25 October 2011

Invasion - Jon S Lewis

Book Description

Colt McAlister is drawn into a war against things he thought only existed in comic books.
After a car wreck takes the lives of his parents, Colt moves to Arizona to stay with his grandfather. There, an informant tells him that his parents were actually murdered because his mom, a journalist, was getting ready to write a story exposing Trident Industries.
Along with Oz and Danielle, his new comrades at Chandler High, Colt vows to uncover the truth. But the more they learn, the more bizarre reality becomes. Mind control, jet packs, and flying motorcycles only scratch the surface of what they discover.
Colt is recruited by a secret organization called the Central Headquarters Against the Occult and Supernatural. But the battle isn't just against an out-of-control giant corporation. A gateway to another world is opening, and the invasion has already begun.


This was an easy, entertaining read that should appeal to young teenagers and up.   As an adult reading this I love that the teenagers involved in the story exhibit good moral values and possess fine character traits.  While not an overtly Christian book the model of good vs. evil is clearly defined and the Invasion website offers some pretty great 'lesson plans' to go along with the book.  To give you an idea I've included...

Lesson One:

Lesson 1 - Defeating the Giants

Week One
Defeating the Giants
Lesson: (You can read this to the kids or put it in your own words).
Read 1 Samuel 17:1-19

Have you ever watched a scary movie or played an intense video game? Even though you know it's "fake" it still gets your mind racing and your heart pumping. You're battling zombies or monsters, or watching robots attack the earth, and you feel like you're ready to fight them in real life. It can be sort of fun to scare yourself when it's just a game or a movie. But sometimes, you're facing problems in your life that are difficult, and they're not pretend. Not so fun, right?

Maybe you get bullied or picked on at school. Maybe you're worried because your parents argue a lot, or maybe they have split up. Maybe someone you care about has cancer or some other serious illness. Or you may feel stressed about school, maybe you're worried about your grades or how hard it is. Maybe you, or someone you know, wrestle with an addiction. Whether it's drugs, alcohol, pornography or even food, addictions feel like huge, fierce giants that are hard to fight.

The Bible tells us that no matter what difficulty we face, God is with us, and will help us.

Over the next four weeks, we're going to be talking about how we can stand strong, with God's help, against the difficulties in our lives.
The Bible tells the story of a mighty king and warrior named David. But before he became king, he was just the youngest kid in his family. His older brothers looked down on him, even mocked him. They never took him seriously just because he was younger. (see 1 Samuel 17:28)

The Bible says that David's brothers went off to war, to fight against an enemy nation, the Philistines. David's people, the Israelites, had a history of disputes with the Philistines. One Philistine, Goliath, was a giant. The bible says he was more than nine feet tall! That's taller than any NBA player. But he wasn't just tall, he was big and muscular, bigger than an NFL linebacker. Nine feet tall, totally ripped, carrying a huge spear and looking for trouble.

So at the place where the Israelites were supposed to fight the Philistines, Goliath started trash-talking the Israelites, taunting them to send out one man to fight with him, man to man. All the soldiers were afraid to fight him, which was not that surprising. David's father sent him out to the battlefield, not to fight, but to deliver some food to his brothers.

When he heard Goliath insulting Israel and worse, insulting God, David asked his brothers why they would just stand and take such incredible disrespect. Since every other Israelite was apparently a chicken, little David ends up fighting Goliath. Next week we're going to talk more next week about what happened in the battle, but right now, let's think about this situation, and how it is similar to our lives.

Now, your parents probably aren't sending you to bring snacks to people on a battlefield, right? And you're not probably going to run into some nine foot tall giant challenging you to a fight on the way home from school. But that doesn't mean you don't have challenges, and some might feel like a battle with a giant.

Over the next few weeks, we're going to be talking about David, and also reading this great book, Invasion. The kid in this book, Colt McAlister, is a lot like David—except instead of fighting a giant, he has to fight against evil alien creatures called Thule, who are trying to take over the world. Colt is in training to become an agent for CHAOS, an agency fights alien invaders. Pretty soon Colt finds himself in the midst of a battle not just to save his own life, but to save the planet from aliens who he once thought only existed in comic books and video games.
Just like David in the Bible, Colt is the youngest of his brothers. He inexperienced, and he definitely has never fought aliens before, but he prevails with God's help. He overcomes a lot of really tough situations to fight against the Thule.

Over the next four weeks, we're going to talk about God helps us when we face difficult situations.

What are the giants in your life—the challenges that seem overwhelming or difficult? How could you ask God for help with them?
How can we act like David did, as we face our own challenges? When you face scary or difficult situations, do you tend to act like David, or do you turn into a monster like Goliath?

What are some ways God could help you? A lot of times, God gives us other people to help us. He might send a friend to talk to, or someone who has been through exactly what you're going through and knows how to handle it. What are some ways God has helped you in the past?

Today, you are going to become CHAOS agents, ready to fight against the Thule. This activity will prepare you for the activities in coming weeks. You'll design and create ID cards with your photo on them. You can download the ID card template here.

On the back, you'll write down your Thule: which monster are you fighting? It's not the monster from the book or Goliath, but the situation in your life that you are battling, the struggle that feels like a monster. What is it that you are scared or worried about and need God's help to battle?

I just love when publishers offer these little extras for the reader.  It really gives parents and other groups a unique opportunity to dive deeper into the story as opposed to superficially allowing the story to carry you along.  This would make an excellent choice for homeschooling Christians or other Christian youth group.  I highly recommend reading Invasion even if you are not a Christian since it is simply an engaging, exciting and thrilling story.  If you enjoy science fiction or end of the world type scenarios, secret projects and shadow groups you should enjoy Invasion.


jsl 135x160 Bio
Twitter * Facebook
Jon Samuel Lewis is an American writer best known for the acclaimed Grey Griffins series published by Scholastic’s Orchard Books. After selling nearly a million copies in the original trilogy, Lewis and his writing partner, Derek Benz teamed with Little Brown to produce the Grey Griffins Clockwork Chronicles.
He is also the author of CHAOS Novels, a young adult adventure series that combines supernatural, science fiction, and urban fantasy to create an exciting hybrid of non-stop adventure.
Lewis has written for DC/WildStorm. He is a graduate of Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Broadcasting, and has explored an eclectic career including news reporting, radio production, animation, graphic design, web development, mural painting, speech writing, video game development, voice over work, and marketing.
He currently resides in Arizona with his wife and children.

* I received an advance copy from the publisher for purposes of review. I was in no way obligated to write a review much less a favorable one. The opinions stated herein are all my own.


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