Gravity by Melissa West
Series: The Taking #1
Publisher: Entangled Publishing
Release Date: October 30, 2012
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In the future, only one rule will matter:
Don’t. Ever. Peek.
Seventeen-year-old Ari Alexander just broke that rule and saw the last person she expected hovering above her bed — arrogant Jackson Locke, the most popular boy in her school. She expects instant execution or some kind of freak alien punishment, but instead, Jackson issues a challenge: help him, or everyone on Earth will die.
Ari knows she should report him, but everything about Jackson makes her question what she’s been taught about his kind. And against her instincts, she’s falling for him. But Ari isn’t just any girl, and Jackson wants more than her attention. She’s a military legacy who’s been trained by her father and exposed to war strategies and societal information no one can know — especially an alien spy, like Jackson. Giving Jackson the information he needs will betray her father and her country, but keeping silent will start a war.
Going into Gravity I didn't have high expectations. For some reason I had the mindset that it was just going to be another mediocre science fiction book, but was I wrong. I absolutely loved it! I love books about aliens, mostly because I don't read them often enough, so they aren't overdone in my opinion. I adored everything from the characters to the plot.
The synopsis did not do this book justice. There is so much more to it than the brief summary of Ari and Jackson. Earth was on the brink of extinction many, many years ago. Thanks to World War IV a full blown nuclear war left Earth with nothing but rubble and smoke. The Ancients showed up wanting to live peacefully in co-existence, but didn't have the antibodies to survive on our planet. Humans and Ancients came to an agreement that the aliens would take antibodies from the humans at night in trade for their assistance. The Ancients then helped terraform the planet back (or closer) to what the planet looked like before the war. The leaders of Earth eventually created the Trinity to cease warring governments and avoid a fifth world war.
Ari's father is the commander of the North American region, and as his daughter she will be the next commander. Each region's leaders are carried out through bloodlines, which ceased the Australian region after their leader could not sire a heir. A lot of the book takes place at Ari's school where she is friends with the next generation of leaders. This could have been easily clichéd, but each character had their own voice, and added to the storyline. Melissa West created a fantastic and interesting world as a background to the story. While it seemed like there was a lot of back story it didn't take a long time to get through it.
I really loved Ari's character. She was strong and could kick serious butt. She has been training since she was a small child. Her father, the commander, was tough. Nothing she did seemed liked it would ever please him. If she took down her opponent in three minutes, he would expect two minutes. He wasn't very likeable as he was extremely tough on her.
I'm more than just Commander Alexander's daughter. Living in Dad's shadow isn't easy. I'll never be good enough at anything I do. I'll never be viewed as an individual, capable of greatness of my own doing. Everything I do for the rest of my life will be judged, logged away, and then compared to how my dad would have done it.
The one issue I had with the book was that I thought Ari believed Jackson too quickly and just turned her back on her people.
Let me make sure I understand this-you want me to lie to my dad, turn my back on my species, my people?
All her life, especially since she is the future commander, she has been raised to not trust the aliens. To prepare for the day they will eventually attack. But once a cute boy comes along and tells her to trust him or all of humanity will die she does it without hesitation! She trusts Jackson so easily and without any evidence in return. Even when she knows he is hiding something she still doesn't falter.
I loved the surprise twist with Jackson's family. I did not see the first twist coming at all. But the second connection was easy to figure out way before it was announced in the book. I did like Jackson, but I didn't love him. Hopefully I will connect more to him in the next book. I can't wait to start the next book Hover.