It has been a very long time since I devoured an entire series from start to finish, but The Astral Conspiracy Series by D.L. Cross captured me and wouldn’t let go!
While I love reading all different genres, this is my first full-fledged sci-fi and I loved it!
I have to say, I can only begin to imagine the amount of time this author must have spent on research. Either that, or else she has extensive knowledge not only of world geography, but minerals, advanced technology and the ancient alien theory. While this series is a work of fiction, it has a touch of realism and I found myself thinking the “what ifs.”
I also want to add that my little short reviews don’t even begin to do each book justice, especially Book 5, where SO much happened – a flood, recolonization, memory wiped out – just to name a few of the events in that book. I thoroughly enjoyed the series and have a deep appreciation for the amount of work it took to create these five books. My hat is off to you, Ms. Cross (Troilo).
The series begins with The Gate.
He lost his job. Lost his girl. Now it’s all he can do not to lose his life.
Landon Thorne is a disgraced archaeologist, a laughing stock in his field because of his unconventional beliefs — he’s an ancient astronaut theorist. No one takes him seriously.
Until an alien armada targets Earth.
Now he’s in high demand by the U.S. government. And someone far more sinister.
Mysterious mercenaries, government agents, and Landon vie for the lead in a race across two continents to the Gate of the Gods, the one place on the planet that might give humans an advantage over the Astrals. But no one is prepared for what they’ll find.
MY REVIEW: This is book one of the Astral Conspiracy series and with the riveting ending, I cannot wait to get into book 2! In this book, the protagonist, Landon Thorne, finds himself out of work and out of luck. That is until the Astral App alerts the impending arrival of aliens. Then, it seems everyone needs and wants this professor who has studied and believes in the ancient alien theory. The journey he finds himself on is relentless and filled with danger, as it takes him all the way to South America. If not for the need of his knowledge, his life would be worth nothing. What he discovers when he accesses the Akashic Records will change everything. This story is very fast-paced with plenty of heart-stopping action. The characters are believable, including the motivations for their actions. I highly recommend this book to anyone who is fascinated by the existence of aliens. It is well-written and even though the author gets into several of the character’s POV, she does it with ease and it never feels jarring.
Book 2 is The Stones
He’s running from Astrals. Running with Black Ops. And running toward the end of the world.
Landon Thorne belongs to an elite group — he’s one of the few people who have ever accessed the Akashic Record. There, he discovers a weapon that could defend the Earth.
The Astrals want to stop him. The government wants to control him. Even his allies are hiding something.
Through it all, he has one purpose. One compulsion. He’s drawn to the Georgia Guidestones.
His journey is fraught with danger — bandits, cannibals, and ancient booby traps — but when Landon finally reaches the Stones, even he is surprised by what he finds. If he can decipher the code, he can save the world.
If he can’t? His discovery may destroy him — along with the rest of the human race.
With the impending arrival of aliens in book one of this series, this is the book where they arrive. There are so many different aspects to this book, including a group of people who have moved underground beneath the university campus in Georgia and who go out daily to try and rescue more people and bring them to the tunnels. The connection is the leader, who is Landon Thorne’s best friend, Gunnar. We met Landon and Gunnar in book one when Gunnar fired Landon. We discover in this book there is an alien who has been held captive since its arrival in Roswell in 1947. This alien has a connection with Landon Thorne and when a breakthrough occurs and they discover they can communicate with the alien through sign language, he asks for Thorne. In the meantime, Thorne is running for his life. In fact, it seems everyone is running for their lives and trying desperately to protect the firestone artifacts stolen from a museum in Peru. In this book we see a devious agent go totally rogue. Nadia is out for one person and that is herself. I won’t leave a spoiler, but there parts of this book that were heartbreaking. Death and destruction are everywhere and Landon Thorne must reach The Stones. What he finds there changes him and everyone around him forever. I can’t wait to dive into Book 3!! I definitely recommend that these books be read in order to get the full effect.
Book 3 is The Nine
He can’t trust his allies, won’t trust his enemies. Now he fears he shouldn’t even trust himself.
Landon Thorne is convinced the key to defeating the Astrals is in the vault — a repository of ancient artifacts, origins unknown, covered with as-yet undeciphered glyphs. He’s also convinced he’s the one person on the planet destined to translate the markings.
But strange, frightening things happen every time he gets close to the relics.
His allies decide it’s not safe to let him near the vault, so they force him to take a new mission in Astral-controlled territory. They narrowly escape only to be captured by the Nine — the nefarious organization he’s been running from.
Their leader makes him an offer he can’t refuse — study the Dropa Stones for the answers they seek. Or else. To do that, he needs a cipher. And there’s only one place he can get it.
Getting in will be difficult enough. Getting out may prove impossible.
Book 3 of the Astral Conspiracy series builds from book 2 with the characters finding themselves in even more complicated and deadly situations. One thing that strikes me as I read this series is the hundreds of hours this author must have spent doing research on everything from the Rainbow Mountains in Iceland to Arizona, to how a mind would integrate into becoming nothing more than data in a computer bank. Another aspect of this book that intrigued me is the idea of connective minds, as the professor and others experienced in the presence of the vault they dug up in book 2. The author takes the reader from character to character and scene to scene throughout the book, at break-neck speed. From Air Force Major Bristol to the bumbling, but lovable professor, Landon Thorne, each is entangled and embroiled in a fight for their lives and the life of planet Earth. The aliens arrived in book two. In book three, we see more insight into their arrival, their purpose, and their motivation. The revelation of the true meaning of The Nine was not what I expected and I loved the twist. From horrendous bugs that destroy everything and everyone in their paths to alien clones, the author shows every aspect in full living color. Add the three-dimensional characters and you have a riveting Sci-Fi read!
Book 4 is The Twins
They took the world’s best hope. Took the father of her children. Now she’ll take revenge.
Landon Thorne was abducted by the Astrals. If there were still newspapers, that definitely would have been a front-page headline. But Reverie Sterling doesn’t have time to dwell on his absence. She has twins to raise in this dystopian world.
Twins with psychic powers.
She was trained to rise to any challenge, so that’s what she does. Vowing revenge against the Astrals, she partners with an unlikely ally — the Nine, the mysterious organization that’s been thwarting the Resistance since Astral Day.
The tenuous alliance converges on Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. Or rather, what’s left of it. There they wage a war against local zealots and Astral warriors. For some, it’s the last stand.
Reverie thinks she’s protecting her children. Too late, she realizes the twins have more power than anyone — and she’s the one who needs protecting.
Book 4 in the Astral Conspiracy Series takes place seven years after the third book. It’s obvious the Astrals are not leaving Earth anytime soon. The Titans and Reptars still roam the countryside killing anyone in their path. The group that fled to the underground tunnels at a University in Ohio when the aliens arrived, now have children among them. Reverie has twins. The father is Professor Landon Thorne, who has been missing for seven years, reportedly captured by a spaceship. Bristol has a daughter. But the twins are the focus of this book. They are not ordinary children by any stretch of the imagination. The way this book unfolds is heart-stopping at times. The author did such a great job of showing the different personalities of the twins, Asha and Vonn. What happens after Landon finally returns is non-stop action from start to finish. I give this segment of the series a solid four stars. I do highly recommend reading this series in order. A well-written science fiction story with a touch of realism.
Book 5 is The Lab
One last mission. One last stand. One last hope.
Time is running out for the planet, and Reverie Sterling — one of the leaders of the Resistance — feels each tick of the clock. Her twins insist on traveling to Illinois to find Jovian, their paternal grandfather, who’s been communicating with them telepathically. He swears he has all the answers they’ve been searching for.
He does, but they come at a cost. A steep cost.
Now Reverie and the Resistance must make their last stand. The Astrals have judged humanity and found it lacking. Annihilation is imminent unless Jovian can deliver on his promise.
Earth’s best chance is deep in his laboratory under Monks Mound.
And the old man has one last surprise that no one is expecting.
This is the final book in the Astral Conspiracy series and the way the author wrapped up the story was satisfying. In this book, the children we met in book 4 are instrumental in helping save the others. Their ability to communicate through thoughts is a valuable tool. Professor Landon Thorne gets to meet his father at long last. But it is no happy family reunion. The man is a monster. How the book plays out and ends is sad at times, with so much death, but also keeps the entire theme of the series front and center. One of my favorite characters is a Separated, Nixon Beck, and he plays a big part in this book. I highly recommend this entire series to anyone who loves a good story filled with action, memorable characters, and believable science fiction!
I gave this entire series a solid Four Stars.
I’ve attached purchase links to each book title and to the box set.
About the Author:
I grew up in Western Pennsylvania writing stories and poetry in my free time, so no one was surprised when I became a writing major in college. After receiving creative and professional writing degrees from Carnegie Mellon University, I went on to get my Master’s Degree in Professional Writing, and I worked in corporate communications until I had my children. Now I’m a freelance writer and editor and spend many of my days happily immersed in fictional worlds.
Bonus! Ten (Little Known?) Facts About Me
- In addition to being an award-winning author, I’m an award-winning recipe developer. I think I got that skill from my grandmother. We both love cooking and baking, especially for family.
- When I had my wisdom teeth removed, the surgeon insisted I’d feel like my cheeks were sewn to my gums but assured me they wouldn’t be and the feeling would pass. My parents grew increasingly frustrated with me over the week I was recovering because I couldn’t open my mouth. They thought I was “being overly dramatic” and I should just deal with the pain and use my mouth. Guess what… my cheeks were in fact sewn to my gums. It’s unheard of, but if it could happen to anyone, it would happen to me.
- Speaking of teeth…I’ve never had a cavity. Ever. Baby teeth or permanent teeth.
- I adore my pets. I know; most pet owners do. But it might interest you to know I never had a pet until we got first Casey, then Max, and finally Lucky. I had a pet-free childhood. Not even a goldfish.
- I can still do a split. Enough said.
- I play the clarinet, although I’m pretty rusty right now. (Use it or lose it, and I haven’t been using it lately.)
- I taught myself how to type. You can’t really be a writer hunting-and-pecking the keys.
- While most of my work is inspired by my Italian heritage, I’m also part Irish, Scottish, German, and Swedish. (All from Dad’s side. Mom is full-blooded Italian.) I’m working on integrating more of my dad’s side into my work. (My serial Laci and Del series focuses on the Irish heritage, but I haven’t explored those roots too much yet.)
- I could spell “Valentine” by the time I was three.
- The first time I earned four-figures from freelancing, it was actually a ghost-writing job, so my name isn’t even on the project.