistinguishable.” What? Wait, what? I will be the first to admit I’m a little picky when it comes to sci-fi. I like my science fiction to at least shake hands with science fact. And this was the start of some incomprehensible-to-me science fiction. And that’s not even counting the fact that Matiran society and human society blend remarkably well. The cultural issues the two groups have are more along the lines of those two groups from the same planet might have. I get that there is no real frame of reference for this, but it ends up reading less alien invasion and more dystopian camp.
Okay, now that my science-nerding is out of the way, I do have to say I really enjoyed the characters. Gryf is an excellent combination of sweet and gentle (the Matirans are a matriarchal society) with a good dose of badass. Alex is smart, spunky and resilient. There are some times that she bounces back faster than I would have expected (at one point, she’s tortured by the bad aliens for 48 hours with no lasting effects), but overall I liked her. My only issue with any of the characters is how relationships just kind of came out of nowhere. Gryf and Alex’s romance doesn’t have much in the way of development, and there is little character development overall.
The prophecy issue had me really skeptical for a while. It reeked of idea of there being “The Chosen One,” something I find to be overbearing at best. Even with the sci-fi bent to the story, it still felt like much more a fantasy or paranormal trope; it even had the “vague ancient poem” aspect to it. But I really did like the soulmate side of things, and I can appreciate the attempt at merging the different norms for two very different genres. The addition of a post-apocalyptic world makes things more complicated, and there are definitely moments where it all feels very unreal, like there’s no emotion attached to what just happened. Which is odd for a)the end of the world as we know it and b)a romance.
Overall, the book could have used stronger editing, some tightening up of the story in places to keep the plot moving along – but I enjoyed Prophecy well enough. It’s not my new favorite, but I’d definitely consider reading the next one, if only to see where the author is going with this. Even if the aliens don’t make any scientific sense to me.