Have you ever wondered what it would be like to be enslaved by small green aliens with immense telepathic abilities who conquered the world in ten seconds? Well, neither had I until I picked up Brian Yansky’s Alien Invasion and Other Inconveniences. Jesse, a seemingly normal teenager, finds himself among the few humans left alive on the Earth after the aliens, the Sanginians, have completed their invasion of the planet, killing everyone without enough telepathic powers to withstand their means of mental communication. All of the still living humans, or product, as the Sanginians call them, in Jesse’s area are carted off to be slaves for the aliens. If they are superior product, which Jesse is, meaning they have a greater ability to “hear” the Sanginians’ telepathic messaging, they are brought to the lead alien’s home to be his slaves. At the leader’s home, Jesse makes some new friends and together they find themselves in danger and needing to escape. They must find a way to outwit the aliens and make their way to freedom.
Yansky’s Alien Invasion was an enjoyable read that I found hard to put down once I got into it. The plot was well thought out and kept my attention throughout the novel. My only real issue was that there was a lack of emotion from the characters; it was hard to relate to them. If I were Jesse, enslaved to aliens with terrifying telepathic powers, I would be fighting off constant panic attacks mixed with bouts of rage. Plus, he lost everyone and everything he cared about, a situation that would call for a good helping of grief; grief that wasn’t really present in the novel. Also, the beginning was slightly choppy; I found myself wondering how the story got from point A to point B a few times, but it quickly improved. I enjoyed Alien Invasion and Other Inconveniences and I am looking forward to reading the sequel; the novel was definitely one for middle school sci-fi fans to put on their reading lists.