What is this about?: Mana, from Carrie Jones’ Flying is back and ready to take on the world. So to speak. Mana’s adventures from Flying, which I’ll get into in my review, continue as she tries to find a place for herself in this new world order of hers. With aliens. And an alien boyfriend.
What else is this about?: It’s about finding your place in the world, granted Mana’s world is extremely not normal.
Blurb: Seventeen-year-old Mana has found and rescued her mother, but her work isn’t done yet. Her mother may be out of alien hands, but she’s in a coma, unable to tell anyone what she knows.
Mana is ready to take action. The only problem? Nobody will let her. Lyle, her best friend and almost-boyfriend (for a minute there, anyway), seems to want nothing to do with hunting aliens, despite his love of Doctor Who. Bestie Seppie is so desperate to stay out of it, she’s actually leaving town. And her mom’s hot but arrogant alien-hunting partner, China, is ignoring Mana’s texts, cutting her out of the mission entirely.
They all know the alien threat won’t stay quiet for long. It’s up to Mana to fight her way back in
So, I was a little weirded out that I hadn’t posted a review of Flying before now. It’s the first in the series, wherein Mana, our cheerleader heroine, finds out that aliens exist, that her nightmares come from experiments on her by them and that mum isn’t her biological mum. But she is absolutely the mother that loves Mana fiercely, and wants to protect her at all costs – and also protect her from caffeine, because apparently that brings out Mana’s powers.
It’s a wild ride, with snappy, funny dialogue and a main character you want to hug because as much as she’s trying to be strong and brave and make sense of everything, she really might just want to sit down in a corner and hug her mum.
However, in Enhanced, we find out that as of the end of Flying, her mum is in a coma, and Mana is adrift. Seppi, her BFF, and source of sanity is off to a medical school camp, and Lyle, who she thought she might have been kinda sorta dating breaks up with her.
And then she gets attacked in the girl’s bathroom, is handed a crystal and goes on the run. From there, she sees spaceships, an alien dog, and realises that Lyle and Seppie have a lot more going on than she thought, even though it may be because of her.
Mana is faced with double-crosses and lying and can’t figure out who to trust as she navigates this world and tries to neutralise an alien threat.
What I enjoyed about Enhanced, is there is a distinct evolution in Jones’ writing reflecting the threats Mana is facing now. I swear you could hear bubblegum pop in Flying, with the snark and the witty retorts. And while the latter is definitely still present in Enhanced, the story and Jones’ writing is much darker, reflecting I think how Mana’s life is changing, and the path she’s on.
Flying and Enhanced are witty, engaging and damned funny books that serve as an introduction to Mana, the cheerleader who is going to save the world.