The Book Exo by Fonda Lee takes place in a technologically advanced future
where Earth has been colonized by a species of aliens known as the Zhree. The Zhree, after a long period of war, make peace with the human race and start to respect them as a species. The Zhree introduce an exoskeleton known as an exocell that attaches to human children in a process called hardening. Exo starts by introducing Donovan Reyes, a “hardened” police officer working with the Zhree to maintain the peace and hunt the remaining terrorist groups from the war. Donovan Reyes’ father is the “Prime
Liaison” or head ambassador between the human governance and the Zhree Empire. Donovan Reyes’ life is thrown into turmoil when he is captured by the terrorist organization he has been fighting his whole life.
I enjoyed reading this book. It was not the typical sci-fi novel because it focused more on the internal conflict of the characters within the battle then the stakes of the battle itself. My main criticism of this book is with the decisions made by the Donovan Reyes character. Some of the choices he makes throughout the plot blatantly contradict each other in a chaotic way making his character feel random and impulsive to an unrelatable fault. The book partially makes up for its chaotic character arcs with its interesting setting and overarching conflict between the Zhree factions and human resistance. To the average teen reader, I would rate this book a 5.5/10. I would recommend this book to someone specifically interested in sci-fi novels.
Submitted by M. W.