Unknown Destiny

Young Adult - Fantasy - General
167 Pages
Reviewed on 03/02/2022
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

JOHNNIE WEST grew up in Salt Lake City, Utah, where he joined the Army, later retiring in 2015. During his time in the Army, Johnnie was awarded the Bronze Star and numerous other awards for his role during tours in Iraq and Afghanistan and as an Intelligence Analyst for Sapper Company, a unit of combat-focused engineers. He currently lives in Utah with his wife, whom he married in 1991, and he has four children and seven grandchildren. Johnnie enjoys traveling with his wife, visiting Las Vegas, and going on cruises. He also enjoys writing, having begun writing his debut sci-fi novel, Alien Orders, in early 2021 and then Unknown Destiny in 2022

    Book Review

Reviewed by Astrid Iustulin for Readers' Favorite

It is the evening of April 17, 2009, when Captain Scott Ryan, while on a training operation, sees a big object in the skies of Utah. He is intrigued by what he saw and wants to know more, but his superiors promptly advise him to stop investigating. Captain Ryan, however, cannot help himself and continues to search for information on UFOs, discovering that it is not the first time someone has sighted one in Utah. This is just the beginning of Johnnie West's Alien Orders, a novel with multiple twists and turns and incredible characters. Captain Ryan will soon realize that his adventure is dangerous, as he will be involved in intrigues and, above all, in an alien war.

Alien Orders is a book you will read with bated breath. The story is fascinating, and the events are usually unpredictable. When you think you know a character, West tells you something new about them that makes you reconsider what you know. In this way, the reading never bores you, and the story becomes more and more complex and compelling. When I got to the end of the book, I thought about everything that happened to Captain Ryan, Amanda, Jeff, and all the other characters, and I realized that West's imagination is truly inexhaustible. I could not believe the last page was really the end. I have not read many books that have thrilled me as much as Alien Orders. If you are a sci-fi lover, I am sure you will like it too.

Grant Leishman

Alien Orders by Johnnie West is a science-fiction thriller, aimed principally at the young adult market. When Air Force Captain Scott Ryan and his wingman, Captain Jeff Johnson, spotted an unidentified flying object over the skies of Utah whilst on a training mission, the pair are amazed and intrigued. On their return to base, they are ordered not to report the mysterious object but just to forget they ever saw it. Perplexed at the hierarchy’s seeming apathy to such a strange occurrence, Scott is determined to dig into the base files and discover how many other sightings such as theirs have gone unreported. What he finds convinces him that the Air Force and the government are actually covering up something major here. Could aliens already be here on planet earth and the powers that be are aware of them but not letting the general public know? Scott is determined to find out the answer and his curiosity will lead him down a dangerous path that will thrust him into conflict with the “naturals”, earth’s resident aliens, and the “hybrids”, humans that have been structurally altered at the DNA level to serve and obey the naturals. Scott is on a mission to save the human race from domination and control by an alien culture and it seems nobody can be trusted or enlisted to help him in his perilous quest.

Alien Orders is a lot of fun and I can see how the target audience would enjoy the thrilling action and non-stop plot twists and turns that author Johnnie West has built into his narrative. Tailored as a short read at just over 200 pages, the sheer complexity and surprises in the plot are simply staggering for a novel of this brevity; kudos to the author for this. I particularly enjoyed the changing nature of the alliances Scott tried to forge along the path of besting the aliens. Each time he seemed to find the perfect partner to assist him in his quest, the partner would be captured and turned into a hybrid, again leaving Scott alone to battle the alien presence and to somehow warn a skeptical world of what was actually happening on their beloved planet. I also appreciated the clever literary devices the author developed to explain the appearance of the aliens, their brief previous encounters with earth in history, and why they had now returned seeking to dominate and control humanity. The overarching concept of the story is, of course, the triumph of “good over evil” and this is something the character of Scott is totally infused with, which makes him singularly unique in a world where it seems many of those in power and authority have already been converted to hybrids and are serving the aliens. The author left the door slightly ajar for a possible sequel to this story and I hope he does take it. This novel was perfectly targeted at its market audience and I thoroughly enjoyed the read.

Pikasho Deka

Alien Orders is an action-packed sci-novel novel written by Johnnie West. On one of his routine training flying missions, Air Force Pilot Captain Scott Ryan witnesses a UFO over the skies of the Silver Valley Range in Utah. But his report to his superiors isn't well-received, and he is pressured to forget the encounter. Unable to do so, Scott takes matters into his own hands and investigates the incident, only to embroil himself in a conspiracy where aliens called Naturals are trying to take over the human race to facilitate their own survival. Additionally, Hybrids, their subservient humans, had already infiltrated every section of society. It is now up to Scott to blow the lid off the entire operation and make the world see the truth. However, to save humanity, he must first transcend himself.

Top Gun meets MIB (Men in Black). That's what Johnnie West's exciting sci-fi thriller feels like. Fast-paced, pulpy, and brimming with action, the narrative hooks you in from the get-go, and the twists and turns of the plot keep you on the edge of your seat for the duration of the story. This is a plot-driven book, and as such, despite the large cast of characters, only the main protagonist, Scott, receives a significant amount of page time. Scott's strong will and relentless pursuit of truth is what ultimately leads him to become humanity's last beacon of hope. I had an absolute blast reading Alien Orders and recommend it to any sci-fi lover who loves a wild rollercoaster of a ride.

JC Minnaar

Alien Orders by Johnnie West puts you in the pilot seat of Air Force Pilot Scott Ryan. On a routine training flight under cover of night and over the skies of Utah, Captain Ryan notices something strange occupying the skies alongside him. On closer inspection, he’s unable to even make out what it is before the triangular object speeds away faster than his own F-16 fighter jet. Thoroughly confused, he checks in with his fellow pilots and the air traffic controllers who all acknowledge the object. Upon writing his report and seeking answers for what he saw, Captain Ryan is told to drop the inquiry by his higher-ups. This doesn’t fly with Captain Ryan. Captain Ryan thus embarks on a journey of government cover-ups, alien invasion, and a thirst to satiate his curiosity.

Johnnie West’s Alien Orders is an entertaining story in a genre that doesn’t get touched upon often. I enjoyed the levels of conspiracy and mystery that Captain Ryan, Captain Johnson, and Amanda were perpetually shrouded in by never knowing who to trust ... as anyone can be when working for the government or aliens. The aliens themselves are very interesting, their goals are ambitious and I found the variations of aliens within the story quite intriguing, especially the Naturals and the Created. Their method of changing humans to their side had me shivering with dread at imagining the experience. The action is fast-paced and moment to moment as secrets and conspiracies are unveiled and tensions rise. Alien Orders is reminiscent of Stephenie Meyer’s The Host and Men In Black. I recommend it to sci-fi/conspiracy enthusiasts.

Keith Mbuya

If only Captain Scott Ryan knew how much trouble would arise with him trying to find out more about the strange objects he had seen in the skies of Utah, he would never have delved deeper into the subject. It all started with being summoned to the intelligence command office at the Utah air force camp base alongside his companion Captain Johnson. They were both warned to never again talk about what they had seen. A curious Scott goes on to research more about the subject. This sees him being suspended from the air force camp base by the intelligence command authorities. Scott believes the authorities could be intentionally hiding something from the public. He is determined to learn more about the UFOs in Utah’s skies. Unbeknownst to him, the authorities are willing to go to any lengths to protect their secret. What secret do they have? Will Scott get to the bottom of it all? Get yourself Johnnie West’s Alien Orders to discover how it all goes down.

Alien Orders is a captivating and entertaining work of science fiction. Johnnie West forges a gripping and intriguing plot featuring ingenious plot twists. West’s style of narration kept me on edge, always guessing what was to happen next in the story. The storyline was very unpredictable, with many exciting plot twists. This left me at the mercy of West’s words. This was especially amplified by the third-person POV voice of narration. It felt like seeing a character head right in the middle of trouble and not being able to warn or help them. For instance, despite Scott’s intelligence and shrewdness, he was made very vulnerable to his adversaries. This made the characters real and easy to connect with. The characters were amazing and wonderfully developed. Young adult enthusiasts of science fiction stories with a touch of an adventurous tone will love this book. It features fascinating characters and ingenious plot twists. The book has a good flow and the storyline is entertaining and fun to follow.

Vincent Dublado

It usually starts with a light in the sky or a streak going across the horizon. This is how Johnnie West opens his story, Alien Orders. Air Force Pilot Captain Scott Ryan has not been flying jets for that long, but he had many encounters with something other than normal aircraft. He tries to tell his superiors about this, but they dismiss him and tell him to forget about it. But the Air Force Captain is one who will not rest while in search of the truth. His further probe into the phenomenon makes him discover that there are already four types of aliens living among humans on Earth: The Naturals, the Createds, the Hybrids, and those who assist the invaders in return for money or power. As the race of the Naturals is becoming extinct, they are creating alien-human Hybrids to ensure the survival of their species. But Ryan has a plan to give humanity a fighting chance—a plan to infect the enemies with cancerous blood labeled as Factor X. But will this be enough to scare the aliens into leaving the planet?

Alien Orders sustains the flying saucer genre that dates back to the early 50s, and Johnnie West provides his own take on the theme as he does away with the premise of an in-your-face invasion that throws humanity in panic. The alien threat is discreet as they walk among us and the tension builds as human characters begin to unravel the truth behind their suspicions. Speaking of the human characters, they are colorful in themselves for their occupational skills and represent a very intelligent Earthling race. The storyline gets you wrapped up in the plot as West proposes some neat ideas. It’s a stylistic exercise related to invasion literature, one that is astonishing in its commentary on evolutionary theory, fears, and prejudices. It has plenty to offer anyone who loves alien invasion stories.

Natalie Soine

In his novel Alien Orders by Johnnie West, Air Force pilot Captain Scott Ryan was on a training operation in Utah, flying over the Silver Island Range with Captain Jeff Johnson when they saw an object in the sky. Colonel James Wyatt of the Intelligence Command ordered that such sightings should not be reported but Ryan decided to do some research and found that this was not a one-time event. Colonel Wyatt discovered Ryan’s investigation and put him on unpaid leave, giving Ryan time to continue his research and meet conspiracy theorists Joe Baker and Darian Gallagher. According to some reports, the aliens were turning humans into human-alien hybrids that were serving the aliens. They were being surveilled by Wyatt who had Joe captured and interrogated before being returned home. Scott, Amanda, and Joe decide to go camping in the Salt Flats/Wendover area where most UFO sightings are reported. The trip ends in tragedy and Detective Jason Smith investigates the case, which is later taken over by Detective Jones and FBI Agent Brown. What follows puts all their lives in danger.

Alien Orders is an action-packed thriller filled with twists and turns. Author Johnnie West has created a fast-paced story, keeping the reader enthralled from beginning to end as Captain Scott Ryan navigates through a world of aliens and humans. When the “Naturals” go extinct, they are creating more and more alien/human “Hybrids” to ensure their survival. These are just some of the unusual characters in the story. The scenes and locations are well described, including those from a different world and underground structures. The relationships between the various characters change continuously as Scott discovers that some are aliens and others are human. The story teaches us to be careful who we trust and that people are not always as they appear to be. All-round, a great novel highly recommended to all ages.


Scary cool, Johnny. Love it.