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We Have Met the Enemy

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Loved it! 😍

Memorable characters and nuanced politics abound in this thrilling novel about an Apache woman trying to save humanity from deadly aliens.

"Sometimes we're our own worst enemies" is an aphorism that Felicia Watson applies to the entire human race in her excellent novel We Have Met the Enemy. The books follows Naiche Decker, a Chiricahua Apache lieutenant, who seems doomed to forever be compared to her famous mother--a prominent military member killed during a failed truce with a deadly alien race, the Eternals. Decker dedicates her life to fighting the Eternals on the front with her best friend Conroy Kennedy. When Eternals are destroyed, they disintegrate into energy signatures dubbed "eprions," which infect human hosts and transform them into the enemy. Suffice it to say, Decker and Kennedy are the only members of their squadron to make it out alive. While serving for a search and rescue division in the present, Decker gets an opportunity to participate in a vital scientific mission to uncover the genesis of the Eternals. Good news: she'll be working with Kennedy again; bad news: the captain is Decker's own worst enemy.


Author Felicia Watson takes the crew--and the reader--on a skillfully written and well-paced journey through space, encountering friendly and hostile humans and aliens on different planets along the way. Watson has a knack for funny dialogue and complex characters, whose evolving relationships compose the bulk of the narrative. There's the sarcastic chess-playing first officer Nils Lindstrom, the socially-awkward scientist Aquila Lateef, and Decker's canine companion Kayatennae--a loyal dog who ranks as a corpsman third class. Perhaps the best character is Decker herself, a strong woman with a smart mouth who constantly bucks authority, while simultaneously hiding enormous inner pain about the past. Given the focus on relationships, this book would appeal to readers who appreciate the character-building in shows like Battlestar Galactica or video games like Mass Effect.


Watson does have a tendency to cut away from scenes of violent intrigue at pivotal moments, but her exploration of complicated political themes almost makes up for it. The composition of the crew allows for weighty conflicts between the military and scientists about priorities. Decker's Apache heritage also leads to some tense exchanges with white crew members and pointed comparisons between the treatment of indigenous people by white people, and how the Eternals treat humanity. Ultimately, the crew realizes that the main enemy has been human hubris and lust for power after all--and that the only real way to end a war involves radical empathy and friendship.

Reviewed by

Co-Founder of The Haint
Former:
Batavia Public Library Tech/Reference Assistant
Literary Agent Assistant at Barbara Braun Associates, Inc.
Personal Assistant to Marilyn Stasio at the NYTBR
Book Review Editor for KGB Bar Lit Mag
Business Manager of Columbia Journal
MFA in Fiction, Columbia U

A Lost Kingdom of Peace “Obsessed by a fairy tale, we spend our lives searching for a magic door and a lost kingdom of peace.” Eugene O'Neill.

About the author

Felicia started writing stories as soon as they handed her a pencil in first grade. She’s especially drawn to character driven tales, where we see people we recognize, people who struggle with their mistakes and shortcomings, acknowledge them, and use that knowledge to grow into wiser human beings. view profile

Published on April 02, 2019

Published by D X Varos

70000 words

Worked with a Reedsy professional 🏆

Genre: Science Fiction

Reviewed by