Invasion by Luke Rhinehart
|Invasion by Luke Rhinehart|
|Reviewer: Luke Marlowe|
|Summary: Author of The Dice Man Luke Rhinehart, returns with a funny and surprising parable, taking on science fiction concepts whilst poking fun at the society we live in today.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 432||Date: September 2016|
|Publisher: Titan Books|
|External links: Author's website|
Super-intelligent furry aliens suddenly appear from another universe. And they've come to earth to have fun. Alien Louie follows fisherman Billy Morton home one day, and he and his family quickly come to love the playful alien. But when Louie starts using their computer to hack into government and corporate networks, stealing millions from banks to give to others, they realise that Louie and his friends mean trouble. As Billy and his family begin a roller coaster ride of fame and fortune, as well as a ranking high on the FBI's most wanted list, the Government soon decides that these aliens are terrorists, and must be eliminated. Whilst the aliens are playing games they hope will help humans to see the insanity of the American political, economic and military systems, they soon come to realise that the Powers that Be don't play games: they make war.
Luke Rhinehart, a nom de plume for author George Cockcroft, first sprung to fame in 1971 with his book The Dice Man - a dark but fiercely funny book that is still considered a cult classic to this day, and one I'm particularly fond of, so I was rather keen to see what tone his latest would take, and whether Rhinehart would still be relevant 45 years on from his most famous novel.
Happily, Invasion could not be more relevant - it's rather bizarely timely given quite how explosive the spectacle of American Government has become in recent weeks - a move that Rhinehart could not have predicted, yet manages to mock and examine it all the same. Not stopping with the government, Rhinehart also turns an intelligent eye on society, family life and culture - all examined thoroughly, but never superficially. The main thrust of the plot has aliens landing on earth - furry balls who reminded me no end of the Tribbles from Star Trek. No scary Alien threat here though - these aliens initially just want to have fun - but soon find themselves getting far too involved in our world, and taking the Morton family along for the ride too. The addition of the family is the touch that turns this book from just a clever satire to a good story, as the satire itself would seem a little cold and agressive on its own - but in Billy and his family, a strong human heart is added to the tale which makes for a balanced read that works on several levels. Billy provides a compelling and likable voice to follow throughout the various forms that the story takes - and the reader's attention is kept taut by the various different styles that the story takes throughout. It can't be denied that the focus seems to drift slightly towards the end - almost ignoring the characters that have been built up to focus more on the general message, but the ride that takes the reader there is hugely enjoyable, so many thanks to the publishers for the copy.
For a rather different recommend read, My Best Friend's Exorcism by Grady Hendrix is well worth a look - a book that, like Invasion takes a look at how people interact in a society (this time a school), and injects alien elements in order to provoke the reader into looking at the scenarios created with a fresh pair of eyes.
Invasion by Luke Rhinehart is in the Top Ten Science Fiction and Fantasy Novels 2016.
You can read more book reviews or buy Invasion by Luke Rhinehart at Amazon.co.uk
You can read more book reviews or buy Invasion by Luke Rhinehart at Amazon.com.
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