Universal Threat – Book two of The Encounter series

Killarney Traynor,
Margaret Traynor

SCI-FI/THRILLER:  Heather, her brother Nick, and Jeff, whom she adores, use the Columbus Day weekend to hike in the New Hampshire Mountains. Jeff, a know-it-all nerd, never stops showing off his smarts, and Nick is tempted to pound him to get some silence, not wanting his sister to get involved with the guy. At a lookout point overlooking a deep valley, they see a strange machine roar over them and crash. When they reach the site, they do not find an airplane, but a spaceship. A tall creature out of nightmare appears, followed by two others. When Jeff accidentally uses a flash to take a photo as evidence for the authorities, the aliens are alerted and set off in pursuit of the three teenagers. After several harrowing experiences, the chase ends with an unexpected twist.

“Universal Threat” is a delightful young adult adventure that compresses a lot into a short book. Killarney Traynor offers readers a simple story around a well-used theme, but her skillful writing and good dialogue manages to inject realism and character depth into the three teenagers, which readers will appreciate. Heather, uncertain of her feelings for Jeff, although he does not even know she exists, and Nick her brother who secretly wants to strangle the budding genius, are brought together and forced to cooperate to save themselves from what they believe is an alien menace. Their flight through the wilderness to avoid capture is well written and maintains suspense. “Universal Threat” will be a treat for young readers.

Paul Brennan