Aoléon The Martian Girl Part 4: Illegal Aliens by Brent LeVasseur
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INTRODUCTION

In the fourth entry of Brent LeVasseur's science fiction saga, Aoléon, Gilbert, and their companions flee the Martian Megalopolis, with the Luminon and Royal Paladin Guard in pursuit as they hope to stop the Martian resistance movement. The cover art features many cows on the ground and in the air, the latter in a flying saucer's trajectory, with the foremost bovine having its mouth open in shock, though it's lower jaw looks somewhat skeletal, loose, and misrepresentative of anima interiors, typically red.

HELIOS

Akin to the Lord of the Rings trilogy, the saga's fourth entry continues section numbering from its predecessors, with this being the thirteenth chapter of the series, beginning at a secret Martian base, where Phobos is in captivity and interacts with another inmate. The action moves to the Martian Space Academy, where Aoléon and Gilbert rendezvous with Bizwat, and the Luminon speaks about the potential threat posed by Earth's inhabitants. The scene changes to the Lower Feeb District, where Bizwat visits a scrap yard, where he offers a fellow Martian his velocipod in exchange for a soldierbot victorious in a competition.

CERBERUS

The following chapter opens with an illustration depicting the Luminon interacting with a Martian in a four-legged robot, others in the background with forcefields, another entity that appears skeletal hovering above. The action returns to the secret Martian base, where obese scientist Cerberus assembles a Martian invasion fleet consistent of soldierbots. The chapter's second illustration depicts another view of the first artwork, with the Luminon among the shielded robots. The art immediately appearing afterward shoes a close-up of the scene, albeit with a Martian youngling instead. The Luminon arrives to inspect the forces, with Cerberus promising that they will be read in time for the forthcoming invasion. The next image shows the Luminon close-up with a menacing expression, the forces behind him, and Cerberus proceeds to test the drones, the subsequent art showing the diminutive workers caught among the chaos.

ILLEGAL ALIENS

This chapter takes the story back to Nebraska on Earth, which Luminon's spies are inspecting as a potential focal point for their forthcoming assault. Meanwhile, a pair of alien spies masquerading as Quakers hitchhike to New York City and attempt to steal milk from a convenience store. The illustration indicating the transition of scenery to the White House depicts many top officials in the situation room, one looking like a bald Richard Nixon having a newspaper in hand. Backstory on alien research follows, with some humorous banter among the officials.

WATCHERS

The following chapter takes readers back to Mars at the Luminon's palace, where he receives news of a character thought deceased being alive. The action moves to the Lower Feeb District, where Bizwat receives summons to a debriefing involving missing characters. The section ultimately returns to Earth at the Capitol building, where Congress debates a bill to deal with illegal extraterrestrials, the lisping Speaker of the House heading the discussion.

INVASION EARTH

Chapter Seventeen opens with the very artwork that graces the book's cover, the action beginning in an alien mothership above Earth, their invasion ready to commence. The section moves to Gilbert's family's farmhouse, as they become among the first witnesses to the assault. The. The action shifts to the Johnson clan's home, an illustration depicting Farmer Johnson, clad in snorkeling gear, attempting to deal with a groundhog with an alien robot behind. The following art depicts him captured by the robot as he unintentionally sprays a farmfield with fire from his flamethrower.

DESERT KÝRIOS

This chapter opens at an intergalactic spaceport in the Martian Megalopolis, where the protagonists encounter resistance, and they flee the city, the section's first art showing Aoléon and Gilbert in space suits floating above the Martian landscape. The next piece shoes the two in a Martian desert, where they domesticate Martian dinosaurs, one of which Aoléon rides in the next art, the piece afterward showing Gilbert alongside her riding his own. The following illustration shows another view of them riding, night eventually coming. The action then takes readers to the Simud Vallis on Mars, through which the heroes continue and ultimately make their way to the Ares Vallis, the subsection's initial illustration showing them wandering.

The next art depicts the chief characters encountering a probe sent from Earth, which Gilbert uses to communicate a message referencing the classic video game Zero Wing. Towards the section's end is a smaller piece depicting the purple stalk-eyed Zoot. The events shift to the ancient Lyraen city ruins, the opening illustration showing a Martian chasm, the next depicting the heroes at its bottom, where they seek Kýrios. After a long dialogue comes a subsequent piece showing a spherical map indicating the path the main characters took until that point in the story. The action ultimately moves to Kýrios' home, where the characters discuss where to find the secret based referenced earlier, and where they home their psionic abilities, the chapter finally ending.

PHOBOS INTERROGATED

The nineteenth chapter opens at the secret Martian base, with a bit of expository backstory concerning the rituals of the Draconian warrior clans, following which is the titular interrogation of Aoléon's father as to his daughter and Gilbert's whereabouts. The action then returns to Aoléon and her companions, who experience a Martian sandstorm, the chapter's first illustration showing their attempts to outrun it. Following this is interesting backstory on how the Martian oceans disappeared, and an encounter with the Luminon's forces, two illustrations close together depicting how the heroes deal with the skirmish, concluding with a third piece showing a dusty mushroom cloud, the story ultimately ending.

CONCLUSION

A glossary after the main text makes sense of the book's diverse terminology that may be lost to younger readers, who wouldn't find it to be easy to jump back and fourth between the dictionary and the main text, although the fourth novella in Aoléon's saga is very enjoyable, with the illustrations adding well to the story in their depiction of its various events. The rare if mildly obscure popular culture reference is also sure to appeal to older readers, who will find just as much to celebrate in this entry as the younger audiences for whom the author intended the story.

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