Icons by Margaret Stohl is a post-apocalyptic/sci fi book. On an event called The Day, aliens took over the Earth by sending out some kind of electromagnetic pulse that instantly caused the hearts of men, women and children to stop beating in all the major cities on the planet. Well everyone except a few special babies in the cities referred to as the Icon Children.
Dol and Ro have grown up at a Mission outside the dead city of Los Angeles raised by the Padre who has kept them hidden. Dol has vivid dreams of The Day despite the fact that she was only a tiny baby when it happened. She wears the burden of sorrow as she has the ability to sense the emotions of other people around her. Ro, her companion since childhood, is the exact opposite. Fiery of spirit and strong, he sneaks off to visit friends in the Rebellion, only softening when it comes to Dol.
The surviving humans on the planet live a life that is a throwback to the days before technology, as the Icons the aliens placed in the major cities prevents electricity from working and thus modern technology. No one has actually seen the Lords, as the alien invaders are known, except perhaps the Ambassador who serves as the conduit between the aliens and the remaining humans on Earth. The Ambassador operates the Embassy out of Catalina Island assisted by Sympas, sympathizers, who have sold out their fellow human beings through the work as a paramilitary force carrying out the orders of the Ambassador and dragging Remnants to work camps to work on the mysterious ‘Projects.’
On Dol’s birthday the Padre presents her with the gift of a book about her and the other Icon children, but before she can read it, chaos breaks out at her peaceful refuge and she is taken to the Embassy by Sympas soldiers. The people she meets there, and what she discovers about herself, will have profound consequences on her relationship with Ro, and indeed on the planet itself.
I didn’t make the connection that this first book in what will be a series was written by the same author as Beautiful Creatures until I read the author bio at the end. My feelings about this book are mixed. I think the concept of aliens taking over the Earth was better imagined in The 5th Wave as the concept was much more straightforward and less woo woo than the mysticism spread throughout Icons.