Alien Invasion and Other Inconveniences

( 4 )

Overview

A polite race of telepathic killer aliens, a ten-second world conquest, and one teenage boy collide in this wry, gutsy adventure.

Jesse is in history class when a formidable, efficient race of aliens quietly takes over the earth in less time than it takes him to brush his teeth. Most humans simply fall asleep and never wake up. In moments, everyone Jesse knows and loves is gone, and he finds that he is now a slave to an inept alien leader. On the bright side, Jesse discovers ...

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Overview

A polite race of telepathic killer aliens, a ten-second world conquest, and one teenage boy collide in this wry, gutsy adventure.

Jesse is in history class when a formidable, efficient race of aliens quietly takes over the earth in less time than it takes him to brush his teeth. Most humans simply fall asleep and never wake up. In moments, everyone Jesse knows and loves is gone, and he finds that he is now a slave to an inept alien leader. On the bright side, Jesse discovers he’s developing telepathic powers, and he’s not the only one. Soon he’s forging new friendships and feeling unexpectedly hopeful. When a mysterious girl appears in his dreams, talking about escaping, Jesse begins to think the aliens may not be invincible after all. But if Jesse and his friends succeed, is there anywhere left to go? Brian Yansky offers a funny, grim novel packed with everything boys and sci-fi fans love: aliens, humor, action, and a healthy dose of triumph.

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Editorial Reviews

VOYA - Walter Hogan
Despite its ironic title, this is a straightforward science-fiction adventure with only a dollop of humor. A Texas teen, Jesse, finds that he is one of the few humans to have survived a lightning takeover of Earth by Sanginians. These aliens possess superior technologies, but morally and intellectually, they are not much different from humans. The novel thus stages a classic thinking problem: If we feel that an alien species with superior technology should not have the right to enslave us, then what gives humans the right to dominate or kill animals? The Sanginians justify their takeover on the grounds that humans were trashing the Earth and do not deserve to be trusted with stewardship of their planet. Yansky's previous two novels were realistic stories of teens on the road or on the street: My Road Trip to the Pretty Girl Capital of the World (Cricket, 2003) and Wonders of the World (Flux/Llewellyn, 2007/VOYA August 2007). Here the author seems to derive some elements of his plot from such cult SF film series as The Matrix ("He is the One!" "He fights like they do!") and Planet of the Apes (humans as a subordinate species). The characters are a bit thin, but plot and pacing are strong, making this an exciting guy's action novel. Jesse's first person, present-tense narration alternates with dispatches from the Sanginian Lord Vertenomous (think "vermin" and "venomous"). In a tense conclusion, Jesse and his friends flee toward a rebel sanctuary. Major conflicts, however, are left unresolved, suggesting possible sequels. Reviewer: Walter Hogan
Children's Literature - Judy Silverman
When the aliens come to earth, they don't announce themselves, they just move in and destroy most of human life. Everyone who isn't dead is now a slave to the Sarginians, considered a "product" who must quickly adapt to his or her new life—anyone who doesn't adapt will be killed. Jesse, the teenage narrator of the story, soon realizes that the aliens consider themselves invincible; that makes them blind to their own vulnerability. No one can conquer them because no one ever has. He has some of the aliens' telepathic power, though, and soon discovers that there are rebels living in Taos, New Mexico. But how can Jesse and his little group get that far? The answer is one of the funnier parts of the book. Apparently an alien anthropologist has stowed away on the invaders' ship. He is a specialist in American studies, but of course he has no idea how mistaken most of his conclusions are. He also refuses to adjust any of his own beliefs to fit the reality of "his" humans' adaptability until he can no longer deny that reality. Reviewer: Judy Silverman
School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up—When aliens invade Earth, it only takes them seconds to conquer the planet and neutralize most of the people. Some are left alive because of their ability to hear the telepathic commands of the aliens and that makes them prime slave material. Jesse relies on the imagined voice of his father, reminding him to never give up and to always stay alert to ways of gaining advantage over an adversary. Years of wrestling and martial-arts training come in handy when outwitting the Sanginians. When Jesse's powers of communication begin to progress and other abilities manifest themselves, he decides it's time to make a break for freedom, taking the friends he has made along with him. But how do you fight an alien invasion and find hope for a future? Jesse's down-to-earth first-person narration alternates with coldhearted communiqués from the alien conqueror, Lord Vertenomous. Yansky handles a typical sci-fi theme with a sense of humor. The irreverent attitude of youth that distinguishes Jesse and his friends keeps the story from becoming morose and stereotypical. There appears to be a sequel in the making, as the book ends with a beginning.—Debra Banna, Sharon Public Library, MA
Kirkus Reviews

The little green men have conquered the world in ten seconds, preserving as slaves those people receptive to telepathic communication. Four teens meet in the slave quarters and realize that their telepathic talents are growing. One begins to dream-walk, which leads him and his friends to attempt an escape from the compound near Austin, Texas, looking for a rebel force further west. Lord Vertenomous's communiqués and journal entries supplement Jesse's first-person narration and help to provide a full picture of both sides of the story--a technique that produces effective worldbuilding. Plot is primary here: It's carefully constructed for maximum suspense and the major literary characteristic in this certifiable page-turner. Character development plays second fiddle, with only enough information provided to support readers' suspension of disbelief. The climax is exciting and guaranteed to please readers, while the resolution is loose enough to suggest possible sequels. Buy this for readers of Ann Halam's Siberia (2005) and J.B. Stephens's Big Empty series, boys and girls alike, although the male narration may have more appeal for the guys. (Science fiction. YA)

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780763658366
  • Publisher: Candlewick Press
  • Publication date: 5/14/2013
  • Pages: 240
  • Sales rank: 783,285
  • Age range: 14 years
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.20 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Brian Yansky is the author of MY ROAD TRIP TO THE PRETTY GIRL CAPITAL OF THE WORLD and WONDERS OF THE WORLD. He holds an MFA in writing from Vermont College and lives in Austin, Texas, where he teaches writing at Austin Community College.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 4 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 14, 2012

    Great book.

    This is a great book. Will keep you wanting more at every turn. I hope there is a sequl, as the book ends abruptly in my opinion.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 10, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Reviewed by Kira M for TeensReadToo

    Jesse is having the worst day of his life. It took less time for the aliens to conquer Earth than it does for you to brush your teeth. Unfortunately, he can pick up on what the aliens say in his mind. This makes him a "superior," "hearing" product who is forced to work in the house of Lord Vetrenomous (the conquering alien lord) doing physical tasks to get the place ready for more aliens. Longing for escape, he makes friends with some people who want the same thing. He and his new friends - Lauren, Michael, Lindsey, and a mysterious girl from his dreams - struggle to find a means to do so until they get word of a successful rebellion rising up against the aliens. Who is the girl in his dreams? Is she real? How can Jesse and his friends defeat the aliens and escape? ALIEN INVASION & OTHER INCONVENIENCES is a great science-fiction adventure. Although the plot lags in places, the characters are well-developed and the story is intriguing. Those who like science fiction, fantasy, aliens, action, and adventure will all enjoy reading this book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 6, 2011

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 26, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews

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