Short Take: “The Invasion,” William Meikle

Rating: 5 out of 5

I’m a huge fan of Meikle’s creature-features and cosmic horror, so when I found out he had an alien invasion novel, I had to pick up The Invasion. I’m so glad I did.

A strange green rain (in some areas, snow) touches down and consumes all organic matter that it touches. Once it’s done, waves of the resultant green sludge mow down the survivors. Then the real invasion begins. Alice barely survived the initial snow, since she got just a few flakes on her hand. She’s teamed up with two surviving brothers in the effort to stay alive, and she’s starting to discover she has a unique gift that gives her some protection from the aliens–but also turns her into a target. Meanwhile, Hiscock feels pretty great about the fact that he was ready with his bunker and supplies, but in actuality he’s pretty lonely. And he’s starting to worry that even down in his bunker he might not be safe from the invasion. Eventually both survivors get caught up in a plot to drive away the aliens that might or might not save the last of humanity as well.

The life cycle of alien organisms is absolutely fascinating, and the alien world-building that we catch a glimpse of through Alice is amazing. The devastation the few survivors go through is on point, and the aliens are definitely scary. I love the fact that the aliens are not all-powerful, omniscient, or perfect–they make mistakes as well. The characters have a fair amount of depth for a novella, and I really liked the directions both Alice and Hiscock went in.

If you enjoy alien invasion stories and want a quick read, this is a great choice!

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