Reading/Interest Level: Intermediate, Young Adult
Author: S.E. Wendel
Publisher: Epic Press
The humans find that not only are the Charneki on the planet, but also the Tikshi, another alien race that has been at war with the Charneki since the beginning of time. Zeneba refuses the Tikshi's help, which causes the Tikshi to team up with the humans to destroy the Charneki (something Hugh and Elena don't support). Battling with their feelings about what is right and wrong, Hugh and Elena are sent on the expedition to the Tikshi leader. During this time, Rhys is getting to know Zeneba more, and working out ways to come to a peaceful end instead of going to war. Rhys shows the worth that the humans have to help the Charneki if they would stop fighting. But while trying to prove that not all humans are evil, more humans show up in space ships, making it more dangerous for Zeneba and her people.
Rhys's peaceful attitude demonstrates how different people are when they are desperate for something. Being able to see the thought processes of the peaceful humans that want to live with the Charneki and learn from them is very moving, especially when they are going against the wishes of their leader, and could go to prison or even killed for their decisions. The more Zeneba and Rhys talk and learn about the humans, where they came from and why, Zeneba grows more compassionate. She demonstrates her growing understanding through her reluctance to go to war, and her determination to end the conflict. When Rhys is explaining why humans left Earth, Zeneba is moved by the sadness he carries. The fact that the humans didn't take care of the earth and killed it could relate to us today. We may not have to go to the extreme of leaving Earth, but being aware of the planet and taking care of it is one of the major themes in the book.
*Contains moderate violence and mild language.