Invasion: Heartland Aliens Book 1 – A Sci-Fi Extravaganza Worth Exploring

Few topics have been explored more exhaustively in science fiction than alien invasion. Many are presented with various different details, but the main discussion typically involves hostile extraterrestrial species trying to take over planet Earth. During the initial phase of the invasion, humanity is rendered defenseless in spite of all the advanced technologies and weapons systems. Only a few survivors remain after an all-out aggression by the aliens, and the government everywhere is dysfunctional at best. Through struggles and perseverance, a small number of people manage to stay alive and keep up the fight regardless of how futile it may seem. In that sense, Invasion, the first book of the Heartland Aliens series by Joshua James is not much of an exception.

It all starts when a supposedly harmless meteor shower turns out to be a horde of alien spacecraft on their way to invade the planet. World leaders have been appropriately informed about the threats by a group of scientists, who actually received a warning letter from space. Instead of starting whatever emergency measures to defend against the invasion, the leaders decide to mislead the public at large. Behind closed doors, the government has been quietly initiating a selection process to save only a handful of specimens so that humanity may repopulate Earth sometime in the future. Millions, if not billions, of others will be practically sacrificed.

Not much is known about the invaders beyond what is written in the heavily redacted reports from NASA and the military. Things are not that much different in other countries. There have been zero preparations for what is definitely to come. At the moment of the first attack, satellite communications fail and the power grid dies. Towns and cities are quickly overrun and taken over. As if the situation is not bad enough, the aliens do not discriminate against their victims; everyone including the young, the old, and the children all exterminated.

The story is told from the viewpoints of survivors (rather than an omniscient narrator) as they try to remain hidden from detection. Among the survivors include a prepper, some high school students, a former marine, and a cheerleader. Despite the story’s rather comfortable selection of character backgrounds, such a blend of ordinary people adds an aspect of realism to a good extent. The novel also gives quite a realistic (if not pessimistic) view of the government’s ineffectiveness in the event of a major strike and the aliens’ determined efforts to occupy the planet.

When the remaining survivors have difficulties coping and dealing with the new reality, the invaders take the opportunity to reproduce. Almost all major events in the story happen in the United States, but there are pages that describe how the situations are elsewhere around the world, which makes sense because the attack takes place almost on the entire planet at the same time. Descriptions of the attacks give clues that the aliens are much more advanced than humans, but not entirely invulnerable to anything. Resistance might not be futile after all, and the townspeople can theoretically figure out how to defeat the enemies despite the lack of resources.

In fact, details about the invasion in other countries work well to explore important aspects of the story without depleting the characterization. For every brief moment, the novel moves the focus away from the United States, it becomes an effective distraction from the usual take on the “heroic Americans save the world” arc. However, the biggest story still unravels in the United States, involving a small group of survivors in the town of Little Creek. Each character is sufficiently developed throughout the journey for survival, from escaping the initial attack and finding shelter to planning a defense strategy against the giant spider-like extraterrestrial creatures. There is no superhero or laser blaster; they have to make do with whatever is available.

Invasion is not a new story. It tells an old familiar sci-fi tale about an alien attack on Earth and seemingly takes inspiration from many other popular books like The War of the Worlds, Out of the Dark, The Alien Years, etc. Since the book frames the story in an action-thriller style with quite an engaging character development, the all-too-familiar adventure still makes for an enjoyable read.

Things get interesting just as soon as the main characters work together as a team to tackle deadly situations on a daily basis. Survival becomes increasingly challenging because the aliens keep growing in numbers and hunt humans for sustenance on Earth. Characters’ viewpoints gradually reveal more about the invaders, allowing readers to absorb the story and consume the details as if the ordeal is a first-hand experience. You learn about the situations from/with the characters and involuntarily you grow a genuine interest in what will happen to them on every next page.

We think Invasion surprisingly comes as an engaging read although sci-fi readers in general already know how the story goes right from the start. More than just a passable first-contact story, you also get just enough intrigue to develop a healthy amount of curiosity. There is a good combination of gory – almost horror – details of various events and uplifting moments to keep the story well-balanced.

Have you read Invasion? Do you find yourself wondering about what will happen in the next book? We’d love to hear from you.

Other things you might want to know:

Books in the Heartland Aliens series:

  1. Invasion
  2. Uprising
  3. Judgment

All books were published in 2022

Other series by Joshua James:

Lucky’s Marines series:

  1. Lucky Universe
  2. Lucky Legacy
  3. Lucky Empire
  4. Lucky Forever
  5. Lucky Invasion
  6. Lucky Revenge
  7. Lucky Justice
  8. Lucky Bastard
  9. Lucky At Last

Gunn and Salvo Series:

  1. Galaxy Run
  2. Friendly Fire
  3. Calypso End
  4. Bygone Star
  5. Infinite Grey
  6. Outward Sky
  7. Starlit Path
  8. Beyond Sol

Oblivion Series:

  1. Lost Mission
  2. First Contact
  3. Final Invasion
  4. Star Fallen
  5. Beyond Ruin
  6. Orion Inbound
  7. Enter Abyss
  8. Earth Arise
  9. Last Stand

Daniel Young’s most popular books:

Blackout series:

  1. Ignite
  2. Escape
  3. Disperse
  4. Invade
  5. Eclipse
  6. Onward
  7. Revenge
  8. Surge
  9. Vanquish

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