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I Belong

Review: Red Handed by Gena Showalter

Red HandedTitle: Red Handed

Author: Gena Showalter

Genre: YA Sci-Fi

Series: YA Alien Huntress (Book #1)

Publication Date: June 19, 2007

Format: Paperback, 288 Pages

ISBN-10: 1416532242 (MTV Books)

ISBN-13: 978-1416532248 (MTV Books)

Reviewed by: Bridget


She’s been chosen to fight the elusive enemy among us….

Phoenix Germaine has been trying to earn back her mother’s trust after going into rehab and kicking Onadyn — the drug of choice for New Chicago teens. But when a party in the woods turns into an all-out battle with the most ferocious aliens Phoenix has never seen, she’s brought home in what appears to be an Onadyn-induced state. Hello, reform school.

Except, what her mother doesn’t know is that Phoenix has just been recruited to join the elite Alien Investigation and Removal agency, where she’ll learn to fight dirty, track hard, and destroy the enemy. Her professional training will be rigorous and dangerous, and the fact that one of her instructors is Ryan Stone — the drop-dead gorgeous, nineteen-year-old agent she met in the woods that night — doesn’t make things any easier. Especially when dating him is totally against the rules….

Wildly imaginative, action-packed, and thrilling, Red Handed launches Gena Showalter’s stunning new alien huntress series.

Quick & Dirty: Fun story with engaging characters, awesome writing, and tons of action. I would highly recommend this to any YA sci-fi fans that love aliens!

Opening Sentence: I’d always loved the night, where anything could happen and everything usually did.

Excerpt: Yes

The Review:

Phoenix Germaine has a serious drug problem with Onadyn. It is a drug that was designed to help aliens deal with our oxygen levels, for humans it will give you the most amazing high. It is very addictive and once you start using it is almost impossible to stop. Phoenix has been to rehab twice and this time she is determined to stay clean. But one night she decides to go out with her friends to a party, and things go terribly wrong when a bunch of hostile aliens show up. Phoenix ends up being taken home and it looks like she is high as a kite. Her mother decides to send her to reform school because she just doesn’t know what else to do.

But it turns out the Phoenix has actually been recruited to join A.I.R., a secret agency that hunts down dangerous aliens and protects humans from them. Aliens have been a part of the world for a long time now and most people think that they are completely harmless, but A.I.R. knows better. Most aliens do live on earth peacefully and the government wants the general public to ignore any of the dangerous ones so they don’t cause problems with the peaceful aliens. At the school Phoenix will be taught how to fight, track, and eliminate any threat from aliens. She has finally found where she belongs, but this school has very strict rules and if you break any of them you will be kicked out. This isn’t a problem until Phoenix realizes that one of her instructors is the gorgeous Ryan Stone, one of the guys that helped rescue her friends in the woods, and student/instructor relationships is very much against the rules.

Phoenix was a great heroine that I liked instantly! She was feisty, smart and determined. I loved that she has a rough past and has made some really bad decisions, it made her feel more human. She has owned up to her mistakes and is doing everything in her power to change herself. I respect her for being so strong when it came to her addiction and making something of herself. She has a fun spunky attitude and is one of those people that always has a comeback. She was so easy to like and I am glad I got to read her story.

Ryan was a sexy love interest, but I felt that I didn’t really get to know him very well. He’s not in the book a whole lot and the few moments where he is you don’t really get to learn about him. But that doesn’t mean I didn’t like him because I did, he was interesting and drop dead gorgeous so what’s not to like. His relationship with Phoenix was full of great sexual tension and they had awesome chemistry. I wish I would have been able to know more about his background just so I could have connected with him better, but he was still a very fun character.

Red Handed was a very quick read full of action, romance, and fun characters. It is one of those books that you pick up and just fly right through it. I wouldn’t say that there was a ton of substance to the story but it was still very entertaining. While I did enjoy the romance it did have a slightly instalove feel to it, and I wish it would have been a little more developed. I am actually fairly new to Showalter’s works but everything I have read by her so far has been fantastic. I love her writing, it is quirky, creative, sexy, and just fun. This is a YA spinoff of Showalter’s adult Alien Huntress series, but this can be read completely separate. I personally haven’t read the adult series but I know that some of the same characters appear in the story, so if you were a fan of Alien Huntress series I would recommend you give this one a try. Also, if you are just a YA sci-fi fan and are looking for a great read you should check this one out.

Notable Scene:

I was once again alone with Ryan—who I wasn’t sure I liked. He was too bossy, too arrogant, too everything. But I knew I liked to look at him. He was a (sexy) mystery, a (beautiful) confusing puzzle.

“What’s your name?” he asked me. His blue eyes were swirling, churning. Like an ocean tempest.


“Cute,” he said.

“You wouldn’t think so if it was your name,” I grumbled.

His lips twitched into a smile. (I was talking about you, not the name. But I like that, too.”

Young Adult Alien Huntress Series:

1. Red Handed

2. Blacklisted

FTC Advisory:  MTV Books/Simon & Schuster provided me with a copy of Red Handed. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.

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