CONCEPT:Earth has been invaded by the Chtorr culture; a mix of especially nasty and powerful beings that make up this alien ecological chain.First, 75% or more of the humans were wiped out by the plagues and now gigantic worm like creatures are further slaying people while they infest the American lands.

SCORING: Superb (A), Excellent (A-), Very good (B+), Good (B) Fairly Good (B-) Above Average (C+), Mediocre (C ), Barely Passable (C-) Pretty Bad (D+), Dismal (D), Waste of Time (D-), Into the Trash (F)

DIALOGUE: A STRUCTURE: A HISTORY SETTING: A- CHARACTERS: A MONSTERS/ALIEN DEVELOPMENTS: A DEEP THOUGHTS: A EVIL SETUP/ANTAGONISTS:A EMOTIONAL IMPACT: A SURPRISES: A- TECHNOLOGY: A- PACING: A LITTLE THINGS: A OVERALL STYLE: AFLOW OF WORDS:ACHOICE OF FOCUS: ATRANSITIONS/FLASHBACKS/POV: ACOMPLEXITY OF WORDS/SYMBOLISM/THEMES: A

OVERALL GRADE: A


WHY IT WORKED FOR ME:First off, I was drawn in and I usually don't go for sci fi books.That simple.The means of describing such a disastrous infestation would turn most people off who don't want to read such a gloom and doom story.I have to admit that at times things seem bleak when they think of coexisting rather than eradicating the Chtorrans.But the story kept driving forward and you're compelled to follow with it.Great characters, great dialogues and great writing style (see below for the latter point).This story works best for people who appreciate investigate stories and aren't afraid to read about the tumultuous emotions raging in this novel.A lot of these people are on the edge or still carrying anger around.For me, that was pretty fascinating.Gerrold revealed it no only from a scientific viewpoint (as most sci fi authors do), but also from an emotional viewpoint.Flashbacks, for the most part, connected with the current story in scope or belief.Thus, it was an easy flow.The class taught by Whitlaw was totally new to me.Now that's the way a class should be taught; not with the drones we have now in the education system.

OVERALL STYLE:Loved the dialogue (see above).Also loved the metaphors and similes . . . " . . . her head blossomed in a sudden flower of red."Or"I turned in time to see the Chtorran falling forward through a shower of glass fragments.They glittered around it like tiny sparkling stars.In one smooth movement, it poured through the glass and flowed down off the stage and into the shrieking audience.It hit the front rows like an avalanche."His play with words are magnificent.I really could feel the story flow as I read it and it never ever ever dragged (typo intended).