Extinction Machine by Jonathan Maberry

The President of the United States vanishes from the White House.

A top-secret prototype stealth fighter is destroyed during a test flight. Witnesses on the ground say that it was shot down by a craft that immediately vanished at impossible speeds.

All over the world reports of UFOs are increasing at an alarming rate.

And in a remote fossil dig in China dinosaur hunters have found something that is definitely not of this earth. There are rumors of alien-human hybrids living among us.

Joe Ledger and the Department of Military Sciences rush headlong into the heat of the world’s strangest and deadliest arms race, because the global race to recover and retro-engineer alien technologies has just hit a snag. Someone—or something–wants that technology back.

extinction machine coverI don’t usually swipe summaries from Goodreads for Jonathan Maberry’s Joe Ledger books, but I couldn’t decide what was safe to say in my review, and what could possibly give something away. The big thing is: ALIENS. Joe Ledgers and the DMS team are up against ALIENS and people using and reverse-engineering alien technology from crashed space ships. I’ll admit, I’m not super into aliens, UFOs and conspiracy theories. I mean, OK, I did spend an entire summer watching nothing but X-Files and  (ahem) I want to believe we aren’t alone in the universe.But point is, I don’t read a who lot of sci-fi books about aliens. This book, however, totally rocked.

The last Joe Ledger novel I read, Assassin’s Code (reviewed here!) was not my favorite. I was nervous about getting this one, worrying that maybe I was getting tired of the serious and it was getting too ridiculous and outlandish. While I can’t think of many things more outlandish than the President of the United States getting abducted by aliens, I still bought into this book 100% and loved every minute of it. (Well, alright, 95% I couldn’t quite get behind human-alien hybrids). This book was so believable. As I read, I remember thinking “that makes perfect sense!” Of course we aren’t alone in the universe. Of course we’ve found alien technology and are trying to figure out how it works and how we can use it. And of course that would piss off the aliens and they would want their toys back. OK, maybe not that last one so much. But the rest seemed perfectly logical.

In Extinction Machine, the President disappears from the White House and DMS receives a coded message saying they have 48 hours to find the Majestic Black Book or a large portion of Earth will be destroyed. Having previously though the Majestic Black Book was a conspiracy theory and myth, DMS has a lot of catching up to do. They enlist the help of alien “experts” like Junie Flynn, who claims to have the Majestic Black Book and wants to share it with the public.

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DMS should have called in these guys.

The Majestic Black Book, Joe soon learns, is the book that contains all the notes of the Majestic 12, the team assembled by President Truman to investigate the first alien crash. Side note: I did some very brief googling, and while I didn’t find hundreds of websites dedicated to the Majestic Black Book, I did find information about the Majestic-12, the group that supposedly wrote the Majestic Black Book. So I guess they are a real thing. Or, well, a real conspiracy theory. Junie becomes an honorary member of the DMS team and helps them find and stop the bad guys who want to use alien tech to take over the world.

This book was exciting and suspenseful. I couldn’t put it down. And it leaves you with just enough unanswered questions to keep you wondering. Are we alone in the universe?

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Happy reading,

-Branwen

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