Sunday, February 8, 2015

Invaded by Melissa Landers: Review


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?


Invaded takes long-distance relationship to a whole new level. Think cross-country relationship is tough? Try cross-galaxy. Cara and Aelyx are separated most of the time in the book. Each facing their own problems. Cara is restricted by the L'eihrs and having a hard time adjusting the lifestyle. Aelyx is repeatedly under assassination attempts while trying to fix the alliance. But then another problem makes its way to the surface. A secret Cara will uncover soon, and will change everything between the humans and the L'eihrs.

I like how the story is slowly being developed into something truly dynamic. A lot of underlying problems are hinted in the first half of the book.The suspense of Cara discovering something out of place is thrilling. The truth is revealed just in time, when I have the barest idea of who is behind all the devious actions. It's well-hidden and therefore, very impressive. I also like how Cara's perspective and Aelyx's are shared equally. The prioritizing skills of the author is more than acceptable.

It's a huge relief that there's no love triangle in the book. It's slightly hinted that there might just be one at the end of Alienated. I'm so glad that this didn't happen. There are some good triangles among YA novels. But I fear this would not be one of them, should it actually occurred. The development of Cara and Aelyx's relationship is very natural. There isn't a point where their relationship goes downhill drastically. This wouldn't be logical unless something big happened between them, which is definitely not the case. Their love has changed quite a bit in Invaded, which is also natural. It wouldn't be logical if their relationship hasn't shifted into another direction. That doesn't mean their love isn't strong though. In fact, I admire the depth of it. I love how they will sacrifice things to hold on to each other, especially when they are separated by light years worth of distance. They are some of the best couples I've ever read about.

The only thing about Invaded that I don't really approve is the end of the book. Don't get me wrong. I absolutely love the ending. It signals the start of another phase - a phase which will leave a lot of marks. I like endings where the characters have hope - that they can create a better world for themselves sometime in the future. However, some details are rushed, and good things come a little bit too easily. I expected more struggle from Cara to secure the alliance between L'eihrs and humans. But then someone relents so quickly that it almost seems suspicious. I don't know, maybe it's a hidden plot that will be developed in the next book. But I don't like things that come too easily. One can deserve a happily ever after if they have earned it in the first place. While Cara might be a lovable character, she definitely hasn't earned it yet.

Invaded is the symbol of the rare occasion where the sequel is better than the first book. It's an exciting ride that continues to build up throughout the book and go ka-boom at the end of it. It's a book that leaves the readers hanging and craving for the next book. Of course it's one that I love.

Rating: 9/10

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