When the Illyri invaded Earth, they didn't expect to find a people who are both charming and deadly. Syl Hellais is the first Illyri to be born on Earth. The ancient race has invaded the planet and controls major portions of the population. At sixteen, Syl doesn't have any real memories of her home planet and since her father is one of the Illyri leaders on Earth, she's forced to sneak out into a neighbouring town with her friend Ani in order to have some fun. But the two girls find themselves at the site of a bombing by Earth resistance forces and in the chaos she meets human teen Paul Kerr. That meeting has big ramifications in the months to come.
Her father is the head of the Illyri Diplomatic service, which oversees Earth. But they are locked in a battle for the planet with the rival military faction and a group of mysterious women seers who secretly control much of the Illyri. When the bombing sparks the interest of visiting seer Syrene, she interrogates Syl and Ani and they are forced to flee into rebel-controlled Scotland.
That disappearance costs Syl's father his position and as the military take over Earth, they begin a massive and violent crackdown on the population. They invade Scotland in search of Syl and Ani and begin killing rebels across the globe. The crackdown is led by the Illyri military leader Sedelus, who is now married to Syrene. As he hunts for the missing girls, they meet members of the rebel group, including an Illyri named Fremd who now fights against his countrymen. They are accompanied by Paul and his brother Steven, who are also on the run from the Illyri.
As the Illyri close in on the rebel hideaway, Fremd discovers that some of the Illyri in leadership positions, including the now-captured Sedelus, have been infected with some sort of parasite that secretly controls them. The parasites can't be removed and its now known what connection they have the sisterhood of seers. Before the rebel base is breached, Syl and Ani are turned over to the Illyri and returned back home. Sedelus's defeats have cost the military control of Earth and even Syrene seems content to leave Syl and Ani alone. Until Syl meets with her father alone and realizes that he has been infected with the parasite and can now never be trusted.
Best part of story, including ending:
The book does a good job of painting a realistic look at what an alien occupation of Earth might be like. These types of stories can sometimes seem cartoonish, but this one is written in a way that is very lifelike and believeable.
Best scene in story:
In the final scenes of the book, Syl discovers that her father has unknowingly been infected with the parasite. It doesn't just mean that he can't be trusted as a leader. She also realizes that he can't be trusted as a father and that breaks her heart.
Opinion about the main character:
Syl is a great combination of alien and familiar Earth qualities. She obviously cares most about the Illyri and her homeworld. But she also sees its flaws and is willing to accept that some things can't be changed.