Helia’s Shadow by K. C. Neal


Helia's Shadow

Helia’s Shadow (The Starlight Age #1)
K. C. Neal
Published: 23rd November, 2014
Genre: Science Fiction
Age: Young Adult
From: Xpresso Book Tours


 Nineteen years ago, aliens arrived on a dying Earth with advanced technology and the promise of ensuring human survival in exchange for a place to settle. They were hailed as the saviors of humans and Earth.

Today, 16-year-old Helia wants two things in life: to step out of her over-protective mother’s shadow and become an engineer, and to stop hiding her romance with alien boy Kalo. But the world definitely isn’t ready for a human-alien romance. And worse, the human-alien partnership is crumbling. Humans are being arrested without explanation. Some of them are never seen again.

When the alien leader imprisons her mother on a false charge, Helia discovers the aliens never intended to help humans at all. Now, she must join forces with alien rebels and convince the young rebel leader that humans aren’t expendable. If she succeeds, humans have a chance at survival and she has a chance at love. If she fails, the dwindling human race dies out in slavery.

What I liked: Helia was different from what I expect at times. She didn’t want to cause a war, she wanted peace with the Talans and hoped that everything was a big misunderstanding and things would be explained by the leader of the Talans watching over Haven, Tal-Reku. I liked that about her, and how she had a friend who was always more dead-on about what was happening than Helia ever knew. I also liked the folio’s the people of Haven carried around, it was an interesting bit of technology and it was also nice to see how the Talan’s had changed the lives of the people of Haven since their arrival in a good way for the most part. The humans and Talan’s are working on a way that will heal the Earth from the nuclear war that decimated the Earth prior to the arrival of the Talan. I really liked the “forbidden romance” part of this story because even though it’s technically not outright against the rules you can see how it would be taboo for the people.

What I didn’t like: I think in a way I was hoping that this book wouldn’t have the “evil aliens trying to enslave/kill all humans” portion, because every book I’ve read where off-world aliens of some kind come to a planet where human/human-like beings are natives they either just appear to take over and enslave all the human/human-like beings, or they’re out to kill everyone and do planet-wide genocide. It feels a tad overdone and I was hoping in a way Helia’s Shadow would be different in that way.

Overall Review: While not straying too far from normal off-world alien arrival sci-fi stories, Helia’s Shadow did manage to take different twist than I was expecting and managed to keep me interested in the story to see it through to the cliffhanger ending, which made me really want to read the second book in this series. The characters were what make the story shine and I can’t wait to see more of the ones we meet in this book in the next installment and see how everything goes after the way it ended.

Recommend?: Yes, you will really like the spin this book takes on something I thought would be repetitive to other stories with a similar basis idea (off-world aliens come and try to enslave all of the humans) and made it more enjoyable.

Goodreads: 4.1/5 Amazon: 4.6/5 Barnes&Noble: -/5

Amazon UK | Kobo

My Rating: 3.8/5

Rated Materials:
Cover: 3.4
Idea: 3.8
Story: 4.1
Characters: 4.1

Follow the rest of the tour here!

Don’t miss the prequel or the second part of the book:

Arrival Day

Arrival Day (The Starlight Age #.5)
K. C. Neal
Published: 20th April, 2015
Genre: Science Fiction
Age: Young Adult


When alien boy Kalo first arrived on Earth with the rest of his people, he never imagined a future with anything other than the Universal Mission. The Mission had carried them through the universe for millennia, finding and studying intelligent species, always with the end purpose of enslaving them. But lately, something unfamiliar has taken root inside Kalo—the desire to break free of the Mission and his leader, Tal-Reku. And he’s not the only one. He and the other alien rebels must learn how to be revolutionaries within a society that’s never strayed from their practices, and under an all-knowing leader who will stop at nothing to complete the Mission on Earth.

Meanwhile, Earthborn boy Gordon conducts his trades in and out of Haven so he can pay for extra medicine and food for his sick mother. He may be only 12 years old, but he knows Haven’s underground better than most grown-ups. When he gets an unusual opportunity to help a young couple start a new life outside of Haven, he learns of an underground resistance—citizens who want the seemingly-benevolent aliens gone. Intrigued, he can’t resist the pull of the organized rebellion and the dark-haired girl who’s already part of their ranks.

Amazon Barnes&Noble

Amazon UK

Helia's Shadow 2

Helia’s Shadow: Part Two (The Starlight Age #2)
K. C. Neal
Published: 16th February, 2015
Genre: Science Fiction
Age: Young Adult


Helia’s Shadow Part Two picks up right where Part One ended, with Helia trapped in a transporter on the way to the lunar prison. When she gets there, she discovers that the rumors Gordon heard were true—there are alien cannibals on the moon. It’s more horrific and dangerous than anything she ever imagined. She must survive long enough to figure out how to escape back to earth, find Kalo and the rebels, and take down Reku before he enslaves the last surviving humans.

One human girl’s ingenious invention and one alien boy’s awakened heart are humanity’s last hope . . .

Goodreads Amazon Barnes&Noble

Amazon UK | Kobo


About the Author

In previous iterations of my professional life, I worked as a bench chemist, a lab equipment tester, a biotech researcher, and a medical writer. Strangely, this sequence has not led to my dream job: drummer in a rock band. But my current gig is pretty sweet.

I love colored pens and sticky notes, sunsets and sunrises, digging my fingers into the dirt and nurturing the things that grow in it, and learning anything and everything. I’m a scientist who studies astrology, a go-with-the-flow Type A, and an impatient practitioner of daily meditation. A big bag of contradictions, just like everyone else.


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2 responses to “Helia’s Shadow by K. C. Neal

  1. I’ve really enjoyed every alien book I’ve read (which are not that many and probably why – yay original stories!) and this one sounds like a fun read overall! Great review! 🙂


    • I’ve read quite a few over the last few years so it takes a lot to surprised me with alien stories these days. I’d consider you lucky for being able to enjoy all the ones you’ve read. Hopefully you’ll find plenty to like with them!
      Thanks, glad you enjoyed it!


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