Friday, April 3, 2015

Review: Invaded by Melissa Landers


Author: Melissa Landers
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Series: Alienated #2
Pages: Hardcover, 356 pages
Genre: Sci-Fi
Release Date: February 3rd 2015


The romantic sequel to Alienated takes long-distance relationships to a new level as Cara and Aelyx long for each other from opposite ends of the universe...until a threat to both their worlds reunites them.

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?


When it comes to books on intergalactic travels and alien life forms, you would always find them marked on my TBR shelf. However when I’m done with them, you would usually find me feeling meh. More often than not, you would also find me poking holes in the storyline or you know, just complaining about things I generally disliked. Unfortunately, Invaded falls into the same category of books I get excited about for nothing.

The first book Alienated was a decent read. I was curious to see which direction the author would take the second book to. I was sort of prepared for the angst (considering the fact that the two MC’s were now in different galaxies and what not) but I wasn’t ready to have it dished out as the only meal with sad, regurgitated tropes you would expect in a story like this as sides.

To recap a little, Alienated ends with Aelyx’s best friend dead and a huge riot on Earth thirsting for L’eihr blood. Amidst the running around in the final pages of the book, Cara and Aelyx decide to bid farewell to planet Earth and fly off to L’eihr for a happily ever after. Cue: Plot twist. The Way intercepts their hasty escape plan and makes a decision that complicates things further for the love birds. Aelyx is forced to mend relations with fellow Earthians by staying on the planet a little longer, while Cara is shipped off to L’eihr as a human representative.

As for the second book, Invaded starts off by showing Cara adjusting to her new life in L’eihr. It comes as no surprise that no one likes her or wants her there. There isn't much happening on her end other than the clich├ęd typical mean girl making life difficult for new girl trope. For about half the book, we only see Cara struggling with her gym class or being ostracized by her classmates. Meanwhile, Aelyx faces multiple assassination attempts on Earth because he is still the disliked, stiff alien who wooed a human girl. The ambassador from L'eihr threatens on pulling the plug from the alliance. Tensions rise, and so another alien falling for a human sub story is seamed in, cause, duh, one love story isn’t enough. (view spoiler)

I know I might be coming off too strong and maybe some of my dislike is unwarranted. For instance, one could argue that settling in in a new culture is difficult and this is a new planet we’re talking about. So I should give the same old refashioned story line a break. Be that as it may, but I strongly believe that instead of writing about Cara throwing up every day in her gym class, the author could have spent more time on highlighting the history of the planet through classes instead of just throwing it at our faces as facts Cara knew from reading or.. speculating or.. I don’t even know what exactly.

There are many other such tidbits introduced in this book that I didn’t enjoy. To name a few:
- I didn’t like how David’s character was used as a pawn and a means to an end in the story.

- I disliked how Cara became so judgmental after returning from L’eihr.

- I disliked how she changed her mind back so quickly. You know what I’m talking about if you have read the book.

To be honest, I have been bothered about her impulsive decision of leaving her home planet for a guy she barely knew for months from book 1. To a different galaxy no less! I was a little satisfied reading about her change of heart and was really happy when she had the only real fight with Aelyx. It was long overdue anyway. I wouldn't have had a problem if the author decided to drag that longer. Alas, it wasn’t meant to be.

- I disliked how Jaxen’s villainous traits were exaggerated. Don’t get me wrong, he was a megalomaniac. But so much absurdity was thrown in the last few pages that it left me with an impression of him being nothing but an indignant little wimp.

Speaking of endings, I’m still having a hard time wrapping my head around all that happened. I don’t understand why the author thought it was a good idea to a) rush the ending, and b) make it so overly dramatic for nothing. The last few pages felt like the book was suddenly put on fast forward when it was crawling sluggishly all throughout. Actually, those 2-3 pages entirely ruined the book for me.

Anyway, I guess it’s time to mention a few good things, eh? Well, I think it’s a good thing that there is finally an alliance between L’eihr and Earth after all this drama. Additionally, we know a little more about L’eihr’s past and other advanced life forms that may or may not be the good guys. I think it would make for an intriguing plot line in the next book. Most importantly though, I still haven’t lost hope in the series, and that’s a positive sign. I will be interested to see where the author takes the series now.

Overall, it wasn’t a bad read but it wasn’t as fun as I had hoped it to be. 2 stars.


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