So what I remember from the book is.

  1. The Aliens specifically didn't use weapons to attack earth, they used some kind of mind control weapon that only affected people who had passed through puberty.
  2. The Main character formerly lived in a small town, was very smart, wanted to get into MIT, and played soccer with big mechs. He was apparently a good soccer player. At the beginning of the book, it is said that his math teacher likes to give the students difficult tests after a winning soccer game. He and his teammates win a soccer game at the beginning of the book.
  3. He is then kidnapped by a stocky boy and a thin girl, both of whom are described as very pale. They put him into a milk truck.
  4. They pilot some kind of huge insect-mech hybrids. I remember their being mention that the thin-girl's mech was a dragon fly, the stocky boy used a beetle, and the main character, (I believe his name is Ethan), piloted a wasp that he originally thought was an ant.
  5. The rebel forces live in a massive underground complex, as all the adults can't go outside or they'll be mind controlled and reveal the location of the rebel base.
  6. The thin girl and stocky boy used to have a third partner, but he went through puberty and betrayed the team in the middle of a mission when he was controlled by the mind-beam.
  7. The main character has a sister, whose name i believe starts with an e and i believe is emma. The sister is graduating before the main character, and was originally going to take a train. The train tracks were guarded by ant-lion artillery, but the main character stopped it from happening. Then the aliens planned to use a blimp, but an all out-attack on the blimp was staged and they destroyed it.

Any help is appreciated!

3 Answers 3


Could this be The Resisters by Eric S. Nylund?

Ethan is the main character. His sister is Emma, and there's a football sub-plot.

Twelve-year-old Ethan Blackwood has always known exactly what he wanted—to win the state soccer championship, get into the best high school, and become an astronaut. Then he meets Madison and Felix, who tell him something . . . insane. They claim that 50 years ago, aliens took over the earth, and everyone past puberty is under their mind control. Ethan doesn't believe it. But then he sees for himself the aliens' monster bug robots and the incredible way that Madison and Felix have learned to fight them. So Ethan Blackwood has a choice: he can go back to his normal, suburban, protected lie of a life—or he can become a Resister.

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Could this be one of the two books of Steve Voake's Odoursin series, The Dreamwalker's Child or The Web of Fire?

The Dreamwalker's Child sees the protagonist Sam, a boy fascinated with insects, being transported to the world of Aurobon after a bicycle accident that leaves him in a coma on earth. He is freed on Aurobon by a young girl called Skipper, who pilots insect-like flying machines.

I have not (yet) read the sequel, so I can't tell you anything about that, but seeing Sam return to Aurobon seems very likely.


The details don't sound like the Tripods Trilogy by John Christopher, but the overall concept is similar and might well have been inspired by his series.

In The White Mountains, The City of Gold and Lead and The Pool of Fire, subject humans are "capped" at puberty, where mind control devices are surgically attached to their brains, so only the young are free of this control, but are socialized by the captive adults to look upon Capping as an honor, a sign of maturity and a gateway to adulthood.

The gigantic Tripods which the aliens pilot across Earth are described as being vaguely insect like.

  • It doesn't sound like you think this is likely to be the right answer, in which case you shouldn't really have posted it as an answer, since an answer should make a genuine attempt to answer a question, rather than merely comment on it. Aug 13, 2023 at 19:43

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