If you want to read a book and be surprised, pick up Russell Nohelty’s “Invasion” without reading any of the summaries or the rest of this review. Until June 25, 2020, you can get “Invasion” as part of the Wannabe Press Summer Fantasy/Science Fiction Novel Slate Kickstarter. The project is already funded, so you can rest assured that you will get your copy of this great book. If you read any further, there will be mild spoilers ahead.
“Invasion” turns the romantic comedy tropes on their head and offers an out of this world look at young love, family issues, and saving the world. Joshy is a spoiled 18-year-old who only thinks about eating and video games. He’s a human, who doesn’t like humans, and he is an all-around lazy jerk, who hasn’t grown up enough to find out who he wants to be or is. Yet, strangely, these characteristics aren’t enough to putt the reader off from wanting to continue. Instead, they fuel the fire to read on. If Noehlty can right Joshy like this, his work on Albert Ross in “The Worst Thing in the Universe,” one of his other offerings in the Novel Slate, should be genius.
While on vacation Joshy falls in love, his family falls apart, and then everything else falls apart. Like all good sci-fi “Invasion” is relevant for today as it touches on the divisions between political parties and countries and the problems those divisions cause. However, these aren’t the books main focus. Instead, Nohelty uses the first and second parts of the book to explore the relationship between Joshy and Debra; the third part he leaves for the invasion.
Perhaps the most salient and prescient of the conversations in the book is this exchange between aliens living on Earth. Both were planning on getting off the planet before Joshy came into their lives:
“I was very content doing exactly what I was doing,” Maddie mumbled.
“I know,” Debra replied. “That’s the problem.”
Those words alone ring true for many of us who were happy to be unaware of any problems in our own world. “Invasion” doesn’t offer the chance to escape life for a while as much as it offers the opportunity to embrace life on Earth for all people… and aliens. For more on Nohelty, check out the email interview he did with us.