Tate Archer has been in training his entire life. For what, he has no idea. His secretive weapons inventor dad harps on “family responsibility” and “high stakes” but won’t clue Tate in on just what that means. All Tate needs to do right now is to follow his punishing exercise regimen, eat according to his carefully prescribed nutrition plan (protein gel, anyone?), and sharpen his ever curious mind (learned chemistry in kindergarten).
The bright spots in his life are his girlfriend Christina, and sneaking into his dad’s high security lab whenever possible, with his makeshift replicant fingerprints. He “borrows” what looks like a scanner, triggering a shoot-out, which results in his father’s death. Now Tate is right in the middle of a centuries old secret alien war on Earth, and everyone wants that scanner. Tate and Christina are on the run, joined by Tate’s formerly-out-of-the-picture mom, and don’t know who to trust. All Tate knows is that the scanner is more than it seems, and he has to keep it out of everyone’s hands.
Scan by Walter Jury and Sarah E. Fine is the first effort by Jury and the third by Fine (author of the “Guards of the Shadowlands” series). This YA novel is non-stop action combined with scientific escape solutions. Your heart will break at the relationship between Tate and his father, first for how Tate is treated, and second when you discover the reason why. The story behind the alien infiltration and subsequent war is riveting. If aliens were on Earth, this is the way they would do it. The reader is as suspicious as Tate of anyone he comes in contact with.
One can easily see this as the next big YA movie, and with good reason. Walter Jury is the pen name of Divergent producer Pouya Shabazian.
Jury and Fine’s second book in the series, Burn, will be released in the summer of 2015.