Author: Melissa Landers
Series: Alienated #2
Genre: YA Science Fiction
Summary (from Goodreads)
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?
I think Melissa Landers made a wise choice in separating her star-crossed lovers for the majority of this story. Aelyx and Cara together all the time would have allowed for too much indulgence in their relationship and not enough space for plot. Having the two taking on separate missions on Earth and L’eihr respectively was smart – it keeps up the whole ‘fish out of water’ theme, and provides plenty of growing room for both characters.
Not that their relationship is completely out of the limelight – there are a few stolen moments. Just enough to satisfy the shipper needs.
Invaded picks up shortly after where Alienated left off. The alliance between the L’eihr and humans is precariously balanced on a knife point, and Aelyx and Cara are right in the middle of it. Both have to work to prove that it can be done, and both have mysterious forces working against them to prove otherwise. Because the alliance is the only way Cara and Aelyx can hope to have any sort of life together, stakes are extremely high for the characters, making it a tense and nail biting read.
But there’s plenty of time for lighter moments. New character David provides plenty of comic relief, even as his story takes a more serious turn, and Cara’s passages are still full of her witty and dry perspective. Her struggle to get along with the L’eihr way of life, though critically important, does leave plenty of space for amusement.
The gimmick of the blog posts is still present, and they’re used well to illustrate how you can’t trust everything that people write on the internet. While Cara doesn’t blatantly lie, there are certainly some lies by omission as she tries to balance her journalistic integrity with telling people what they need to hear to make sure the alliance goes ahead.
The ending of Invaded does suggest an overall ending, though on Landers’ website she suggests that the possibility of a third book is dependent of strength of sales. I’m glad that it ‘finished’ though certainly wouldn’t mind spending some more time with the characters and in the world she created. Invaded was an excellent sequel to a stellar first instalment, and I’ll definitely be keeping an eye out for anything else she writes!