Saturday, October 15, 2016

Invasion - Luke Rhinehart

Invasion - Luke Rhinehart

Sent to me by Titan Books UK in exchange for an honest review:

Genre: An Assortment Of Genres :D Heavy Dose Of Humour.

Pick it up now: Amazon UK/Amazon US/Goodreads

Rating: 4/5

Audience: Those looking for a refreshing, hilarious and worrying account of aliens invading earth.

Summed up in a few words: Play, Fun and Human Error.

Book/Summary: Super-intelligent furry aliens suddenly appear from another universe. And they've come to earth to have fun. "Louie" follows fisherman Billy Morton home one day and he and his family come quickly to love the playful alien. But when Louie starts using their computer to hack into government and corporate networks, and steal millions from banks to give to others, they realise that Louie and his friends mean trouble. Billy, his wife and two sons begin a roller-coaster ride of fame, fortune, jail, death, resurrection, and a distinguished ranking high on the FBI's Most Wanted list.

The Government soon decides that all these aliens are terrorists. They must be eliminated. The aliens are playing games they hope will help humans to see the insanity of the American political, economic and military systems. But the Powers That Be don't play games: they make war. 

(Official Synopsis)


Story/Plot/Narration: Billy Morton does not realise how much his life will change when he takes a hairy, gelatinous and spherical being home with him to meet his family. The creature or 'Louie' as the family names him is all about playing and having fun, he does not speak but he can mould himself into many different forms and Billy's boys Lucas and Jimmy have a great time with him. Billy's concerns only begin when Louie starts reading, talking and using the computer to hack government entities like the NSA to steal money. Protective of his new alien friend, Billy and his family try to hide him as best as they can, but sightings in the community of a 'hairy beach ball' shaped being as well as other sightings of similar creatures around the world bring the government to Greenport, Long Island to meet the Morton's and their new 'pet'.

Once the 'cat' is out of the bag so to speak, events elevate to a whole other level, with Louie and other 'Protean' friends taking to the media and speaking out against capitalism, war and all the other problems that the common human faces everyday. Billy and his family are taken along for the ride and it is a chaotic one for sure. With an agenda packed full of hacking, sexual innuendo, huge parties, espionage, sold out theatre shows, inter-universe sex and nuclear disarmament to name a few. Invasion is a hilarious/worrying series of events and scenarios that highlight everything that is wrong with the world and what we can do about it. Invasion is a unique and refreshing take on the arrival of a extraterrestrial beings that manages to side step most of the cliches we see in an invasion scenario. 

Genre/Writing Style: Invasion is a mash up of many genres. Though focusing highly on the comedy, adventure and political side of things throughout most of the book, there are also elements of thriller, action, romance and other popular genres. The book takes the idea of an alien invasion to a new place, instead of picturing oppression and obliteration, Luke Rhinehart brings us a story of revolution and equality. Invasion definitely stands out from other books in its field. I cannot really put my finger on a definitive audience for this book as there is a lot of fun, play and light amusement here, but there is also lots of foul language, sexual references and outright violence, so be wary when picking this book up. 

The story in Invasion is told from several different view points across multiple formats so it is prevented from being too stale, though my main criticism of this book is its length. I found the stroy to become slightly repetitive and bizarre in the middle of the book and felt it could have been somewhat shaved down. Mainly I was amused by this book, at times I was scared for humanity and occasionally I was uninterested by the escapades of the hairy aliens and their fisherman friend.

Characters: First off, Billy Morton is a great character, he has a certain way of looking at life and though he is in his early 70s he still embraces the new and tolerates the odd. I found his perspective to be inspiring and his satire to be hilarious, I hope I see things his way when I am that age. The other standout character here is Louie, the leader of the 'Proteans'. These aliens are bizarre, unpredictable and super intelligent but mainly they just want the human race to stop seeking riches and building weapons and just chill out and have some fun. Louie leads this charge and we get to see him evolve and lead his people through the events in this story. 

The enemy in the book is the government, Luke Rhinehart has made them paranoid, brutal and devious, which is really much different from reality. The lengths that all the American government entities and politicians go to fight the aliens that just want to help is insanely intense but makes for such a good back and forth storyline between both sides. The 'Proteans' just want humans to see what they are doing to themselves and their planet and they start to make headway but it is left on a cliffhanger. Whether to let us determine what happened next or to set up another book in the series (there is a message at the end that states there will be another book but I am not sure I can take it seriously due to the name of the sequel :D)

Setting: The story starts so small, in a little fishing town in the USA and it just grows and grows until it envelops the whole world. Yes it is focused on America for its storyline and politics, but it does take into the consideration all countries, states of mind and people. The Morton's are taken all over the world, they are harassed, imprisoned, blown up, resurrected and many other crazy scenarios, Luke Rhinehart obviously had a great time writing this story but by the end of it you may just have to hang your head in shame :(.

This is a hilarious and concerning insight into our existence as humans and the fact that an alien invasion may shake things up for the better.

Author Bio: Luke Rhinehart is the sporadically acclaimed author of eight works of fiction, most notably of a book written centuries ago entitled The Dice Man. A BBC production once named The Dice Man “one of the fifty most influential books of the last half of the twentieth century,” but was careful not to define what that influence might be. (An excerpt from About Luke on the authors website

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