Monday, March 9, 2015

Review: Invaded by Melissa Landers

(Alienated #2)
Publication Date: February 3, 2015
Hardcover, 356 pages, Disney-Hyperion
Genres: YA, Sci-Fi

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?

My Review

I’m 99.9% sure aliens are the new vampires. And I’m totally more than just okay with that. (I never really liked vampires anyway.)

So Aelyx and Cara are back and trying to fix all of the craziness that happened in the first book. And I gotta say, I wasn’t as thrilled as I was when I read the first book, but I still enjoyed it. I honestly don’t know what happened to me. I was so pumped to read this book, but when I finally had the chance, I wasn’t feeling it. I have some theories that I’ll mix into my actual review, simply so this post isn’t just about me boohoo-ing and woe-is-me-ing.

The book starts off pretty close to where Alienated left off, and that’s probably my first issue with it. I didn’t really like the ending of Alienated. It seemed really rushed and I think it took away from the awesome plotline of the story. This just transferred to Invaded. I felt like the entire book was going by really fast, despite there not being a lot actually happening in the book. Weird, right?

Also, because the book picks up right where the first one left off, Aelyx and Cara are not even together about ¾ of the story. The romance was the most important aspect of Alienated, and I think it got lost somewhere in all of the world-building for L’eihr. Speaking of world-building, there was a very weird ritual scene featuring Cara and a bunch of aliens on the planet that just made me feel uncomfortable. I understand its purpose, but I when I was reading, I didn’t really think this ritual was something Cara would have participated in. I actually felt this a lot while reading. I guess it was because Cara is so similar to myself—nerdy, comfortable at home instead of with friends, easily embarrassed, etc., (minus the whole alien boyfriend bit)—and I couldn’t see myself making a lot of the decisions she did. Especially the one she made at the end. That decision just came about waaaaaay too easily for her. Maybe there should have just been more pages featuring her thinking over this dilemma, instead of just having her change her mind so suddenly.

Okay, since I’ve shared/ranted about all of my issues, now it’s time to get into what I did like. The world-building was pretty awesome. I didn’t think I would enjoy reading about such a bland alien planet, but Landers made it work. Cara’s voice allowed the descriptions of the boring planet of L’eihr to come across as a funny joke. Without this, I probably would have had to have set the book down, because, I have to be honest, I would NEVER choose to live on L’eihr, even if I had a hot alien boy to keep me company. It’s just too blugh, bland, and washed-out.

I also really enjoyed the side characters in the story. Cara’s connection with her brother was touching and sweet and it totally made me want to ask my parents why my older sister couldn’t have been born a boy. And I thoroughly expected to hate Syrine after what she did in Alienated, but surprisingly, I liked her character arc. Then there’s David. Oh, David. And that’s all I’m going to say about him.

All in all, Invaded was a good sequel; it was just too fast-paced with too little Aelyx and Cara together to make me love it as much as I loved Alienated. I really hope this series gets a third book. I think it needs it after having such a quick ending.

*Note: I purchased a copy of this book. This in no way altered my opinion/review.

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