Book Review: Dark Energy

Dark Energy
By: Robison Wells
Published by: HarperTeen
Release date: March 29, 2016
Genre: YA sci fi
288 pages
Source: galley kindly provided by publisher

I picked this book up sort of by accident; I've seen friends praise another book by this author, and I had time to sneak in another book, so I decided to give this one a try. I was pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed it.

This book makes use of some tropes that may tempt you to consider skipping it: new girl at a boarding school who has one parent who is too busy working to deal with her, and the other parent who's dead, moves from warm location to wintery wonderland. Don't let that framework put you off, though; there are other events that are pretty important and trump her "new girl" thing, her dad actually keeps in touch with her, and her mom, though deceased, contributes to an interesting world view, since she was Native American.

The plot is driven by a crash-landing of an alien craft in Minnesota. There is a lot excitement about the large number of humans who were killed, the large number of beings aboard the craft, the reason for their arrival, and the technology that brought them here. The main character, Alice, is connected to the incident because her father works for NASA, and is sent to investigate the craft.

One of my favorite things about the book is Alice's conversations with her dad. There is just enough snark to make it funny and realistic, but not so much that it seems that they don't love each other. It's apparent that Alice is accustomed to taking care of herself, but that she isn't neglected. She also makes friends at her new school quickly, and slides right into an easy banter with them. The teen angst slides to back burner, thanks to the giant alien spacecraft in their back yard.

The second half of the book has some great surprise twists! It's difficult to talk about the book without spoilers, so I'll just hint that there is so, so much more to the book than I've described above, and it's all really good stuff. I'm recommending this one to everyone who will even consider reading science fiction. I'm also putting every other book by this author on my tbr list.


Five days ago, a massive UFO crashed in the Midwest, killing thousands of people. Since then, nothing–or no one–has come out.


If it were up to Alice, she’d be watching all of this on the news from Miami, Florida. Instead, she’s the newest student at a boarding school not far from the crash site–because her dad is the director of special projects for NASA, and if anything’s a special project, it’s this.


A shell-shocked country is waiting, glued to televisions and computer screens, for a sign of what the future holds. But when the aliens emerge, they’re nothing like what Alice expected. And only one thing is clear: Nothing will ever be the same again.


  1. I've seen this book and thought it looked good. Glad you picked it up and reviewed it. I'm drawn to it just a bit because of the Minnesota connection!

  2. Mary DeBorde
    This is new on my radar, but I am so glad you brought it to my attention (and wish list lol) - love the exciting alien theme, can't wait to read this <3

  3. I am super fascinated with this one! I happen to love the boarding school settings. Alien invasions are pretty intriguing for me as well. I definitely need to check this one out.

  4. I didn't hear about this book yet so I'm glad to have read your review about it! Definitely sounds like something I would like


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