The Escapers

Book One of the Alien Harvester Series

Young Adult - Sci-Fi
278 Pages
Reviewed on 07/26/2022
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Author Biography

L. J. Monahan lives in Northern California with his wife, two sons, and a crazy dog named Luna. He graduated from San Francisco State University with a degree in English and once fell off a roller coaster. (Spoiler alert: he survived.) The Escapers: Book One of the Alien Harvester Series is his debut novel.

When he's not writing, you might find him teaching middle schoolers history, walking his dog, or trying to find his golf ball on the course.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Pikasho Deka for Readers' Favorite

The Escapers is the first book of the Alien Harvester Series by L.J. Monahan. After his parents were killed during the invasion of Earth by the Imjac, fourteen-year-old Bryce has been living with his aunt and uncle on a remote farm. However, soon Bryce finds himself and his cousin, Amanda, becoming captives of the Imjac as they round up teenagers from all over to dig up minerals they can use on their path to conquering the universe. Trapped on a remote island in the Pacific, hundreds of miles from the mainland, Bryce and Amanda find themselves enslaved with teenagers their own age struggling to survive. Determined to break out, Bryce discovers he can use Imjac tech, unlike any of his friends. After finding a potent weapon, Bryce sees his chance to escape the prison once and for all. But can he?

A captivating tale of survival under extraordinary circumstances, the Alien Harvester Series is off to a flying start with The Escapers. Author L.J. Monahan builds on a promising premise about an alien invasion that leaves Earth's inhabitants becoming sub-citizens to their extraterrestrial rulers and having children used as a labor force for the aforementioned rulers. Moving at a brisk pace, the narrative flows past without a single hitch. The characters are well-developed, and it doesn't take readers much time to start rooting for them. Bryce is a likable protagonist, and his dynamic with Amanda and the rest of his fellow prisoners provides some compelling dramatic moments. Overall, I very much enjoyed the book and looking forward to reading the sequels.

Rolanda Lyles

The Escapers: Book One of the Alien Harvester Series by L. J. Monahan introduces fourteen-year-old Bryce, who lives on a dairy farm with his uncle Kyle, his aunt Sammie and his cousin Amanda. Bryce has lived with them ever since his parents died fighting the Imjac - alien invaders that conquered Earth. Bryce and his family have lived peacefully in their small town, but the news of children being harvested slowly gets closer to their location. One day while they are at school, the Imjac captures Bryce and Amanda, forcing them to work in one of their prison camps, where the aliens seek a blue mineral from a dormant volcano to fuel their alien population. Bryce hates the Imjac but seems to have a gift for using alien technology. Bryce, Amanda, and a few of their new friends devise a plan to escape, but will Bryce's skills and their will to survive be enough to keep them alive?

The Escapers is an action-packed sci-fi adventure story full of suspense, emotion, and amazingly written characters. It is a story that is sure to suck you in and keep you there until the very end. This is a tale of a battle against alien opponents and the fight to stay alive to be reunited with family. If you are a lover of stories with action, tension, and thrills all wrapped up in a sci-fi package, you are sure to enjoy L. J. Monahan's book. This is the first of the series, so I'm looking forward to seeing what else Monahan has in store for readers in future stories.

K.C. Finn

The Escapers is a work of fiction in the science fiction subgenre and serves as the opening installment of the Alien Harvester series. It is aimed at young adult readers and was penned by author L. J. Monahan. The book follows teenager Bryce whose hatred for the alien race who successfully invaded Earth – the Imjac – intensifies after he and his cousin are kidnapped and taken to a work camp. Already orphaned by the Imjac and now forced to mine the materials they need to wage war with the rest of the universe, Bryce’s discovery of his ability to use alien technology may finally allow him to turn the tables.

Immediately, this work impressed me with the effective and imaginative world-building the author has done to create the backdrop for the exciting story. Author L. J. Monahan’s vision for the Imjac and their impact on Earth is tangible right away, viscerally realized through the eyes of protagonist Bryce, who has lost so much to them and now faces enslavement. Against this lore, we find ourselves with an exciting and dynamic narrative with vividly realized characters fighting for their freedom against an overwhelmingly powerful threat. The prose used to bring Bryce and Amanda to life is consistently gorgeous and elevates them off the page, making them feel like real flesh and blood people. Overall, The Escapers is a strong opening for the saga that is sure to follow, establishing the world whilst telling a full and satisfying story that leaves room for future development without compromising its quality as a stand-alone novel.