The Burn Zone
By James K. Decker
ISBN# 9780451413406
Author’s Website:

Brought to you by OBS reviewer Sammy

*Beware of possible Spoilers*


It’s been a rough day for Sam Shao. As part of a program that requires humans to act as surrogates to haan infants, Sam has been genetically enhanced to bond with them. So when three soldiers invade her apartment and arrest her guardian for smuggling a dangerous weapon into the country, Sam can sense that something isn’t right. One of his abductors is a haan masquerading as a human, and the supposedly fragile haan seems to be anything but.

Racing through the city slums, trying to stay one step ahead of the mysterious haan soldier, Sam tries to find the man who, in her twenty years, has been the only father she’s ever known. Could he truly have done what he is accused of? Or did he witness something both human and haan would kill to keep hidden? The only thing certain is that the weapon is real—and lost now somewhere in a city of millions.

Fighting the clock, Sam finds an ally in Nix, a haan envoy devoted to coexisting with humans, or so it seems. But what she really needs are answers. Fast. Or else everything she knows—and everyone she loves—will burn. (Goodreads)


This story was super action packed with lots of things going on. The ideas and concepts were really interesting. The lead female was not a very likeable character but she grew on me. Once we get to see more of who she is. The story is well written but has a few flow problems, at times it was confusing trying to catch up to the action. With that said I still enjoyed this book. It is the first in a series but there is a prequel, that I think I will pick up and read as well. I’m hoping to get a better idea of some of the things going on.

There is a twist in this book that was startlingly spectacular and I had no idea it was coming. I love when that happens and am hoping it will be explained more in the next book. There were many things that were started and then didn’t go anywhere, it was somewhat disappointing because those ideas could have really added to the story, or made the story more understandable. The action was literally non stop, so much that I felt like I needed to catch up and really concentrate on what was going on or I’d miss something.

Sam and Vamp….their relationship was strange and felt forced. Clearly they had been friends and then suddenly he has to have her, and loves her, there didn’t seem to be a reason for it. Even Sam couldn’t figure it out???? Sam was one tough cookie but then goes and does one of those tstl (to stupid to live) stunts…Sam, “I snuck out….” she just left. Grrrrrr if you have a group of people you’re working with then you don’t leave and say nothing. Of course it worked out but seemed like a silly thing to do.

Overall, this story had awesome ideas and lots of action, I recommend it for people who love lots of fast paced action adventure, with a sci-fi twist. I will definitely read the next book and hope the author expands on the alien race and how it connects to the humans and how Sam can see things others can’t. For ages 16 yrs and up.