KERNEL Josh Browne reviews CONQUEST, the first in a series of books called THE CHRONICLES OF THE INVADERS coming from John Connolly and his partner Jennifer Ridyard. This science fiction has been released already from Hachette Australia and can be purchased HERE. The book is classifed “young adult science fiction” and is 480 pages long, although the book is suited to all ages that enjoy a good science fiction. Enjoy Josh’s review below……..all the best……..JK.



CONQUEST is the first in an exciting new series for teen readers in the  Young Adult fiction (YA) genre by John Connolly and his partner Jennifer Ridyard. John Connolly was born in Dublin in 1968 and studied  journalism going on to work for over five years as a freelance journalist for the Irish Times, which he still contributes to. He is the bestselling author of eighteen books, including the Charlie Parker series and THE BOOK OF LOST THINGS, and an editor of the prizewinning non-fiction anthology BOOKS TO DIE FOR. CONQUEST is his twentieth published book. Jennifer Ridyard was born in England and grew up in South Africa, where she worked as a journalist for many years. CONQUEST is her first novel. John and Jennifer live in Dublin.

This is the first instalment within the Chronicles of the Invaders series, with Aliens becoming the new vampires this book is sure to tempt. It is an epic new YA science fiction series described by Connolly as “an adventure novel”. It’s a gripping read that I had trouble putting down, the book is full of impressive characters and really flows, it will drag you into its realm. The authors credit PHYSICS OF THE FUTURE by Michio Kaku and THE SINGULARITY IS NEAR by Ray Kurzweil as inspiration. I’d like to add ALIENS, STAR TREK and maybe even BATTLESTAR GALACTICA (the original series) to that list.




Set at a time when Earth no longer belongs to humans we have been invaded and are now under the control of, a slightly more advanced race called the Illyri – a beautiful, civilised, yet ruthless alien species. The Illryi have their own issues though and there is conflict amongst the ranks of the Illyri divisions as well as a small faction of humans called the Resistance who wage war on the invaders with mixed results.

The storyline is set in, and around, Edinburgh castle and the Scottish Highlands. The story centres around the first Illyri born on Earth, a girl named, Syl, who along with her friend Ani, whilst in an area designated off limits, gets saved by two human brothers, Paul and Steven Kerr. This chance meeting leads to an unlikely relationship which will change lives forever.

Along their journey we discover the deep divisions in the Illryi race between the Military and the Diplomatic Corps, who have a history of conflict.  This division is driven even further by humans being the most advanced species the Illyri have attempted to subdue.  Not only do the humans have a strengthening movement, but many Illyri are having ethical issues with trying to defeat a race that is not dissimilar to themselves.

The book has a wide variety of fascinating, well thought out creatures, each with their own unique abilities and story behind how they became enslaved to the Illryi. It’s not all smooth sailing for the aliens though, as a dark secret hangs over the Illyri that could bring their new kingdom down, their future depends on a Sisterhood of Witches called Nairene, who hold the balance of power. The young Syl and Ani are just discovering the history behind the Sisterhood and the dark powers which the witches wield.

With a well thought out plot and intriguing characters Conquest is a fabulous gateway book, full of action and suspense. The technical detail of the battle scenes and insight into the characters will keep you in awe and wanting more. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book and recommend it to readers of any age looking for a sci-fi hit.


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