Book Review: Empire by John Connolly and Jennifer Ridyard!

Caution: This is the second book of the Chronicles of the Invaders series and contains spoilers for Conquest. If you haven’t read the first book my review is here!

Syl Hellias: an Illyri, the first of her kind to be born on Earth. Paul Kerr: a human, dedicated to his people’s resistance of the alien invasion. Brought together by chance they formed the strongest of bonds. Now they are to be punished for that love.

Exiled to the outermost reaches of the universe, Syl and Paul must each make journeys that will lead them to the horrifying truths harbored at the heart of the Illyri Empire. And to a force with the power shake the the universe to its very core.

After a good look at the beautiful cover, lets get to the review!

In short, I loved this book. The premise of the series is that an alien race, the Illyri, has gone around the galaxies conquering planets, and decided Earth was next. This was not a popular decision and in the first book we meet the Resistance, a group that is constantly trying to get these aliens to go away. Syl, a Illyri teenager meets Paul, a human that is part of the Resistance in the first book and throughout the drama the two of them get close. But that’s not all! At the end of book one we discover that there’s an infecting parasite type thing inside certain members of the Illyri, and the witch-y people of Illyr known as the Red Sisters have something to do with it. Oh and there’s robots. 

This book leads us away from Scotland (dang) and into the galaxies beyond. We follow Paul and Steven into their forced enlistment, Syl and Ani to the Marque and even get a section from Meia, my favourite character.

I can’t honestly begin to explain the series in a way that would do it justice. But there are three things that really stood out to me; Firstly, there’s a review on the back by SFX that describes it as ‘densely plotted’ and I find myself agreeing with that wholeheartedly. The threads that weave the stories together are strong and go way beyond what is expected from a YA book. 

The descriptions made the places, the people, the horrors and the victories really come alive. For example; one character “always seeked the insult she believed lay buried at the heart of any compliment.” And another “wore the happy but confused look of a man who won a lottery but couldn’t remember buying a ticket.” The writing doesn’t falter with the busy plot, which makes this book stand out among others.

And lastly, the mistakes the characters make because as I was reading I agreed with what the characters were doing until the mistakes were pointed out. Mistakes are something characters, and people, do all the time but in books, especially YA, I find myself noticing these mistakes and not understanding why the characters do stupid things. This book made me follow the characters way of thinking so much that I was blinded to ways things could be done better. It was very impressive.

I love this book. I love this series. I need the next book ASAP. This is my first ✮ book of the year and I was so sad when it was over.

Empire was published on the 1st of January and is available to purchase here!

Have you started this series yet? What did you think of Conquest/ Empire?

*I am a Chronicles Champion and was sent this book for review. I am not obligated to talk about it. I just really loved it!

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