PrintE-mail Written by Kieran Fisher

Invasion author Luke Rhinehart gave the world a true cult classic with his 1971 novel The Dice Man.  It told the story of a psychiatrist who made all of his life decisions based on the outcome of rolling a dice, and it contained an array of taboo themes for the time period. This resulted in it being banned in multiple countries, because some just weren’t ready for it. It was a forward-thinking, ground-breaking novel that’s since been acknowledged for its importance and was even named "one of the fifty most influential books of the last half of the twentieth century" by the BBC. With Invasion, Rhinehart has returned with another potential cult classic in-the-making; a story imbued with biting social commentary, intelligence, originality and a constant supply of entertainment on every page.

As the title would suggest, the story centres around an invasion of the extraterrestial kind. When a race of smart, playful and unexplainable shapeshifting aliens arrives on Earth, they seem quite adorable at first. Billy Morton and his family even adopt one called Louie, and they take a liking to his jolly nature. However, when Louie and his kin start hacking into government, corporate and banking networks in order to share the wealth, they incur the wrath of the powers that be. Now Billy and his family are on the FBI’s “Most Wanted List’’ and the creatures from space are deemed terrorists. Needless to say, chaos ensues.

To go into the details of Invasion would spoil its charms. Fans of Rhinehart’s work already will be pleased to know he’s back and operating on top form, whereas newcomers will be pleased to have come across a book many of them will find enthralling. However, it doesn’t shy away from veiling its political statements either, which might deter potential readers who don’t share Rhinehart’s ideology, especially in regards to American foreign policy and general perception of humanity. Though best read through a satirical lens, Rhinehart’s observations are at times, frighteningly on-point.

That being said, fans of science fiction oddities are destined to have a good time with Invasion. Should you choose to decipher its deeper meanings, you’ll find it an intellectually stimulating and wholly thought-provoking read. Invasion is a novel that fires on all cylinders and you owe it to yourself to pick it up.


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