The Chrysallaman Empire has colonized every habitable planet in the galaxy, ruthlessly exterminating any sentient race that dared object to their benevolent conquest. Now they have completed a six month exploratory mission on Earth and found it to be an ideal colonization planet with a temperate climate, vast water reserves, lush vegetation, and a ruminant population of semi-intelligent animals called humans who pose no threat to the superior technological, mental, and physical strengths of the mighty Chrysallamans.
A special group of men and women are chosen to save humanity from the impending invasion. An eccentric scientist, red-headed hellion specializing in reverse engineering, DNA specialist, Xenobiologist, and an assortment of specialized military commandos are assembled by the Pentagon into F.O.R.C.E., the Federal Organization for Response to Celestial Enemies.
The Chrysallamans just may have met their match!
This book was, in a word, astounding. I loved it. Absolutely loved it, and usually my first love is romances and generally all things sappy, but this is a sci-fi book that would appeal to anyone capable of reading. In other words, if you're literate you'll love it. I thought the prep time for the humans to become battle ready was a stroke of genius. Obviously developing technology sufficient to be a threat to the invading aliens is going to take some time, and you might think that sixty years of prep time for preparing humans physically, mentally and technologically would be a boring thing to read about. Not so. It was so engrossing, I simply couldn't put the book down.
I enjoyed reading about how Dr. Heinbaum and MacPherson worked together to study the alien craft and weapons, understanding the governing principles behind the technology and then improving upon it. Their volatile relationship only added to the greatness of the experience with some awesome zingers from MacPherson meant drive the doctor crazy. That was a great working relationship that developed into something even greater over time with clear-cut characters behaving according to their personalities and end goals. I kept wondering how the author knew so much about the subject matter he covered because his degree is in finance. Of course, I'm not at all familiar with the terminology or scientific concepts so he could have been fabricating the whole thing, and I never would have caught on, but either way it seems like a lot of research went into this aspect of the book.
On the other side of the coin we get to enjoy the journey that Diane Hoffman and Blunt take in tweaking humans and their genetic make-up in order to be able to stand up against the aliens both physically and mentally. Once again, I have no idea how much research went into this aspect of it, but it was so engrossing, and I loved seeing how Blunt's physical and mental powers grew as a result of the successful gene enhancements. The author takes time to develop personal relationships, enhancing the overall experience and helping you become attached to the characters and their firm resolve to prepare themselves for the pending invasion.
Whatsit was my absolute favorite. You cannot help but fall in love with this young Chrik. His compassion for the humans and devotion to Blunt is so touching. They work well together, something I wouldn't have expected from the way his fellow Chriks were so intent upon the destruction of the human race, but the author does something so smart with this character and humanizes him. He may be an overgrown lizard, but he behaves socially like any twelve-year-old boy scared out of his mind with his situation and circumstance. His loving interactions with the humans who captured him give this entire narrative credibility and an intense connection with Whatsit. You can't help but hope that he and his human friends succeed in defending themselves and our planet.
The ensuing battle and the tactics used to fight back are seriously awesome sauce. I want this made into a movie. It would be epic to see it on the screen. The combination of a certain timeline for the battle, the hurdles these humans have to overcome, and the way we're also allowed to jump into the minds of the leaders of the alien force really up the stakes and create so much tension and immediacy for the reader. I just...yeah...I will never have enough room to talk about how much I loved this book. I can't wait to read about Whatsits adventures in the next one.
The Origin of F.O.R.C.E. reads like one awesome C.I.A. thriller and makes you feel as if you just experienced a new and seriously improved version of the movie Independence Day. I highly recommend this book to anyone capable of fogging up a mirror, especially fans of sci-fi.
I gave it five cherry blossoms!
Sam B. Miller II holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Finance, and a Master of Business Administration degree in Finance, from the University of Tennessee. He has five children and lives with his wife, Susan, and their many dogs, in Northeast Tennessee.