Author: Melissa Landers
Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction, Romance
Rating: 5 Stars
Cara always knew life on planet L’eihr would be an adjustment. With Aelyx, her L’eihr boyfriend, back on Earth, working to mend the broken alliance between their two planets, Cara is left to fend for herself at a new school, surrounded by hostile alien clones. Even the weird dorm pet hates her.
Things look up when Cara is appointed as human representative to a panel preparing for a human colony on L’eihr. A society melding their two cultures is a place where Cara and Aelyx could one day make a life together. But with L’eihr leaders balking at granting even the most basic freedoms, Cara begins to wonder if she could ever be happy on this planet, even with Aelyx by her side. Meanwhile, on Earth, Aelyx, finds himself thrown into a full-scale PR campaign to improve human-L’eihr relations. Humans don’t know that their very survival depends on this alliance: only Aelyx’s people have the technology to fix the deadly contamination in the global water supply that human governments are hiding. Yet despite their upper hand, the leaders of his world suddenly seem desperate to get humans on their side, and hardly bat an eye at extremists’ multiple attempts on Aelyx’s life. The Way clearly needs humans’ help but with what? And what will they ask for in return?
WARNING – SPOILERS MAY ENSUE BEYOND THIS POINT – REVIEW BELOW
I thoroughly enjoyed Invaded by Melissa Landers—though not for the same reasons I loved the previous book in the series, Alienated. Where Alienated was fun and centered mostly around the romance between Cara and Aelyx, Invaded took things to a whole other level. The book was fast-paced, filled with political drama and danger, and although the romance between Cara and Aelyx was present, it took a back seat to the rest of the plot. For the majority of the book, the couple was apart, and in the absence of their relationship, the complex plot began to shine.
As with the previous book, the world building, and character development was outstanding. I found Cara and her bubbly and sometimes sarcastic personality, less annoying this time around, and I’ll hand it to the girl—she really stepped things up. The plot threw everything it could at Cara, it isolated her, threw death plots at her, and tried to frame her for every crime under the sun, but Cara held her own and pulled herself through despite having almost no one to rely on. There were twists and turns I didn’t see coming (and a few I did), and I couldn’t help but be drawn into the story.
As for the technical side of things, the book was well written. I didn’t stumble over awkward phrases or pacing problems. There were no noticeable typos or grammar blunders. I was sucked into the story from the very first page and wasn’t let go until the very last.
There will probably be some readers who don’t appreciate this book as much as I did. I’m sure they’ll go into this book expecting it to mimic the light-hearted heavy-romance theme of the first book, and they’ll be disappointed. Personally, I love this book for entirely different reasons than I loved the first book. Where I loved the first book for its romance and clever but understated science fiction theme, I loved Invaded for it’s complexity, danger, and drama. The book was equally fantastic, just for different reasons.
Overall, I enjoyed Invaded, and I’m excited to see if there will be a third book in the series anytime soon (please, oh please). If you like science fiction, YA, or romance, and you don’t want to be bogged down with a ton of science terminology, you’ll love this series. I highly recommend it. The book is perfect for pre-teens on up… the romance, while steamy, is clean—there are no graphic sex scenes, and I’d be perfectly fine handing this book to my pre-teen daughter. I’m looking forward to more by this author—this entire series is going on my keeper shelf.