Saturday, 26 November 2011

Recon Team Angel: Assault

Recon Team Angel: Assault by Brian Falkner (Walker Books)
PB RRP $19.95
ISBN 9781921720543
Reviewed by Anastasia Gonis

After Falkner’s previous award-winning works, this breath-stopping sci-fi adventure series will blow the top off every previous fast-paced read.

The setting is 2030, Australia, now known as the New Bzadia. The Aliens have control of Africa, Europe, and most of Asia and are headed for America. Humans are at war with Alien forces that have been slowly strengthening in mass and ability for many years in preparation to take-over the world.

Recon Team Angel in made up of a group of six highly trained teenagers selected from around the world; four boys and two girls. Their leader is Lieutenant Chisnall, the eldest of them all. They have been preparing since puberty for their roles in an elite team to war against the Alien Bzadian army. The Angels’ mission is to infiltrate a top secret Alien Facility behind enemy lines which is in the centre of Uluru, and discover what is being hidden there.

For the infiltration to be successful, the six had been made to look like Bzadians. Their bone structure has been restructured to Alien shape and form, and their skin dyed. They’ve learnt the language and habits, and lived as Bzadians so that they could convince any Alien that they were one of them.

Chisnall is the perfect leader who keeps secrets for the safety of his team. It is only when they lose a member do that they discover that there is a traitor in their midst.

Arriving at Uluru are five Angels and two SAS troopers disguised as RAF officers that the team picked up on the way. At Uluru Military Base, it is not the warhead that they plan to detonate to destroy the alien stronghold that scares the life from them. Nor is it the fact that one of them is a sleeper. It is what they discover in the glass cubicles that gives the gut-wrenching twist to the mission. Chisnall is faced with the hardest decision. How many lives can be classed as collateral damage?

All the adult action is superbly covered but simultaneously balanced by exposing the youthful side of the characters. Their thoughts, dreams and interactions are revealed in a witty, comical way. These comic insertions give the story light-hearted relief from the severity of the chaos that surrounds the teenagers.

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