We never saw them coming.
Entire cities disappeared in the blink of an eye, leaving nothing but dust and rubble. When an alien race came to make Earth theirs, they brought with them a weapon we had no way to fight, a universe-altering force known as thelemity. It seemed nothing could stop it—until we discovered we could wield the power too.
Five hundred years later, the Earth is locked in a grinding war of attrition. The talented few capable of bending thelemity to their will are trained in elite military academies, destined for the front lines. Those who refused to support the war have been exiled to the wilds of a ruined Earth.
But the enemy’s tactics are changing, and Earth’s defenders are about to discover this centuries-old war has only just begun. As a terrible new onslaught looms, heroes will rise from unlikely quarters, and fight back. (official synopsis via Penguin Random House)
It makes sense that if aliens came and blew everything to bits and we discovered we could do the same back to them, that’d we’d give it a shot right?
But as countless wars down through the ages have proven, World War 1 most memorably in the twentieth century, wars of this nature are usually unwinnable.
Everything keeps grinding on and on and one until one side, desperate to avoid the slough of endless conflict comes up with a new hideous weapon, one that will tip the balance and win the war.
But as the debut novel from Boston-based J. Patrick Black, who rather humourously describes himself as “a bartender, a small-town lawyer, a homebuilder, and a costumed theme park character, all while living a secret double life as a fiction writer”, attests, it’s a rare thing indeed if the potentially-vanquished foe, simply lies down and takes it.
Particularly if that foe is Earth. Aliens you have been warned.
Ninth City Burning released 6 September via Penguin Random House.