Wesley is a talented software developer, working on video games. But his work is mostly on short term contracts that never turn into full time jobs, so he lives from contract to contract with hardly anything saved up and no idea how he's going to pay the mortgage on the house he inherited from his parents. In a way, getting kidnapped by big blue aliens may be the best thing to happen to the young man who has always dreamed of exploring the stars. The reality is less appealing when Wes finds himself locked in a cell in a lab most of the time. But when he helps engineer an escape for himself and the other humans from Earth, going home doesn't appeal. Instead, helping prince Kaelum's guardian Jax act as a decoy so the rest of the humans can escape sounds more interesting.
“Declared” roughly parallels the events of the first book of the series, Captured, but the events that lead up to Jax and Wes taking off to act as decoys are just skimmed over, so you really should read the first book before taking on this one.
Wesley appeared in the previous volume, but we didn't get to know much about him. In this book, we get half the story from his point of view, so we get to know more about his background and why a life with the Thorzen is so appealing to him. Having spent most of my working career in technology, I found Wes a very relatable character. He may be a bit of a chiché geek-type, but in this case the stereotype is not without a pretty solid foundation.
Jax played a bit bigger role in the first book, where we got to know him as a bit of a joker, but clearly protective of his friend the prince. We get to know him a lot better in this book, where we find he has a serious side, especially where Wesley is concerned. Jax doesn't quite have the same doubts about his capabilities that Kaelum demonstrated in the previous volume, but he is still very aware of the expectations society has of him and what that may mean for any romantic possibilities.
If you've read the first book, then the “big surprise” in this story probably won't be much of a surprise. We do get some more details when the revelation about the special nature of humans and mixed Thorzen happens.
“Declared” is available from Amazon.