April 6, 2015

Book Review: Earth (The Invasion Trilogy, #1) by Jessica Frances

Earth (The Invasion Trilogy #1
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

*I received a digital copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review*

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This book messed with my mind BIG time.
The topic of earth invasion is not unfamiliar for me. I watched a lot of movies about that and even though most of them were pretty vivid and impressive, I admit that I only saw them no more than as entertainment. Never once I thought further about the issue beyond what the movie offered. But this book, though… this book made me thinks about a lot of thing. I mean, I still don’t believe in an existence of alien or them invading the Earth. But the vibes of doom Ms. Frances delivered here were quite strong. I found myself looking at my surrounding, at the daily activities rolling around every day, at the oblivious people. Then my mind wandered what if this very thing happened and none of us were prepared, no goodbyes ever being said. What if I or maybe one of you will become Mattie or Lisa or Hanks, what will you do? What will I do? Really, this book brought up such a real and epic issue!
The world as we know it is ending.
(Mattie; Chapter II, Earth)
When the first attack happened, Mattie was in her dorm room at the University of Oregon. Away from her family in Australia. Away from the comfort of home. The news on TV was hectic showing that her hometown was among the first country to go black because of the invasion by some unknown enemy. Her roommate, Lisa, went hysterical while Mattie herself seemed could not wrap her mind around this entire nightmare. No further information other than blackouts happened all around the world just like the movement of constant wave sweeping the surface of the ocean. No one could give them assurance of whether their families in the other side of the world were okay or not. No clue. No nothing.
When the first attack happened, Marduke was in his apartment fighting for his life from his brother’s sharp knife. Even as the part of the invader, Marduke was surprised by the earthquake caused by their people’s attack. The invasion was not supposed to kick in until months later as far as he knew. Being assigned to investigate the Earth pre-invasion, Marduke found a lot of surprising facts about the planet. Raised in Oden, he heard a lot about Earth having the most selfish habitant in the whole galaxy. Humans were all ignorant and were not able to take care of the Earth the way it was supposed to be taken care of. But it was not what he saw here. In Oregon, where he landed for example, he witnessed himself that not entire human beings were selfish and ignorant. Marduke had seen smiles, laughs, kindness, and love for several months. Realizing this newfound fact and the awful chaos they would probably cause, Marduke determined to assure his father and the rest of invader team to cancel the invasion. Only now it seemed that he was way too late for that.

When the invasion finally covered every surface in the world, from separate places, Mattie and Marduke were both on their way to Canada. Marduke was on his escapade from her brother. Mattie together with her best friends, Lisa and Hanks, were on mission to find out the truth about the invasion as the part of emergency volunteer. Barely armed, they finally arrived in Canada only to find out that the country had become even worse than the States they left behind. That’s when their path came across. Mattie and her friends helped Marduke who was left unconscious and badly bruised after his heroic act. From there they began their survival trip back to the States together. Marduke saw how the three of them were the exact proof that not all humans were evil. Only Marduke felt heavier on every step he took knowing that none of them knew his real identity. He could not imagine how these people would look at him when he told them the truth, especially Mattie. 

During the days he’d spent with her, Marduke could not help the attraction he felt toward her. How sincere she’d been to him, saving his life, help him with the scar, letting him be the part of the team. Little did he know that Mattie felt the same way. Would it even possible for love to grown in the middle of chaos? Between two very different creatures? Both of them knew the answer was yes but the most important issue was what kind of future would they face later? Or was that even a ‘future’ coming at all?

Okay, before I continue diving deeper into the invasion topic, I’d like to talk about the general points first.
The plot. I actually thought that this book lacked of the background story of main character Mattie. Well, yes I read the blurb saying this book was about earth invasion and all but I did not expect to meet with that kind of invasion. I was hoping that maybe the story could use some prologue or just a warming opening about the life (or maybe the school life) Mattie had before dealing with the invasion. It felt like I just read the peaceful scene of a girl jogging in the park when suddenly I was already in the mid of chaotic Canada with a group of mix humans and alien; leaving me gasping for air yelling, ‘Wait a sec, what the…? Why am I here, people??’ It was as if the author could not wait any longer to pour the scenes of invasion on the next chapters. And well, she should be I guess, because it was seriously… whoa!
The POV here was alternate which I loved! Ms. Frances did a great job writing Marduke’s POV as a foreign creature. It was natural I guess even though I myself seriously had no idea what was ‘natural’ for alien but I did not feel weird about that so I guess it was okay. And more, even if Marduke finally felt attraction for a human girl, but the author didn’t just blindly describing him to continue acting like human. There’s this scene where Marduke was for a second, thought of letting the invasion happened if given the full-right just for the sake of his family’s honor.
“You know caring about someone isn’t a weakness?”
(Mattie; Chapter XIX, Earth)
I easily liked the character Mattie. She’s independent, determined, strong, and brave. Together with Marduke, they made a unique couple. Marduke was so kind, patient, and full of understanding toward her. They were not that kind of mushy couple but more like a realistic couple. And even though I could feel their chemistry were so strong in the air, but still both of them held on their love and respect for their own planet tightly which I liked.
“I feel disloyal for caring about you. You’re my enemy. You’re part of an alien race that has destroyed everything. But I don’t hate you. […] I don’t understand why you care, but I can’t stop myself caring for you, either.”
(Mattie; Chapter XIX, Earth)
And talk something about innocent love for people like Marduke who’s never felt one…
“You can love someone instantly, but being in love with them is different.” 

“So I could love you without being in love with you?” 

“Sure, I guess.”
“So how much time has to pass before you’re in love with someone?”
“There isn’t an exact time. You just suddenly realise you are in love with them. You acknowledge their faults and love them anyway. You know them inside and out, and you wouldn’t change a thing.” 
“I’d never change a thing about you, Mattie; you’re perfect,” I tell her honestly.

(Chapter XIX, Earth)
I liked the side-characters as well. At first, I just couldn’t like how whiny Lisa was but the appearance of Hanks made her attitude bearable somehow. He’s just so gentle and caring for Lisa. And I actually am looking forward to the continuation of their relationship on the next book.
I read this book in two-sessions. First, I read about 10% of the book and left it because of the rather quick-pace of the plot in the beginning (which I told above). But then I finished the rest 90% in one sitting because apparently after the invasion kicked in, I just COULD NOT PUT IT DOWN! Seriously. Ms. Frances brought up the invasion as the main topic and she did it awesomely because it’s just so well-built, the invasion, background story of the Oden. They’re all so well-thought. Even me as a romance-sucker ―who’s basically been focusing only on romance side in just every book, this time also felt intrigued by the non-romance part as much as the romance ones.
Invasion and alien were usually two things that easily adopted on fantasy movies. I, myself, never read any fantasy book with this topic before but I could tell that Ms. Frances just brought them in a whole different level. The topic was not original but somehow Ms. Frances’s writing made it look sooo different and nothing at all like the other story ever created. It was epic. It was amazing. I’m curious of what kind of description she’d go with the planet Oden on the next book.
So, yes, people, the book is the part of trilogy so expect a cliffhanger in the end but don’t worry because it’s not a bad cliffhanger or what. Just enough to make you curious but not cruel enough to make you drop your e-reader in frustration ;)


Love, read, and review,
Cynthia D.

2 comments:

  1. Wow, what a fantastic review! Thank you so much for taking the time to read and review Earth. I really appreciate it!

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    1. You're welcome! It's such an amazing experience reading Earth ๐Ÿ’œ

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