3.5 out of 5 stars
Teens on Earth! Well, the getting there isn’t easy. When we left Jules and Mia at the end of Unearthed, they’d sealed themselves inside an alien spaceship with the intent of blowing it up before the governmental International Alliance can transport it, and it’s dangerous cargo, back to Earth. They fail, and Undying opens with them aboard the ship, in orbit around their home planet… and they’re not alone.
In the proud tradition of a couple of teenagers being the only people in the entire world to have any idea what’s going on, Jules and Mia know two things. One: the Undying are (as their name would suggest), not dead. Two: The ship is full of portals to bring them from wherever they are to Earth.
Jules and Mia stowaway, then manage to get off the ship and down to Earth with a pair of Undying soldiers. From there, the story romps across Europe in an attempt to stop the Undying, spring Jules’ imprisoned dad, shut down the portals, blow up the IA’s cover story, and whatever else they can manage to do. It’s fun, for sure. It could have used a few more puzzle bits, which really shone in the first book. The challenges here are more important, but more straightforward in the way of standard action fare.
Oddly, both Jules and Mia, whose book smarts and street smarts respectively saved them on an alien planet and spaceship, have some very dumb moments when it comes to Earth. For example, they are floored when the super-advanced aliens manage to have simple backstories ready to masquerade as humans. They’re shocked to discover an online community of people who believe in the warnings Jules’ dad voiced. After Jules has suffered ridicule and isolation… he never one looked online. Conspiracy theorists on the internet?! WHAT WILL THEY THINK OF NEXT?! These parts left me wondering what year it’s supposed to be in this series. Clearly it’s the future, but did we regress technologically? How would 17-year olds not know this? These sequences turn Jules and Mia into idiots, and are totally unnecessary. Mia also gets verrrrrrrrry whiny and insecure – far more than is needed to understand her. I actually fast forwarded a couple of minutes. It’s sad, but some editor needed to flex that red pen mid-book and restore our heroes to the brain and bravery they showed in Unearthed.
Still, Undying is quite good overall. The truth about the Undying race is very interesting (if a bit obvious), the action finale truly perilous and the book’s resolution satisfying. I definitely recommend it, just be prepared to get past Jules and Mia falling down in the middle.