In Review: Dawn Among the Stars by Samantha Heuwagen

Aliens are real.

Our Sense of Security diminished, blown away into oblivion

Aliens are real.

The above excerpt is from the first page of Dawn Among the Stars, and hooked me the moment I read it. The book follows three different perspectives, all of whom the reader meets to some level in the first chapter but with very different experiences, as they deal with the aftermath of an alien invasion.

In particular it focuses on the mental health aspects of it, PTSD, depression, anxiety, all while presenting a compelling story of survival, endurance, and hope in the face of extreme adversity. And all three perspectives were handled wonderfully.

Between the three perspectives, each is written in first person. Additionally, the book follows one character all the way through to a certain point, then another, then another, without returning to a previous characters perspective (There will be a sequel at some point). The author handled returning to the same timeframe wonderfully and, while small bits of information are repeated between characters, never did it feel repetitive or like the author was trying to reexplain everything again and again.

Even when small things are repeated, its because the characters genuinely need to know, and sometimes we the reader get even more information than we had. Expanding on the mystery of who either race of aliens is and why the fight is happening

I picked this book up because the entire premise fascinated me and it very much delivered. The perspectives were unique and distinct and the portrayals of the mental health effects of an alien invasion were real and very well portrayed. Without getting into spoilers, there is even a budding human alien relationship I liked more than in Freedoms Landing, which I previously reviewed. Though I suspect this is for surrounding world reasons than anything else.

I did have a couple of gripes. There was a small plot hole that I noticed, but the story flowed seamlessly in spite of it. I also didn’t like the cliffhanger ending, but that will be resolved when the sequel comes out.

Overall, I would still recommend this book, especially to people who like scifi and realistic portrayals of mental illness


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