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Book Review: V – The Second Generation by Kenneth Johnson

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Over 25 ago, Kenneth Johnson created V, a story of an alien reptilian race that comes to Earth with not the best of intentions. They fool us into believing that they have come to our planet with only good things in mind – friendship, exploration and cooperation. Their society is far more advanced than ours. They are able to help cure and rid Earth of many problems we face, such as illness and disease. However, in time it is come to be known they have come to Earth for two precious resources, food and water. Covertly, they start taking both the residents of this planet and its abundance of water supply up into their giant spaceships. Scientists learn of this happening, and they begin a resistance movement against the Visitors.

During the early to mid-1980s, V captured a generation with two miniseries and a television series to follow that told the story of the resistance's fight against the reptile race. Since the end of the television run many fans have asked for the story to continue on, and now Kenneth Johnson has done so with a new novel, V: The Second Generation. This will be followed by an adaptation of the novel, to be aired on television in 2009. This novel begins 20 after the Visitors first appeared on planet Earth. Many familiar characters from the original miniseries have returned for this sequel.

In the novel, we see a new alien race come to our planet, but early on it isn't clear if they are friend or foe. The Zedti come hoping to aid the resistance and save their own people from a battle with the Visitors. At what cost, though? That is what we find out while reading this novel. Are they as friendly to our cause as they first appear to be? The group of resistance fighters led still by Juliet Parrish must decide if they believe these new aliens are to be trusted. The lives of millions hangs in the balance as they fight to rid themselves and their planet from the rule of the visitors. All this while trying to take back the people they have lost and are held captive aboard the alien mother ships and their water resources held above the planet in the same.

Second Generation had me turning the pages. Growing up, I was a fan of V. I watched both mini-series and the television series that followed. Kenneth Johnson created an earth in crisis when outside forces into play. Aliens from outer space have always fascinated me. We surely can’t be the only planet in the universe with sustainable life. There are others, and this book and its story shows us one possible way things can go if we are someday visited by others in the universe.

This book is not without its problems though. To fans of story, they know this book ignores both The Final Battle and the events in the television series that followed. There is no star child born from a mating between one of the visitor males and a human female. Those events in this book never took place. In The Final Battle, Robin Maxwell mates with visitor Shawn, and she gives birth to Elizabeth. Once Shawn is captured by the resistance, Robin then kills him.

He is alive and well here. Robin isn’t even mentioned in the book, but her father is. Even with the fact Second Generation doesn’t follow the entire time line for this world, it is a good read. I’m looking forward to seeing it come to life on the screen when it airs as a four hour mini-series next year. If you can’t wait until then to find out what happens, pick up this book!

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  • DBS

    Hey, thanks for the review, but Robin didn’t mate with Shawn, she mated with Brian. Different character altogether.