★★★ In Roxanne Bland’s Invasion, Earth is inhabited by both humans and a community of non-humans known as ‘zots’. Three of these zots—Kurt, a vampire; Parker, a werewolf; and Garrett, a mage—live in Seattle and are closely bound to one another by magic. In the past, Garrett was responsible for casting a powerful spell to join all of their forces together, a move that ensured an end to deadly riots that had been occurring between humans and zots. While the spell brought peace, it also left Kurt, Parker, and Garrett’s auras intertwined, each zot now struggling with degrees of each other’s powers, and their own innate skills severely weakened. Desperate, Garrett turns to Feodor, her mage mentor, to help her break the troublesome spell she so hastily cast. While trying to fix their magic problems, the zots get an unexpected visitor from another planet—Melera, an alien with whom Parker is deeply in love. Melera, however, has not arrived alone. Beloc, the ruthless leader of Melera’s home galaxy, has come to reclaim her.
Bland packs Invasion with intriguing twists and subplots. With extreme dangers lurking around every corner, this is far from a relaxing read. While definitely exciting, some of the magical events of Invasion seem too extreme and sudden, forcing the reader to analyze the structure of the world Bland has created, instead of simply enjoying the story. However, in her favor, Bland delivers a complex, action-packed sci-fi story that spans multiple universes, which is by no means an easy feat to pull off. Early in the story, it becomes apparent that the characters’ relationships are complicated—as described in the plot summary above—which lends a beautiful tension throughout most of the storyline. It is also worth noting that explicit sex occurs in multiple scenes, meaning this book won’t be suitable for some readers.