Ashfall Legacy by Pittacus Lore
Ashfall Legacy Book Cover Ashfall Legacy
Pittacus Lore
Teen, YA, Science Fiction
Harper Collins
August 17,2021
Kindle, Hardcover, Audiobook, Audio Cd

We have waited generations for you…

Syd Chambers knows that there’s life on other planets because he’s descended from it. His father was from a distant world called Denza and has been missing—presumed dead—for years.

When Syd discovers a device his father left behind which shows not only that he’s alive, but where he is, Syd must set out on a mission of his own. But along the way, he discovers a deadly, unbearable secret that could destroy Denza, Earth, and the universe.

Ashfall Legacy is the newest offering of Pittacus Lore, author of I Am Number Four from the Lorien Legacies series. For Sydney Chambers, his teen years are defined by being on the run with his mother because of his unique parentage, all while hoping for the return of his father. A series of events leads him to pursuing his alien heritage with the intent of tracking down his dad. While some do not want him finding his father, and the cure for humanity he set out to find, others want to help Syd in his quest, but for nefarious reasons of their own. He quickly learns that sometimes it’s your “enemies” who are your friends, and your “friends” are the ones you really need to watch out for.

The Lorien Legacies were made hugely popular after the release of I Am Number Four as a movie. Ashfall Legacy uses the same successful combination of science fiction, epic alien conflicts, and snarky adolescent jargon to appeal to teens and young adults.

“He gave me a look like that wasn’t a good enough excuse. ‘Yes, well, like my sister said, I’m Batzian. Never Batz. Batzian.’

‘Got it,’ I said, knowing that I would almost definitely slip and call him ‘Batz’ within the next day.

‘We’re actually nice, I swear’ Melian said wagging her spoon at her brother. ‘Batzian is just stressed because he is in Chief Engineer Arkell’s Advanced Thermodynamics class…”

While in many settings this type of dialogue may be fitting for the story, the idea that alien “teens” would talk and act in the same way as kids from earth seems a stretch. I also found Ashfall Legacy to be more sci-fi lite than true science fiction, even with the story revolving around aliens, other worlds, and space travel. That’s not to say that some concepts weren’t given detailed explanations, but the overall flavor was more along the lines of a fictional tale.

I have to admit that I really struggled getting into the first 3/4s of the book. Between the dialogue and all the world/interpersonal dynamics building it seemed to take forever to get the heart of the conflict and action. This made a little more sense when I realized that Syd’s story does not end with this book; it is really only just beginning. Lore hasn’t announced or identified if this is the case, but it only makes sense, based on the ending. Knowing this put my overall impression of the book in a different light. If there is a next book, and it picks up where Ashfall Legacy left off, it might be the making of a highly entertaining series.