Hover by Melissa West

11

The basics

Title: Hover

Author:

Series: The Taking #2

- Gravity (2012)
- Hover (2013)
- Collide (2014)

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Goodreads Summary:

On Earth, seventeen-year-old Ari Alexander was taught to never peek, but if she hopes to survive life on her new planet, Loge, her eyes must never shut. Because Zeus will do anything to save the Ancients from their dying planet, and he has a plan.

Thousands of humans crossed over to Loge after a poisonous neurotoxin released into Earth's atmosphere, nearly killing them. They sought refuge in hopes of finding a new life, but what they became were slaves, built to wage war against their home planet. That is, unless Ari and Jackson can stop them. But on Loge, nothing is as it seems...and no one can be trusted.

in short

Complete change of scene from Gravity. The book is set completely in Triad, Loge.

Ari is absorbed into the Ancients’ system, and assigned to train as a RES. Zeus, a complete psycho, is determined to pry the location of the ‘Entrance’ from Ari, and subjects her to periodic torture sessions. Ari is entrusted with the task of killing Zeus, but her plan doesn’t work.

Once the rest of the humans who took refuge on Loge have acclimated to the planet, Zeus assigns the ex-operatives to RES training, and leaves the fate of the rest up to those on Earth: they either let the Ancients live on Earth, or watch the humans being murdered every day, one by one.

With Mami’s (Jackson’s grandmother, Zeus’s wife) and Emmy’s help, Ari figures out a way to get the humans to Earth, along with some anti-Zeus Ancients.

So when Zeus kidnaps Jackson, Ari blazes in to save him and fights Zeus. Mami is killed in the scuffle, and with her last breath, she kills Zeus. But when Ari cant find Jackson, and is about to go in search of him, she is forced, literally, to land on Earth.

Except, when they arrive, they find themselves in a whole new fix. Oh yeah, and Zeus didn’t die.

Collide is definitely going to be one big showdown.

what went down

  • Ari spends a lot of time with her healer, Emmy, who teaches her what’s what and who’s who in the Triad. She struggles with feelings of survivor’s guilt.
  • Soon after she heals completely, Jackson comes to take Ari for her Assignation, where she meets Zeus for the first time. Zeus tells her that everything that had happened had been orchestrated by the Ancients. They had known the humans’ strategy, and had purposely healed them, so that the plan would backfire.
  • Ari undergoes the Assignation and is slated for RES training. She is taken to a lab where a healer implants a chip in her which allows her to evaluate people’s stress levels and formulate their most likely thoughts and feelings.
  • Ari is assigned to stay with Jackson while at Loge. He shares his house with Vill, his cousin, and Emmy’s grandson. Vill is a tech genius with an artistic side. He’s the one who figured out how to tap into Earth’s intergalactic satellite frequency, which is how JAckson talks to the humans without Zeus’s knowledge.
  • Ari and Jackson log into the network to talk to those on Earth and figure out what to do. They find out that Kavin Lancaster, the Lead Chemist is the acting President of the United States, since the President has suffered a stroke. They suspect that Zeus plans to attack Earth in two weeks time. To prevent this, they entrust Ari with the task of killing Zeus, while also figuring out a way to get all the humans on Loge back to Earth. There are also a few operatives in place who will act when the time is right.
  • Ari goes for her first day of RES training, and faces one big surprise: Jackson is her instructor. Later that day, when Zeus calls her for a personal interview, she plans to kill him, but does not carry it out at the last moment; not because of fear, but out of caution, because of the umpteen number of guards he’s surrounded by.
  • Ari goes to Emmy for a check up, where Emmy shows her how the healers keep the Ancients alive by healing them from sickness and frailty. But there are only 25 healers left, and they’re fast dwindling. Emmy tells Ari to get them of the planet before time runs out.
  • The next day, Ari is again summoned by Zeus. But this time he shuts her in the blue room (a testing/isolation chamber), and subjects her to mental torture with the help of a healer, Lydian. He demands the location of the ‘entrance’, which Ari has no clue about. Only when Ari is exhausted does he let up, but only with the promise of continuing these sessions regularly until she breaks.
  • When Ari goes to visit Cybil (remember her from Gravity? The Chemist?) at Panacae, she realises that although she behaves like she’s not acclimatised to Loge, she very well has, and is biding her time so that she can carry out her mission when the time comes.
  • Ari goes with Vill for her customary check up with Emmy, and this time, Emmy divulges the secret of the healers’ gift. They heal through mind power, and essentially, anyone can do it. Ari tries it out herself, and sees that it’s true.
  • Once the humans acclimatise to Loge, Zeus appoints the ex-operatives to a specialised RES division, and blackmails the human leaders with the lives of the rest. They either allow Ancients on Earth, or watch one human die each day for their folly.
  • Meanwhile, on Earth, Lancaster gives Ari a week to carry out her mission, but Ari notices that there seems to be something off with Law and her father. We also see the cruelty and abuse Zeus inflicts on his wife, Mami.
  • Ari and Jackson plan to recruit anti-Zeus soldiers and spark a rebellion. Under the cover of the rebellion, they plan to teleport the humans. Emmy, Mami, Lydian and Cybil agree to help them. But Jackson is suddenly called away on urgent business with Zeus.
  • Mami comes to meet Ari, and offers her help. She tells her about the Unity Tree that her mother created for her, if she should ever have the need to escape from Zeus. It is the only tree out of Zeus’ control, and hence can be used to transport the humans back to Earth.
  • When Zeus & Jackson return early, Ari moves up the attack by one night. But while they’re preparing, Zeus kidnaps Jackson and uses him as bait to lure Ari to him. Obviously, Ari goes, along with Vill. In the fight that follows, a soldier kills Mami, and with her dying breath, she in turn shoots Zeus.
  • Upon storming the hostage room, Jackson is missing, and they only find Lydian, who has betrayed them. Just before Ari kills her, Lydian tells them that Zeus is not really dead, and has taken Jackson someplace else.

how did it end?

Ari & Vill figure out that Zeus must’ve taken Jackson to one of the other regions. They reach the port, and see a time stamp two minutes ago for Briya.

As they’re debating their next move, they receive information that the Unity Tree was compromised, and the escape sabotaged, although a number of people were able to escape. Everything is falling apart.

Ari decides to go behind Jackson, and tells the others to get out of Loge while they still can. But when they hear the fighting coming near, Vill pulls Ari into the port with him and transports them to Earth.

On landing, they are treated with suspicion and asked to drop their weapons and surrender. When Ari stands up to explain who she is, an Operative says they already know her. Law emerges from behind another Operative, gun trained on Ari, and repeats the instruction to surrender.

When she opens her mouth to talk to him, Lawrence shoots her in the gut. Bam!

anything else

Assignation – There are four sectors in Triad of which one can be assigned to work – factories, schools, military, or government. The healers have the ability to look into a living thing’s purpose. The top healers in Triad conjure together with Zeus to give an analysis on all Ancients who turn sixteen, which determines their occupation.

Cipher – An unusual heal which employs the power of the written word. The attribute you lack is infused (cut out, in plain words) into your skin, and when you meditate on it deeply, it sinks into your muscles and bones until your body listens, and imbibes that attribute. It is used heavily in RES training, and Jackson especially, is covered in them.

Taking (Zeus’ definition) – A process created to know how human minds, bodies, thoughts and emotions work. A process created to understand the Ancients’ enemies.

Taking trees of the Taking Forest – Trees that act as hyperspaces between Earth and Loge, allowing Ancients to travel between the two planets.

Unity Tree – A Taking tree basically, but with an unusual quality. It travels between dimensions, appearing only when it is needed. It is not connected to a direct port on Earth, but will take you to any place that you want to go.

Vortex (place) – A dark, triangular building where the RES train.

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