Evolution, by Stephanie Diaz


Clementine’s world is on the brink of destruction. An army of aliens from the distant planet Marden has arrived with a massive fleet of battleships, intent on finally putting an end to the war Kiel’s old rulers initiated. With the Alliance headquarters reduced to rubble and one of the rebel leaders close to death, Clementine and her friends have no choice but to retreat to the Core to escape the alien ships attacking the Surface. But safety in the Core means forming a temporary alliance with their sworn enemy, Commander Charlie. He’s a ruthless man and a liar, but striking a bargain with him–his pardon in exchange for their help defeating the Mardenites–is the only way the rebels might survive the war. And Charlie needs their help too, for Marden’s force is more powerful than anyone anticipated, with weapons and technologies never before seen on Kiel. Unless old feuds can be set aside long enough for a diplomatic solution to be found, all of Kiel’s people will be destroyed, and everything Clementine and her friends have sacrificed in their fight for peace will have been for nothing.

I hadn’t read any of the previous books in the series. I may have passed on this if the cover had indicated that this was the third book in a series, but the blurb looked interesting when I saw it on NetGalley, so I added it to my TBR pile.

I was confused about a few things that were likely explored in the previous books. Evolution is a sort of coming of age story, but I wasn’t already emotionally invested in any of the characters. I didn’t care if any of them died, or if the aliens conquered them. There’s a rebellion against a totalitarian government that apparently happens after the surface of the Earth is ruined by alien technology.

Not knowing the back-story, I suspect the alien tech would’ve been way cooler, but I presume that was the premise of the previous books.

I’m not sure my apathy toward the characters is a product of showing up late to the party, but the writing was clean, and I suspect had I started at the beginning, I’d have rated it higher. I don’t know that I’d personally want to read the previous stories, but I’d give a fourth book a try (this one is touted as the final book, so that’s unlikely), and I’d definitely be interested in the author’s other books.


Twenty-two-year-old Stephanie Diaz wrote her debut novel, Extraction, while studying film at San Diego State University. When she isn’t lost in books, she can be found singing, marveling at the night sky, or fan-girling over TV shows.


About Mark Gardner

Mark Gardner lives in northern Arizona with his wife, three children and a pair of spoiled dogs. Mark holds a degrees in Computer Systems and Applications and Applied Human Behavior. View all posts by Mark Gardner

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