Posted on my blog I Heart Romance
I was totally blown away by Shades of Earth. Not only was it an edge-of-the-seat tale, I couldn't put the book (well, my nook) down and read till 3 AM on a weeknight! Yes, I was a zombie at work later in the day but it was worth it.
There are a lot of secrets revealed in this book and I must say I wasn't expecting some of the twists. When I found out the real reason why the Elder system was created, I sort of understood them despite the end result of it becoming twisted. I also liked that the shipborns finally left Godspeed and did not perish.
All in all, it was an awesome read: unforgettable and unique.
The story picks up right after the second book, A Million Suns ends with more than half of the Godspeed population boarding the escape shuttle so they can finally land on Centauri-Earth. Naturally, things go wrong when they land with a few of the people dead, and a pterodactyl-like gigantic bird attacks Elder. Both Amy and Elder think that the ship was intentionally knocked off course and both decide not to explore the new world as yet. Amy, in her rush and excitement had already started de-frosting the Earth-born military personnel who, when they wake up, are not happy that two of the top ranking officers were dead. This puts Amy’s father in charge of the operation, as the highest ranking official on board. He was also quite skeptical and viewed Elder as a kid rather than as the leader. The ship was divided into two: the shipborns and the earthborns, with Amy in the middle. Immediately, Amy’s father takes charge and explores the area.
Fast-forward to the middle of the story, some of the people: both shipborn and earthborn, are killed by the pterodactyl-like animal and with the ship on lockdown, they had to find another place to stay. Oddly enough, they found human-like ruins in the area and proceeded to move there. It is then revealed that there is an abandoned camp/airstrip/hangar with a DNA-lock that only humans can access. It is there that Amy and Elder find out the real secret of Godspeed. They are also able to see Godspeed and discover that the people left there are in danger. Naturally, they are caught by Amy’s father who then decide to use the spaceship left at the hangar so that they can go to the space station and activate a weapon that will kill the aliens on Centauri-Earth. When some of the passengers are on board, including Amy’s mother, a gas is released and all the passengers in the ship are killed. This enrages Amy’s father and they decide to change their plan of attack.
Elder then steals the ship and travels back to Godspeed to save the other shipborns. He is able to enter the ship and get the records that the first Elder hid in the Elder statue at the ship. He plays it and the real secret is revealed. Meanwhile on Centauri-Earth, the Aliens attack the camp. Amy is able to escape and enter the hangar and is able to contact Elder. She also discovers the real secret from the vid that Elder played. Her father also enters the hangar and sees part of the video while one of the youngest earthborns reveals himself to be an Alien hybrid that was created by the FRX (the company that sponsored the Godspeed mission) using Phydus to make then mindless slaves who work for them since it was discovered that there is an element on Centauri-Earth that can be used as a renewable energy source which is now used on Earth. Despite knowing this, Amy’s father activates the weapon and is killed by the Aliens. Amy ends up getting injected by the stuff and becomes a hybrid as well.
In the end, Elder sacrifices himself and uses Godspeed to hit the space station where it blows it to pieces, thereby deactivating the weapon.