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The Fourth Piece: Order’s Last Play, Book One by E. Ardell

four stars

fourthWhile performing a stunt in his family’s pool, Lawrence finds himself caught up in a vision of a guy who is dying. Oddly enough, Devon and Lyle, Lawrence’s older twin brothers, experience the same vision. Although visions and dreams are not uncommon for these brothers who possess psychic powers, this particular vision is very unusual. When Devon enters one of Lyle’s dreams, the twins realize that the young man is their older brother, Evan, who mysteriously disappeared years ago. In order to save their brother, Devon, Lyle, and Lawrence will have to reveal their true identities as they engage in alien warfare.

E. Ardell—a librarian quickly morphing into a rising author—pens a story that appeals to teens in her sci-fi debut. While much of her futuristic plot focuses on familial relationships—particularly between four brothers (Lawrence, Devon, Lyle, and Evan), Ardell emphasizes that some things just haven’t change in the year 2022—in Houston, Texas and beyond. Although now replete with humans and Visitors (aliens), the world continues to have race relation problems, and this time with Vulattos—half-humans, half-aliens. Ardell’s unique plot unfolds little by little as told through three concurrent first person narratives (Lawrence, Devon, and Lyle). Amid psychic weirdness, racial issues, and a Gothic-styled war, Ardell punctuates a little bit of everything expected in a teenager’s world (i.e., sarcasm, comedy, and plenty of flirting that coincides with raging hormones). The Fourth Piece is the first in the Order’s Last Play series. Throwing in a flurry of twists and turns along the way and closing on an interesting cliffhanger, Ardell sets the groundwork for book two, The Third Gambet. A one-of-a-kind story, The Fourth Piece is earmarked to become a favorite teen read.

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