Sway’s Demise by Jess D. Harpley
Welcome to Saturday Shorts, where we spotlight short stories and novellas. In today’s story, a young girl with big dreams for the future fights to save her home and family from alien invaders.
Publisher’s Description: After making peace with the desolate and stranded alien race, the Priyon, civilization limped on. Humanity occupies but a fraction of the globe at a stagnant abridgement of technology from the Priyon warning: Don’t rebuild, or the darkness that destroyed their world will come to Earth.
Now eight young men and women from a small community will be the only barrier between the enemy of old, and the survival of the human race. Can they persevere, or will it be their demise?
Possible spoilers beyond this point.
Invested Ivana says…
An insect-like race, called the Priyon have invaded earth, pushed off their own planet by something they call “the darkness.” After a long war, an uneasy truce was called between the races; humans agreed to inhabit the far northern and southern areas of the globe where temperatures are too cold for the Priyon, leaving the warmer climates to the alien race.
Humans formed settlements in their parts of the globe, learning to live without too much technology, since “the darkness” is attracted to highly technological societies.
Or so the Priyons say. Eighty years after the invasion of Earth, the humans discover their conquerors are both patient and devious, and not at all what the humans were lead to believe.
Sway’s Demise shows us the state of affairs on Earth through the eyes of Sway and her community in Kamloops, Canada. Sway–Sarah Way–her best friend Eli, and her boyfriend Reese, along with five other youngsters, are finally full-fledged members of Beacon, a highly-trained paramilitary squad intended to protect Kamloops. While on their first exercise as full members, the squad accidentally runs into Priyon soldiers and things go horribly awry.
Harpley does a good job of describing life in the Kamloops community and how different society would be without our technology and abundance of food and other resources. Her characters are real and endearing; I care about all of them (well, maybe not the aliens as much). Her knowledge of military training seems plausible to me, not having any military background myself. As you might surmise from the title, this story is a tragedy; however, the world is rich with possibility. There are many more stories that could be told in Sway’s world.
If you like this book…