*I requested to review a copy of this audiobook for an honest review from the author or narrator.
Erika just wants to relax and enjoy the wind in her hair. Lounging in the desert restricted military zone, watching stars with friends, danger comes right to Erika, Ian, and Jack. Men plan to take Erika from her friends with dark plans for the night. Suddenly a new stranger appears, killing one of the two men who threatening Erika, Ian, and shoot Jack without touching them. Though, seeing the stranger will change their life when they are caught by the soldiers come for him.
Dr. Randall told H.A.L.F 9 to wait 30 days, if he hasn't returned then H.A.L.F 9 is to save himself. H.A.L.F 9 did just that, escaping the lab he's called home for his 17 years of life. He is free and happy for the first time in his life as he runs through the dry desert, until he become drawn to the three teens he finds in danger.
I've listened to Andrew Tell narrate a few books now. I like that he does tone changes for different characters. It helps keep the characters straight when listening to the story. There are a few characters that seem to pop more than others with a different tone and personality present to them. Andrew's narration is always as clear and clean as expected in his work.
The beginning starts with a strong influence in an attack. There is a lead up to potential rape. Three teen friends, two boys and a girl, go out in the desert to relax and look at the stars. There are two men that show up, and threaten the kids along with strong suggestions what they want with Erika.
Erika is working through her own emotions as a teen when she meets H.A.L.F. 9. She doesn't want to let herself love Jack and wants nothing more than to get out of the town to see the ocean. Her night on the run with her two best friends and a half alien wanting to live will bring her to think on things differently. There is some draw to Erika that H.A.L.F 9 doesn't understand. H.A.L.F 9 listens when Erika asks him to not kill the men. But H.A.L.F. 9's display with the six soldiers makes Commander Sturgis more curious of his limits, yet worried as he showed concern for others which was to be breed out of him to make the perfect weapon. H.A.L.F. 9 learns about himself as the story goes on as well. He has powers he didn't even know about, and can communicate with his grey cousins.
It's been a while since I saw the movie I Am Number 4, but this book reminds me of that story line though with alien DNA. It feels like the same old sort of story with an alien hybrid and humans. There are those that want to experiment, those who don't like, and the few that try to help the locked up alien hybrid.
If it wasn't for the subject of looming rape at the beginning of the story, I would say this is a great story for middle school grade as they get to enjoy 9's firsts in the human world as H.A.L.F. 9's innocence in the human world brings a young feel to the story.