Dear, blessed readers, do I have books for you today!
The Good Lord himself gifted man with the ability to create elaborate storylines and write beautiful works of art so it should come as no surprise that the author of our lives has also created a few great authors amongst the mediocre ones, yet the good authors I find never cease to amaze! Ms. Melissa Landers is one of these absolutely phenomenal authors in my oh-so-humble opinion.
I first picked up Ms. Landers’ book Alienated a few months ago and thought, “Hey! Pretty Cover!!!” and that’s pretty much how my obsession began. I’d been working on ― and am still working on, unfortunately ― a sci-fi alien book sort of like this one so naturally it piqued my interest. Then add to that the Starcrossed television series that had just come out (Which I was sorely disappointed in, by the way; these poor television shows will just never be able to live up to my expectations) and I was totally enraptured by the whole alien thing. But I guess that had a lot to do with the fact that I was/am WRITING an alien book!
So, since this is probably going to be the longest review I’ve ever posted, I’m going to start off small (if you can even call it that!) and begin with the first book.
Cara Sweeney, valedictorian, high-school prodigy, and complete education nut is chosen to be apart of a L’heir exchange program, where a teen ambassador from planet L’heir will come and learn to live like Cara, act like Cara, eat like Cara, and sleep like Cara. She is supposed to be his human role model. At first, Cara isn’t overly enthused about it but when her parents
jump on board (and of course they would … they love the aliens since they cured cancer and Cara’s mom!) Cara decides that it can’t hurt so why not?
Deciding to make the best of it, Miss Cara Sweeney agrees to the exchange and practically signs her life away to this L’heir ambassador because whether or not she likes him, she’s stuck with him for a while. After his time on Earth is over, her time in the new colony on L’heir begins. With him. Not as any freak alien bride or anything but in the same platonic relationship they’re supposed to keep while Aelyx (her L’heir ambassador) is on Earth.
Aelyx has other plans, to say the least.
The three L’heir ambassadors don’t want anything to do with planet Earth or the humans and they have schemed a sinister plot to blight crops in the area to persuade the humans to force them from Earth.
And Aelyx tries his best to! He wants nothing more than to hate the humans and to keep them at arm’s length but Cara slowly begins to wear him down. But the crop-blighting plant or machine or whatever Aelyx and the other two teens have planted are the least of their worries …. What’s up with the crazy mutating plants in the water? And why does Aelyx’s government want an alliance with little weakling humans, anyway?!?
Of course, I’m not going to answer these questions for you.
Needless to say, Aelyx’s leaders were less-than-thrilled about his decision to disobey “the Way,” their form of government. Instead of sentencing him to death, which Cara feared, Aelyx was sentenced to return to Earth to mend the tear he and his other two friends had created.
But there’s a catch.
The program was sped up and Cara would be sent to L’heir prematurely, without her parents or Aelyx (or stuck-up brother who joined the marines when their mother had cancer and was on her deathbed). Cara and Aelyx agreed to this and the story ends there, with Cara insisting that she’d be able to carve out a life for herself and Aelyx on planet L’heir, despite her previous doubts.
But a planet of nothing but dreary wasteland, as Cara imagined? How could she do it?
If nothing else, the characters were inspiring! Especially Cara. It was so easy for me to relate to her because I am a crazy, education nut like she is. And guess what else!? She BLOGS. Oh, and she’s stubborn and loves to argue. She’s the debate queen. Literally. How could I not relate to her?
Cara has fiery red hair and vibrant eyes. Milky white skin, too. Of course, this shocks Aelyx, who has come from a bland-looking planet where everyone looks the same, pretty much. Why?
… they’re CLONES …. SHHHHHH! Don’t tell anyone!
Aelyx can be and is annoying and attractive all in one page. His arrogance is flattering and agitating. He has light brown hair that’s long enough to put in a low ponytail (which I never cared for) and he has gray eyes. Pretty attractive right?
Aelyx has a calm personality and he isn’t rattled easily but he IS disgusted by the humans. He is completely stunned by Cara and her bright hair and eyes. Aelyx has an infinitely deep personality once you get past his cold, uncaring outer shell. He puts up a good front but Cara cracks him.
A complaint would be that the book went a little too quick for my taste but I loved the combination of action, romance, and mystery! Great allure.
Alienated is an incredibly thought-provoking story where there is no insta-love present and the reader can kick back and enjoy Cara’s faults, Aelyx’s seemingly-perfect skills, and pretty much everything else the detailed book has to offer.
Ms. Landers’ use of the inner blog (or whatever you want to call it) was very unique and I loved it. In fact, I found myself excited, anticipating Cara Sweeney’s next blog post! If only Ms. Landers would post a REAL blog like that! Pretend to be Cara Sweeney to keep the story going while we wait in PAIN AND AGONY for the third novel!! (If there even is going to BE one … but there’d better be) But alas. No such blog has been made. …. Yet.
I very much appreciate the lack of the disappearing-parent syndrome so many books seem to adopt these days. The parents are just as active in Cara’s life as they were in the beginning of the book. That was definitely a plus for me.
If there’s one thing I can complain about in the book, it’s probably the “Go Green!” message it holds.
Pleaseeeeeeeeeee people. No green message. If you have read my blog for long, you know that I am a Christian and I LOVE the environment and yes, we should take care of it! But at the same time, there is a fine line between caring for what you’ve been given and thinking you’re vicious, cancerous monsters for destroying something as self-sustainable as the Earth! It was meant to last a really long time, guys. Doubt our use of cell phones and cars is going to change that.
Now that I’ve gotten my rant out of the way, let’s move on to Book Two!
Unfortunately, like I said before, Alienated was a book I’d read a few months ago and was not super on my mind but Invaded? Yeah, I got that yesterday and read it all night. Got questions about it? Cool. It’s completely stuck in my mind so shoot!
Invaded continues the story of Cara and Aelyx where we leave off. Cara is just being sent to L’heir and Aelyx is being jettisoned back down to Earth where he is to mend the relationship between their worlds and heal the alliance the Way so badly needs ― for some unknown and likely sinister reason.
Like in the first book, the storyline bounces between Cara’s new experiences on L’heir and assassination attempts on Aelyx’s life while he travels around like a rockstar or an official attempting to get reelected, kissing hands and shaking babies … or is it the other way around? Aelyx is still trying to figure that out;)
But things on L’heir aren’t as good as Cara had expected they would be. This colony she is supposed to live in when it’s finished isn’t all it’s cracked out to be. And not only that! Strange probes begin falling from the sky!
What’s THAT all about?
Then, on the side, some creepy dude from the Way is flirting with Cara. Aelyx isn’t the least bit happy about it but seeing as though he’s galaxies away, he can’t do much to stop it.
Besides … ew.
Jaxen ― the member of the Way that’s so interested in Cara and her fascinating humanistic traits ― is a total creep. Oh, and let’s just say he has some pretty fascinating traits of his own, shall we?
Invaded did an excellent job of keeping the reader on the edge of their seat, wondering what was going to happen next. This was the book that threw me the most, just because I was always expecting the worst out of characters and then other times expecting the best. I suppose I can be too naive and trusting sometimes.
The whole book is spent discussing Cara’s and Aelyx’s individual lives on two different planets and the story would be a bit dry if it weren’t for the mystery allure and intrigue along the way ― and if it weren’t for the fact that the book was awfully short for my taste but that’s about the only thing I can say bad about this book!
When Cara finally is allowed home for a visit in the spring to be present for the alliance ceremony, she has finally made her decision. But to stay on L’heir or leave Aelyx forever? And what will her decision entail? I warn you, the last few chapters are excruciating because you’re always THINKING!
Is that really Cara?
What just happened?
Oh my gosh, can he …? Did he …?
Wait … what did Jaxen just give her?
No … No! Why would he try to kill him?
WHAT IN THE FRIGGEN HECK IS WRONG WITH THIS BOOK THIS ISN’T SUPPOSED TO HAPPEN!
So yeah. Those are my thoughts. You didn’t even have to pay a penny for them. You’re welcome. My gift to you, my wonderful readers!
It is both a disappointment and a relief to tell you that Invaded does not end on a painful cliff hanger. On the one hand, I am thrilled I won’t be clawing my eyeballs out like I am in the Throne of Glass series or curling into the fetal position knowing how long I’m going to have to wait for the next book in Penryn and the End of Days series but on the other hand I am disappointed that I don’t have something to ponder for the next long while until the next book comes out!
Oh, what a loss!
I have not read the Until Midnight short story released by Melissa Landers but since she has so fully ensnared me in her author’s web, I think I’ll definitely have to check it out. As in, right now. So, if you don’t hear from me in the next several hours, know that I am on planet L’heir exploring the world with Aelyx and Cara!
Fare thee well, readers? (Or, “Later, babes!”)
What’s on your bookshelf?