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They Came From Below by Blake Nelson
Cover Artist: Yuko Shimizu
Review by Gayle Surrette
Tor Hardcover  ISBN/ITEM#: 9780765314239
Date: 26 June 2007 List Price $17.95 Amazon US / Amazon UK / Show Official Info /

You know when a book opens with a supposed AP news article about the navy losing a nuclear missile that may be leaking in the ocean -- that this is not going to be a good summer to spend on the coast. However, that's exactly what Emily Dalton and Reese Ridgeley are going to do. They don't have a choice really since that's what their parents expect them to do each summer: Emily spends the summer with her professor father at the cape and Reese's family always goes to the cape for the summer. This summer Emily and Reese plan to check out the boy situation, get tanned, and crash some parties. But the best laid plans often go awry when weird things wash up on the beach; especially weird, glowing things that wash up on the beach.

Emily is your usual girl next door type while Reese is the classic goth-chick. None the less, they've got a good friendship that they maintain during the year via email and IM and of course the summers on the cape. But when they met two hunky men who seem to make them feel happy and safe, and who seem to know just about everything except how to eat and take care of themselves -- they know things have gotten a bit out of control. Now you stir this plot with some Fed types in black cars and black suits with walkie talkies, secret labs, gung ho deputies, and a scientist dad making strange phone calls and working all hours and you know something is not right with the world.

Emily and Reese are so real that you've probably seen them in the mall when you went shopping. They're open, honest, caring, young people trying to figure out how it all works. Meaning how do you manage to be you and still fit in. The mystery of the strangers -- who they are and where they come from is all part and parcel of the girls efforts to find out about the world and themselves. Adventure is where you find it and it's mostly all around if you look for it as Emily and Reese find out. They also learn that there are consequences to their actions and more importantly that just because you do the right things doesn't mean you won't get in trouble.

The story seems to unfold slowly but it's not until you close the book after finishing it that you realize just how much there was in here. South Point, MA, Emily Dalton, and Reese Ridgeley will never be the same after this summer -- and perhaps the reader won't be the same either.

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