Alien Invasion & Other Inconveniences and Homicidal Aliens & Other Disappointments by Brian Yansky
High school student Jesse is in the middle of history class when suddenly the teacher and everyone else seems to be sound asleep. A voice in Jesse’s head congratulates him on being one of the few product who can hear and then tells him to stand by for an announcement. Another voice says he’s Lord Vertenomous and is claiming the planet in the name of the Republic of Sanginia. Lord Vertenomous tells Jesse he is now a slave and how much the Sanginians like the planet. Since no one else at school is alive, Jesse tries to run home, seeing people and animals who all look asleep. Rounded up by the aliens, who are small, hairless and slightly green, Jesse and other humans still alive are put to work, eventually moved from Houston to Lord Vert’s (as Jesse thinks of him) house in Austin, Texas, because the aliens consider him and his new friend Michael “superior product.” They make friends with 2 girl slaves, and Jesse begins communicating with a girl through what he thinks are his dreams. Hearing rumors of rebels, they take action to escape when they realize the aliens are going to kill them all, finding a way to rescue the captive girl Catlin and using their minds to escape through a barrier. Making their way west in search of other rebels, they realize they can use their minds together to fight the aliens. I‘m not giving anything away by telling they survive, since the author wrote a sequel to this title.
In the sequel to Alien Invasions & Other Inconveniences, a brief prologue gives the background of an alien invasion of Earth and the enslavement of the surviving humans. Using their newly awakened telepathic powers to escape and fight back, Jesse and his friends join a rebel group they meet in Taos, New Mexico, and move into the camp in the mountains. As Jesse’s abilities with his mind expand, he begins meeting an alien in his dreams who tells him he is Jesse’s Deathgiver. Working with a Native American rebel co-leader, Jesse begins to explore and understand his new mental powers. As the rebel group starts dividing over whether to stay and fight or escape and hide in caves, Jesse finds that he is also part of the controversy. Without giving away more of the plot, I will say that I was drawn in by both the characters and the story. The author does not give away the ending, so I was excited to find out what would happen.
I was attracted to these books on the shelves by their titles and covers; I actually expected they would be humorous comedies and was surprised to find they are really more serious, even though there is a little humor. The characters are realistic, even the aliens, and the author makes the story seem like it could really happen, so I wouldn’t classify it as classic science fiction. Having the main characters as teenagers provides a twist as they are trying to figure out themselves as well as how to battle aliens.
Reviews by Ms. Goldstein-Erickson