The novel “Earthfall Redemption” by Mark Walden tells the story of a group of survivors of an alien invasion. All but a fraction of humanity has been enslaved by the invaders, but along with the father of one of the survivors, who turns out to be not quite human, the survivors manage to repel the alien threat, and ensure humanity has a tomorrow. The sacrifice and courage of what would have otherwise just been young teenagers is astounding; continuing to fight in the face of insurmountable odds, their care for each other in the midst of global chaos, and an indestructible will to survive in the closing chapter of a galaxy-spanning war that began millennia ago.
During a meeting between the group of survivors and a second alien species called the Illuminate, who were made up of microscopic nanites and had also been running from the invaders of Earth for millions of years, the leader of the Illuminate, Selenne, tries to convince Sam to allow her to bond with him, so he may use her previous combat experience in order to benefit both their species. Sam allows this and together they manage to repel the invaders from destroying their base of operations. However, later in the novel, the main antagonist of the series, the Primarch, reveals to Sam the true reason Selenne wanted to bond with him; so she and other Illuminate could hijack his mind and take control of Sam, the rest of the survivors, and eventually the rest of Earth’s enslaved humans. There are subtle hints leading up to this reveal that made it slightly less dramatic and unexpected, including the vocabulary used when an Illuminate general is speaking to Sam and the survivors. Sam’s only allies in the fight for his species survival was actually planning to do just what the Primarch had done; enslaved humanity, robbing them of their free will, and using them as little more than workers for their own needs. Even when Selenne’s betrayal nearly drove Sam to the breaking point, he continued to fight for the benefit of his species, rather than out of hatred or his need for revenge. His true allies (the rest of the survivors, now minus a few) kept on fighting alongside him, and followed him into each and every battle, never questioning him or his decisions. Sam had proven himself to be a competent leader, and a leader worthy of following. He defeated a suicidal Illuminate in single combat, despite the Illuminate having years of training, he prevented the obliteration of Tokyo by destroying an invader Mothership before it could self-destruct, and even managed to take control of the invader forces occupying both London and Tokyo. Regardless of the odds, Sam and the other survivors always ask for the best in each other, and so far, nothing has managed to best them. I feel like the author has tried to emphasise this throughout the series, and in this novel in particular, it is the most evident. These aspects of the novel, where under-experienced or under-equipped individuals manage to best others who are far superior in either or both of these manners seems a little unrealistic to me, but in saying that, it can happen.
After Sam defeats the Primarch and takes control of the remaining invader forces, he returns to the Illuminate stronghold on Earth and confronts Selenne for the first time since her planned betrayal was revealed. As she and other Illuminate (all of whom planned to take control of their own humans) stepped out to meet Sam, he began to explain what he planned to do with them. They would remain trapped in their stronghold, guarded by Sam-controlled invader forces, and would suffer the same fate that they had planned for Sam and humankind; trapped in what had once been their salvation, with no way out. Due of the unveiling of their plan and their incredibly convincing facade, Sam offers them no chance to object, and no choice but to agree. While a lot of people may consider actions like this spite-filled and unjustified, I would say that in this case, Sam’s actions are far past justified. He has seen his people enslaved, his home destroyed, and has been told that his people were meant to be little more than vessels for a species on the brink of extinction. In our world, nothing to the degree has occurred, but I understand Sam’s position. He has to decide what to do with the only remaining threat to his species, and how to ensure they are no longer of any danger to him or anyone else. If something to this degree occurred in our world, such as nuclear war, which given current circumstances doesn’t seem too far-fetched, i’m not convinced there is a person in the world who would be strong enough and brave enough to do what is right, rather than crumble under the pressure or use it for their own personal gain. Personally, I think this is a major problem. While there isn’t really much need for people like this at the moment, the possibility of events like nuclear war between the US and North Korea, whom China have said they will defend if the US attacks first, are a serious threat to humanity, and without leaders who realise that humanity’s future is, quite literally, a button’s push from an end, this may be the future we are heading towards.