Book Review: Invaded (ARC) by Melissa Landers

17316770This review is based on an advanced reader’s copy of the novel obtained through Disney-Hyperion at the American Library Association Conference for free. This is in no way had an effect on the integrity of my review. Please note that published novel will differ from this ARC.

Genre: 

Young Adult, medical Science Fiction, for sale Romance

Pages: 

368

Part of a Series?:

This is the second novel of the Alienated series. To read my review of Alienated, click here.

Release Date: 

February 3rd, 2015

You Can Find the Book At:

GoodReads

Amazon

Barnes and Noble

Book Depository

Author Website

GoodReads Summary: 

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:

Please note that while this review will have no spoilers for Invaded, it will have spoilers for Alienated. Please check out the review for that book at the link above!

I have never been so grateful in my entire life to the girl working the Disney-Hyperion booth at ALA a couple weeks ago. I spotted Alienated, because it had been on my radar and I asked them if they were giving out copies of it. They weren’t BUT they were having a signing with Melissa Landers later in the day and giving away the second book, Invaded. I decided to try and make it to the signing. Melissa’s signing was literally at the same time as David Levithan, Jay Asher, Lauren Myracle, Jessica Brody, Josephine Angelini…a ton of authors. But I wanted to make it. I bounced from booth to booth to booth and finally made it over there and was excited to see that she was still signing.

Then I got super sad because they were out of books. I decided I would stand in line to talk to her anyway, maybe just introduce myself and then the girl in front of me said “I don’t know Melissa, so here, have this”, and handed me a copy of Invaded. I was so excited. Melissa was super sweet, and I knew I had to get home and read Alienated. Which I did, in one night. The next day, I read Invaded. I’m so glad that I got my hands on this book because it pressured me to purchase and read the first one and I absolutely love these two books. They are easily now a favorite for me.

Melissa continues a well thought out story that she had concocted in book one. We leave book one with this: Cara and Aelyx will be split for months, Cara to continue the exchange program on L’eihr and Aelyx to go down to Earth to complete the alliance, to ensure that it goes through. While the first book was centered on the somewhat small circle of Cara and Aelyx’s romance, and the town that turned their backs against them, this book focuses on the bigger picture. The romance is there (oh thank god, because it makes me so happy) but its so focused. Cara is figuring out more and more who she is and what she wants and where she wants to be. She’s figuring out where she fits in, on the planet that she’s intended to spend her life. She’s trying to come to terms with how different the L’eihr really are to her. Her life in their schools, and their society is difficult and the ever optimist is having problems. I love this character development. It makes me incredibly happy to see a character struggle and question things, even things she was so firm on before.

Then we continue to Aelyx. I love that he was able to spend more time on Earth. Obviously he changed his mind about earth and the alliance when he came to the exchange program and fell in love with Cara. But I think in Alienated, it had more to do with Cara and his affection for her and her parents that changed his mind more than anything else. I mean, the other humans he was exposed to didn’t exactly give him reason to want to save the planet or anything. However I think by spending more time on Earth, around other humans and without the rosy taint of love with Cara around him constantly, he grew more desiring of the alliance. I liked that he seemed to be trying new foods, and that he genuinely started a friendship with a new character. I liked the effect it had on him and his personality and I love what that did to Syrine. I loved the way the L’eihr changed during their time on earth.

I also really liked the bigger picture we got. This wasn’t just about Cara and Aelyx anymore. This was about the betterment of both societies, both species and the necessity of the alliance. The events that were happening on Earth and the events that were happening with Cara in space, they were threatening to this alliance. Everything is hanging in the balance, one small move could ruin everything. Not only would it ruin this beautiful romance that I ship so hard its not even funny, but it would ruin the relationship between these two species and it would mean the complete destruction of the planet, because Earth so desperately needs the L’eihr to cure the water supply.

The only slight problem that I had was that Cara had to make a fairly big decision in the end. I’m happy with the decision that she made but I was kind of thrown off with how quickly she made it. She was very adamant in her decision but she changed her mind, I was very thrown off. I thought it would have taken a bit more for her to make that decision and I was slightly upset that the character would…change her gumption that easily. However, when I was talking to Melissa on Twitter, she said Disney-Hyperion have signed on for two books, and so she probably had to wrap it up as much as possible while still enticing interest for a hopefully third book (Please Disney-Hyperion!!!!). So while I wasn’t a massive fan of this, I understand why it was done. I know that’s vague but I’m trying to be spoiler free!

All in all, if you loved Alienated, you’re going to love Invaded. I know that the final product may be completely different from what I read but I’m hoping that there are little changes because I really did love this book and I’m hoping the publishers hear my plea for more books!

Rating:

4 out of 5 Stars

 

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Goddess by Josephine Angelini Review

Goddess by Josephine Angelini

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You Can Find the Book At:

GoodReads

Amazon

Barnes and Noble

Author Website

GoodReads Summary:

After accidentally unleashing the gods from their captivity on Olympus, online Helen must find a way to re-imprison them without starting a devastating war. But the gods are angry, and their thirst for blood already has a body count.

To make matters worse, the Oracle reveals that a diabolical Tyrant is lurking among them, which drives a wedge between the once-solid group of friends. As the gods use the Scions against one another, Lucas’s life hangs in the balance. Still unsure whether she loves him or Orion, Helen is forced to make a terrifying decision, for war is coming to her shores.

In Josephine Angelini’s compelling conclusion to the masterfully woven Starcrossed trilogy, a goddess must rise above it all to change a destiny that’s been written in the stars. With worlds built just as fast as they crumble, love and war collide in an all-out battle that will leave no question unanswered and no heart untouched.

My Review:

This review will NOT contain spoilers for this particular novel, but it will contain spoilers for the two previous novels. You can read my review of Starcrossed here and my review of Dreamless here

Having never read The Iliad, I’m not really familiar with the story, so I had NO idea what direction this was going in at all. I know Greek mythology and stories fairly well so I had an idea but this is a retelling so obviously Josie Angelini was going to have some twists going on here.

And she definitely did. I was able to meet Josephine at the Los Angeles Teen Book Fest this past Saturday and being able to talk with her, and to hear her insight on how she wrote the books, and what her methods were like, and even just getting some advice from her really made me want to run home to finish this book.

Which is pretty much exactly what I did.

The thing that I really love about this story, and the continuation of the entire trilogy is that it is based on something we’ve read before but it is twisted, and that is what makes it so compelling. We know the story of Helen of Troy, at least a little bit. I feel like most everyone has a slight knowledge of the story. But no matter what, you still don’t see the end of Goddess coming, and that’s what makes it so compelling. You know the tragic ending of the original story and you’re afraid of what the end of this one might be, but that’s what keeps you turning the pages. Everything that has been going on in all the books is leading down to this moment where the fight between the Scions and the gods is going to happen.

I’ll also say that she really knows how to write a battle scene. Its confusing to read her battle scene but that’s what I like about a good battle scene> I want to feel lost and confused and like I’m spinning in circles and I can’t quite find the right direction because that’s what I’d imagine being in the middle of a battle would feel like. Because we often get multiple points of view in this story, you really see the chaos of it all, and I think that’s brilliant. I wish I could write in third person, and maybe one day I’ll have to give it a try to see if I can do that. I write all first person, but the winding of the multiple third person point of views, especially during that battle scene, is incredible.

Plus, and I won’t say more than this, because, you know, spoilers: kraken. Enough said.

I also think that Angelini knows how to make sacrifices as well. I hate happy endings. I do. I mean, obviously I don’t want a book to end in complete and totally despair but I also don’t really want it to be sunshines and rainbows and happiness. Not in books that are paranormal or fantasy or sci-fi because there are wars and battles and fights involved and you’re crazy if you think people don’t get hurt. I hate books where people don’t get hurt because its unrealistic. Goddess has its share of deaths and sacrifices and they HURT, but a good book can make you hurt, and so I was impressed by her ability to make me care for these people and then care when they died.

All in all, a great ending to a fine trilogy. And I’m not going to lie, I really actually want to read The Iliad now ;)

Rating:

4 out of 5 stars