Alienation (C.H.A.O.S. Series #2)by Jon S. Lewis
Earth’s last line of defense against the coming alien invasion is a 16-year-old surfer. But before Colt McAlister can save the world, he has to survive the day.
All Colt wants to do is return to his old life—where aliens don’t exist, where mankind hasn’t been targeted for destruction, and where his parents are still alive./b>/b>
Earth’s last line of defense against the coming alien invasion is a 16-year-old surfer. But before Colt McAlister can save the world, he has to survive the day.
All Colt wants to do is return to his old life—where aliens don’t exist, where mankind hasn’t been targeted for destruction, and where his parents are still alive. Unfortunately life doesn’t work that way.
The United States government believes Colt holds the key to our survival, so they’re sending him to the C.H.A.O.S. Military Academy along with his best friends Oz and Danielle. There they’ll be trained to defend Earth against a swarm of alien shapeshifters known as the Thule. But someone is trying to eliminate Colt before he can lead that charge. Shocked to learn about key events in his past and unsure who he can trust, Colt is alienated and on the run.
In a world of high-tech gear, shape-shifting aliens, simulated reality, and hoverboards, Colt must step into his true destiny before our world falls in chaos.
"Humans are not alone in the universe. There are many alien species—some friendly, others not. Sixteen-year-old Colt McAllister has been tapped to join the C.H.A.O.S. Academy—where the most elite alien fighters are trained. This series is packed with technology, battles, and teen-boy wish fulfillment. Kelly Ryan Dolan reads energetically, with all the enthusiasm of a young man who is told that he doesn’t have to go to school anymore, that he can play with super-high-tech gadgets, and that he may be a prophesied savior of the world. This audiobook is filled with action, intrigue, and good-hearted earnestness. Dolan keeps up with the racing plot and wild twists, bringing willing listeners along for the ride."
G.D. © AudioFile Portland, Maine
Read an Excerpt
ALIENATIONA C.H.A.O.S. NOVEL
By JON S. LEWIS
Thomas NelsonCopyright © 2011 Jon Lewis
All right reserved.
Chapter OneColt McAlister burst from a bank of clouds with his arms pinned to his sides for maximum speed. The wind pounded his cheeks, sending waves across his skin as he clenched his jaw to keep from swallowing more insects. The aviator goggles kept his eyes from drying out, but he'd forgotten to wear his scarf. Or maybe he needed a mask. Either way, there was nothing worse than swallowing a moth, especially the big ones that got stuck in his throat.
The jet pack strapped to his back was an antique from the Second World War, and it shook his body from his toes to his teeth, but it didn't matter. The thrill of flying was like nothing else. Roller coasters. Bungee jumping. Cliff diving. Even surfing. None of it compared to roaring through the sky without a safety net.
The sun peeked out from behind the Superstition Mountains, casting the morning in a strange haze as an October wind blew across the desert. Colt could see his breath whenever he exhaled, but he ignored the cold and arched his shoulders, throwing his head back as he shot straight up. Lost in the moment, Colt let the world and all its worries fade away. Up there, problems had a way of disappearing. There were no thoughts of alien invasions, secret mind-control programs, or his parents, who had been murdered just a few short weeks ago.
At times he missed them so intensely that the simple act of breathing became impossible. He would go to his room, turn off the lights, and crawl into bed, wishing he could be with them again—even if it meant dying. In those empty moments, life felt meaningless. Hopeless.
"I'm just about set up." The voice that crackled through his earpiece belonged to Danielle Salazar, who was on the ground setting up the obstacle course. She was a video game expert, computer hacker, and one of Colt's best friends. They were born days apart, and even though they weren't related by blood, he thought of her as the sister he never had.
People who didn't know them just figured they were dating. After all, they didn't look anything like siblings. His mop of hair was so blond it looked white in the summer, and his eyes were the kind of blue that made people think he wore colored contacts. Everything about Danielle was dark. Her hair. Eyes. Skin. Colt could admit that she was beautiful, but date her? Not in this lifetime.
"I'll be right there." He pulled up and hovered in place, distracted by a pair of hawks flying in circles. Their dance was beautiful, effortless, and he could have watched them for hours, but the older model jet packs didn't have reliable fuel gauges. It read that he had less than seven minutes remaining, which was enough time to run the obstacle course at least once, but there was no way to know for sure. Still, he needed the practice. Yesterday's effort had been a disaster.
He turned and headed back to the ground where Danielle was waiting near his grandpa's 1946 Chevy pickup with the chrome grill and whitewall tires. The 1974 Toyota Land Cruiser that his parents bought for his sixteenth birthday was in storage back in San Diego.
The exhaust from his jet pack sent a swirl of dust and sand rolling across the desert as he touched down. Landing was still awkward, and he stumbled before he regained his footing, but at least he didn't roll his ankle or run into a cactus.
"All right," Danielle said. She was wearing a thick jacket wreathed in some kind of fake fur, and vapors from the cold escaped from between her lips as she entered a sequence of commands into her tablet computer. "The targets are all set up, so as soon as Oz gets here—if he gets here—we can start."
Oz Romero was perpetually late. It didn't matter if he was going to a class, doctor's appointment, church, or movie. Timeliness and Oz simply didn't mix. Most of the time it didn't matter, but this morning Colt had forced himself out of bed at five thirty. If he had to be on time, he expected the same from Oz.
Colt flipped his goggles up over his helmet as he watched the gravel road. He wanted to give Oz the benefit of the doubt. Maybe he was having engine trouble, or he'd stopped to help someone change a flat tire. Or maybe he was just late, like always. "Where is he?"
"He won't answer his phone, which means he's probably still asleep."
"What do you want to do?"
"I don't know," Danielle said. "I mean, we're out here, and everything is set up. You might as well run the course. If he doesn't show up by the time you have to refuel, we can head back."
She was about to climb into the cab and sit next to the heater when a black Jeep crested a hill. Dust plumed and oversized tires crunched across the desert floor, leaving a massive trail in the Jeep's wake. At the last possible moment, Oz pulled off the road and parked between a saguaro cactus and Grandpa's pickup.
"You're late," Danielle said with a hand on her hip.
Oz shrugged and cut the engine before he gulped down the last of a protein shake and wiped his mouth with the back of his sleeve. "Sorry." It wasn't much of an apology. Usually he would have made some outlandish excuse and then laughed it off.
He hopped out of the Jeep, his eyes distant. He looked tired, or was it depressed? Either way, it wasn't normal. Oz was typically upbeat, whether the occasion called for it or not.
"What's wrong? Were you up all night hunting zombies again?" Colt asked, referring to Zombie Extermination Squad, a video game that the three of them played together more often than they cared to admit.
Oz looked at him and frowned, as though trying to gauge if he was serious. "You heard about the incident, right?"
Colt hadn't, but that wasn't unusual. Oz had access to information the rest of the world didn't know existed. His dad was the director of an organization called CHAOS—Central Headquarters Against the Occult and Supernatural. They were a bit like the CIA or the FBI, but instead of going after drug cartels or spying on the Russians, they protected the world from nightmares like bioengineered monsters, alien life forms, and sparkling vampires.
"Can you give us a hint?" Colt asked. The way things had been going lately, he half expected Oz to tell him that Godzilla had been spotted off the shores of Tokyo.
"Turn on the radio and you'll see." Oz slipped into a jumpsuit that he had pulled out of his duffel bag. It didn't look like it was going to fit his six-foot-four frame or his enormous shoulders, but he managed to squeeze in and zip it up before he slipped on a pair of size fifteen boots.
Danielle turned the key in the ignition of the pickup, and static blasted through the speakers as she tried to find a news station.
"... thousands are seeking refuge, shutting down roads and freeways leading from Cedar Rapids and surrounding communities despite the combined efforts of local law enforcement and the National Guard. Already airports in Des Moines, Minneapolis, Chicago, and Kansas City have been overrun with people looking to get as far away from the reactor core as possible."
"Reactor core?" Colt asked. "What happened?"
"They're telling everyone that there was a leak at a nuclear power plant, but that's just a cover," Oz said.
"For what?" Danielle asked. After all, a meltdown at a reactor could be catastrophic, but if that was just a story, the truth had to be devastating.
"They think someone released a virus."
"What, like the bird flu or something?" Colt asked.
Oz shook his head. "Worse. And it's spreading fast."
Chapter TwoOz quickly told them that the first known case of the virus had been documented two weeks prior in a remote village outside of Bangkok. An old woman contracted a fever, and by nightfall her skin was covered in boils. Breathing became increasingly difficult, and within forty-eight hours she was dead. Three others got sick before government authorities were notified, and once that happened the village was quarantined. If the rumors were true, at least a dozen infected people had been shot and their bodies burned.
Without a corpse there was no way to run an autopsy, but days later a similar case surfaced in Veracruz, a port city on the Gulf of Mexico. Seven employees at a nuclear facility ended up with the same boils, and they were dead inside two days. A third instance occurred on a Navajo reservation near Page, Arizona. And now, just that morning, more than twenty people were infected just outside of Cedar Rapids. Most of them worked at the Duane Arnold Energy Center, the only nuclear power plant in Iowa.
Military officials had set up checkpoints to test everyone before they were allowed to leave the contaminated zone. The infected were led away by men in hazmat suits as armed soldiers wearing gas masks stood by to ensure there were no riots.
"My dad thinks it's a biological attack," Oz said. "I guess it makes sense. We shut down the gateways before the Thule could send their warships through, so now they have to try something more creative if they want to wipe us out."
"But there's a cure, right?" Colt said.
"Not exactly, but they're working on it."
"So what happens when the virus hits a major city like New York or Los Angeles?"
Oz put his enormous hand on Colt's shoulder. "You better pray that it doesn't," he said. "Because once that happens, we won't be able to contain it."
As he watched Oz strap on his jet pack, Colt was stricken by a terrible thought. He and Oz were supposed to transfer to the CHAOS Military Academy in a few days, but now it seemed meaningless. Fighting aliens was one thing, but how was humanity supposed to wage war against a virus that killed people within forty-eight hours? It's not like you could shoot it or anything. Besides, even if someone found a cure, there was no way pharmaceutical companies could manufacture enough of the antidote for everyone—at least not soon enough.
"Relax," Oz said, as though reading Colt's mind. "The good guys always win. Besides, we have bigger things to worry about."
"Making sure you actually finish the obstacle course." Oz smiled, and for a fleeting moment everything felt almost normal.
Almost, because Colt knew that "normal" was never going to describe his life again. Recently he had learned that a group of influential politicians and military personnel wanted to remove Oz's dad as the director of CHAOS. And ridiculous as it sounded, Colt was on the short list of people they were looking at to replace him, despite the fact that he was only sixteen. There was nothing normal about it. More than anything, he just hoped that it didn't ruin his relationship with Oz.
Since they weren't going to finish the semester at Chandler High School, the boys had been excused from class for the past three weeks. But instead of sitting around and watching television or playing video games, they spent their time training for the academy. That meant stretching, running, lifting weights, target practice, and a lot of sparring. Oz had taught Colt bits of Krav Maga, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, boxing, and even some wrestling techniques.
He had a shooting range at his house, and Colt was making good progress, considering he had never held a firearm before. Hitting a stationary target with both feet on the ground was hard enough; trying to shoot it while wearing a jet pack and going over eighty miles per hour through the air was just short of impossible.
Tuesday was their second day running the obstacle course. Colt had been humiliated during the first go-round, and he was determined to perform better. He checked his gauges and the connections on his fuel tank, and a few moments later he was rocketing through the clouds with Oz at his side.
Colt looked like a throwback to the 1940s in his olive green fatigues, leather bomber jacket, and oversized aviator goggles. None of his gear offered much in the way of protection, but he thought the flight suits were too restrictive. Oz, on the other hand, looked like he had just stepped out of the future. His helmet covered his entire face, making him look more machine than man, and the armored jumpsuit resembled a military-grade motorcross uniform. It was made out of fibers that were supposedly bullet-resistant, like Kevlar, only stronger.
"Who's going first?" Danielle asked, her voice crackling through the comlink as she watched them from below.
"That would be me!" The exhaust from Oz's rocket burned bright as he disappeared into a bank of clouds.
Danielle had set up ten targets at random intervals across the desert floor. Once activated, the metal discs projected holograms that could look like anything. Today she had programmed ten six-armed aliens called Thule, each of them snarling, their lips curled to reveal crooked teeth.
"Watch and learn, McAlister." Oz dived and Danielle started her stopwatch.
From where Colt watched, it looked like Oz was going to crash before he leveled at about thirty feet and pulled out a pistol that hung at his hip. The Tesla 6000 Electrostatic Repulsor had been retrofitted as a training weapon, so it shot light rays instead of energy blasts.
Oz had the uncanny knack of making the impossible look mundane, and he hit the first three targets in eighteen seconds without so much as slowing down. He hit a fourth that was partially hidden behind a cactus, and a fifth that was gnashing its teeth on a rocky embankment.
"How many did you hit yesterday?" Oz asked as he spun the repulsor on his finger.
Before Colt could answer, Danielle pulled the statistics up on her tablet computer. "He ran the course five times and hit seven targets, which means his accuracy rating is at just over 14 percent."
"Thanks," Colt said.
"Don't mention it."
Distracted, Oz flew too close to the sixth hologram. It reached out, and at the last possible moment Oz swiveled his hips, avoiding contact that would have led to a penalty. Then, as though it was as natural as walking, he rolled over so that he was lying on his back, raised the repulsor, and shot. Direct hit. The hologram flickered and disappeared. The last four holograms fell in succession, giving Oz another perfect score.
Chapter ThreeColt chewed on the inside of his cheek as he took aim at the first hologram. The attention to detail was incredible, from the light glinting off the Thule's eyes to the way its scaled chest heaved with every breath. If he hadn't known better, he would have sworn that it was real.
"You got this," Oz said. He was back on the ground, standing next to Danielle. "Remember, aim ... exhale ... and then pull the trigger. It's as easy as that."
The first target was about fifty feet away, and Colt was closing fast. He exhaled. Ten meters. Colt could almost smell the alien's rancid breath as he closed his eyes and pulled the trigger.
Somehow the beam of light hit the creature's shoulder. It wasn't a kill shot, but the alien roared as it grabbed the imaginary wound. Colt couldn't help but smile as the image flickered before it disappeared. It was the first time he'd ever hit the initial target.
There was no time to celebrate. The second target beat its chest with two hands while the other four flexed sharp claws, waiting to tear him apart. Colt veered toward the hologram as an angry wind buffeted against him, but he hardly noticed. Gritting his teeth, he raised the Tesla Repulsor and steadied his wrist, just as Oz had done. The creature threw its head back, and Colt aimed for its throat. He took a slow breath, exhaled, and squeezed the trigger.
And missed. The alien didn't flicker, flash, or disappear.
Colt raised his arms to cover his face, and his jacket took the brunt of the punishment. He blinked, and when he opened his eyes all he could see was the parched ground. It was ten meters away, and it was closing fast.
He raised his head and arched his back, extending his arms like wings as he attempted to rise. Something hissed behind his ear. Had the tank been punctured? Maybe one of the hoses was dislodged. Colt thought that he could smell fuel, but maybe it was the exhaust.
The ground was closer now. He could reach out and touch it if he had half a mind, but he strained his neck and threw his shoulders back, hoping that would be enough. The desert grime was thick on his tongue, gritty and raw. Strange shapes loomed ahead. It was a wall of cactus, twisted and bent.
His left hand scraped the ground, bouncing as it skimmed the surface like a stone skipping across a pond. His fist hit a rock and the Tesla Repulsor fell from his hand. The gun clanked, breaking into countless pieces as it bounced away. He turned his head for the briefest moment to see where it landed, but the movement drove his shoulder into the ground.
"Pull up!" Oz shouted through the comlink.
Pain shot through Colt's shoulder and up into his neck. Jaw clenched and eyes filled with tears, he rolled to his right, trying to correct his haphazard path. The tank sputtered, spitting out a trail of smoke as it backfired.
Excerpted from ALIENATION by JON S. LEWIS Copyright © 2011 by Jon Lewis. Excerpted by permission of Thomas Nelson. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Meet the Author
Jon S. Lewis is the coauthor of the Grey Griffins Trilogy and the Grey Griffins Clockwork Chronicles. He also writes for the DC COMICS family of publishers. He lives with his family in Arizona.
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Allow me to begin by pointing out that I have yet to read Invasion, the first book in the CHAOS series. I’m going to assume that, once I read that, this book will make more sense. That said, I love the fact that the book doesn’t begin with a chapter or two of backstory. There’s action and character development before Lewis gives even a full paragraph to the events of the previous book. Memories come up naturally in the main character’s train of thought and observations, not in an awkward info-dump that would bore people familiar with the first book. I appreciate that Lewis realizes that some readers may be diving into the middle of the story and takes the time to help us get acquainted with his character and unique world without alienating his loyal readers. (I’m very sorry about that horrible pun there. Sometimes I just can’t help myself.) Speaking of Lewis’ unique world – this part confused me. Unless I’m missing something (which I probably am, since I won’t have a chance to get the first book until Friday), jet packs are a thing in this book’s universe. They’ve been a thing since World War II. When I first started reading and realized that it wasn’t supposed to take place in some future world, I did a bit of a double take. Once I got over my initial surprise, accepting the jet packs, hoverboards, and robots was easy. It fascinated me. Sci-fi tech just lights something in my mind. If hoverboards are, indeed, a possibility, what else could people create? Could that lead to landspeeders like the ones in Star Wars? As long as Gungans never make an entrance, that would be awesome! But I digress. The advanced technology also explained how anyone in this ‘verse would think that Earth could stand a chance against technologically advanced super-monster aliens. That’s right – aliens. Of course there are aliens; it’s right there in the title. The title has two purposes, the second of which I’ll get to in a moment. The first, most obvious reason is the aliens. Apparently, in the first book, aliens invaded. The Earth suddenly met some of the other inhabitants of the galaxy. Some are friendly; some are evil. The evil ones, the Thule, are shape-shifters bent on destroying humanity to make Earth their new home world. Several other kinds of alien life forms are visiting Earth, as well, but most of the others are actually helping humans. The science of whether or not aliens would survive on Earth is barely mentioned. Aliens simply exist in this universe. Thankfully, Lewis avoids the pitfall that has ruined many good books – too much information. Here’s what I loved about this book: No info-dumps. There were no major ones for backstory and none for boring data. I wouldn’t be surprised if Lewis had everything figured out about the boring bits. Maybe he even has it written down somewhere in a manuscript. Or maybe he saw a future of aliens trying to exterminate us and he’s trying to warn us without sounding like a crazy person. (Oddly enough, I tend to assume that about pretty much every well-written sci-fi/fantasy book I read. What if…?) Okay, for the second reason for the title. Lewis’ main character, Colt McAlister, loses most of the people he loves in the first book (it’s not a spoiler if it’s on the back cover blurb). By the time Alienation really gets going, he’s built himself a small network of friends and family. Within a few days, he discovers reasons to distrust most of them and gets in situations t
I totally recomend this book altough the begining is sorta sloe but keep reading t gets extremely intense
I loved the first book it was amazing! I can not wait to read the new one!!;)
After Invasion, I thought that Mr. Lewis might have trouble carrying on such a great story. I now know that I thought wrong. *** Colt McAlister is¿ a stereotypical ¿California dude.¿ a decent surfer. a guitar player. living with his grandfather in Arizona. The list goes on. And on the list, scribbled in pen right under ¿teenage hero,¿ is the word, ¿alien.¿ Not one hundred percent, but there is alien blood in his body, blood which he previously knew nothing of. When he was very young, his parents allowed him to be injected with Thule blood. They hoped that he would fulfill an ancient prophecy claiming that the Thule, an evil alien race, would be vanquished by one of their own: The Betrayer. And now he¿s feeling the effects. Enhanced speed, agility, awareness- but at the same time, fear. Colt is en route for a school that trains and dispatches alien fighting soldiers. What if someone were to find out his secret? He bleeds red, but he moves twice as quickly as any common man. He has no scales, but is feared nonetheless by the mighty Thule warriors. With the lives of millions placed within his hands, and a clock that continues to tick faster and faster, Colt must use all of his abilities to fight off the invading aliens and save the human race from total destruction. *** Just as good as the last. My brain burnt out on goodness at about pg. 11. And I kept reading. No profanity, no unneccessary gore, and repeating reminders of God¿s very real power. Can¿t wait for the next. (Which happens to be coming out in January.) Quite literally until the next... I was provided with a complimentary copy of ¿Invasion¿ through Booksneeze, a book-for-review program. This in no way affected my views or opinions of the book. _____ 5 of 5 stars 11+
Bilds on the first one
Name: Arathe Stijad. / Gender: Female. / Age: 7 solar sweeps, or 15 human years. / Species: Alternian troll. Blueblood caste. / Appearance: Tall, approximately 6 feet. Gray skin, yellowed eyes with gray irises with blue rims and slitted pupils. Two horns, colored orange, each shaped like three interlocking diamonds. Hair is black, reaching to her jawline. / Outfit: Wears her military-esque jacket, a dark blue with gold epaulets, over a black shirt with her symbol, the same shape as her horns, except horizontal, outlined in blue. Also wears denim skinny jeans and black combat boots. / Personality: Haha, we'll see.
Name)kalakinakon human name kira. Gender)female. Personality)go find out i dare u to. Features)skin is carmel brown hair with purple streaks eyes changes color of my emotion has a sword birth mark on her right arm. Powers)she can fly she can turn into anything she desires. History) dont like to talk about it. Pet) glorinika human name glory
Name: Look up, genius. Gender: Male Age: 25 Appearance: Wears a strange suit that gives him special powers and abilities. Rarely takes off helmet. Personality: Sometimes friendly but can be stern and harsh. Bio: Raxon was part of an elite squad until a ship he and his squad were in was shot down. He is he last member of his squad alive.
Name: 7 Age: 7 Gender: male Species: Teddyuli Bearauis ( teddy bear to humans ) Appearance: brown fur with a small blue bow. Other: just ask
Name: look up age: 20 height: the size of a nook. Appearence: cute, fluffy white hair covering his body, almost looking like a powder puff and he is thin. But dont let that fool you! Gender: male. Race: an alien bat spieces known as the camazots. Likes: fighting( martial arts) dislikes: bieng ignored and drama. Wingspan: 5 inches. Wheight: 10 lbs. Anything else just ask.
Name: mysterica, call me this and you die. Call me Tear. Age: 16. Height: 5'4". Gender: female. Weight: 90 pounds. Appearance: a light brown hair at about chest length covering one blue eye, looks human except for a cat tail and ears on top of her head. Her clothes vary, but her usual uniform is silver gloves, a brown, sleveless tunic with 2 white and 2 yellow tech like stripes going up and down, red tights and brown boots that go up to her knees. Planet: kimlasca. Anything else, ask.
I realky think the next book is gonna be GREAT!
I dont know about you but it sounds very simular to enders game
Nothing in the overview said that this was a comuc book. Annoying.
Awesome series. Does anyone know what the third book is called?
The thing I loved about Alienation was the retro comic book feel. Lewis started out wanting to illustrate comic books and it shows in the non-stop action and short, tightly-plotted chapters. My favorite character is Colt's Grandfather, *semi-spoiler alert* a.k.a. the Phantom Flyer, a WWII hero who everyone believes is just a comic book character. *End semi-spoiler* I think that if Captain America hadn't crashed into that iceberg and slept for fifty-some years, he would be like Colt's Grandpa. The characters are fun, the aliens are scary, and the action is non-stop. I can't wait to see what happens in Domination!
This book was amazing- poorly themed but VERY well writen PS COOKIEIII
It was a great read even though the plot was a little mixed up and the story dramticly jumped from one style of writing to another