Kurt, vampire Master of Seattle, Garrett Larkin, mage of Balthus Coven and Parker Berenson, alpha of the city’s werewolf pack, are in a world of trouble. Already divided by love and jealousy, the three discover their auras are inextricably bound, the result of a spellcasting gone terribly wrong. Each one’s aura has been invaded by the auras of the others, and the consequences are both frightening and deadly. Worse yet, Shen’zae Melera, interstellar assassin and Parker’s love, has returned to Earth with dire news: she didn’t return alone. She’d been followed by her nemesis, Mag Beloc, and his fleet of warships. Even if Beloc recaptures her, Melera knows that Earth will suit his purposes, and that his presence may well become permanent. Drawn together by choice and fate while doing what they had to do, can Kurt, Garrett, and Parker now find a way to undo the magick that binds them, and with Melera, stop an alien invasion before it begins?
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About the Author
Roxanne Bland grew up in Washington, D.C., where she discovered strange and wonderful new worlds through her local public library and bookstores. These and other life experiences have convinced her that reality is highly overrated. Ms. Bland lives in Rosedale, Maryland with her Great Dane, Daisy Mae.
Read an Excerpt
For the second time in less than six months, Kurt, vampire regent and Master of Seattle, was terrified.
Fear turned to anger. This cannot be happening to me.
He stood in the dark before a wall-sized, plate glass window on the top floor of his office tower in downtown Seattle. Turning, he stepped over to a small lamp on his sculpted steel desk and switched it on. In the low light, the plate glass reflected everything in the room — except him. Baring his teeth, he swept his arm over the desk, sending the lamp crashing to the floor. His office was plunged into darkness again.
Kurt glared at the shattered lamp. It's inexplicable. My powers are supposed to strengthen with age, not weaken. Yet here he was, losing the powers he'd nearly died twice to obtain.
His first indication that something was wrong happened about a month ago while dining at Harrow, his flagship restaurant. He and a client, Jack Hewitt, had been lunching in one of the restaurant's private dining rooms. It had been a celebration on Kurt's part for having closed a deal for a complete renovation of one of Hewitt's sprawling luxury hotels to the tune of thirty-five million dollars. His thoughts drifted, remembering.
"A perfect lunch, Kurt," Hewitt had said. He put his fork down on his now empty plate.
"Of course. I wouldn't have it any other way." Kurt had popped the last piece of filet mignon into his mouth. He chewed the morsel, and then tried to swallow. He choked, instead. He bent over the table, trying to dislodge the piece of steak that had gotten stuck in his throat.
"Kurt? Kurt," Hewitt had shouted. "Oh, my God!" He'd leapt from his seat and ran around the table to where Kurt sat. Kurt had waved him away, but Hewitt hadn't seemed to notice. Lifting him out of his seat, Hewitt had proceeded to perform the Heimlich maneuver, not knowing that the technique would be useless. Kurt had managed to dislodge the piece of food on his own, and spat it into his napkin.
Back in the present, he shivered as if to shake off the humiliating memory. Now, the only human foods he could manage were clear soups and wine.
Lips pursed, he reached for a bottle resting near the edge of the desktop and poured some of its contents into a large, heavy crystal goblet. Upending the cup, he drained the murky liquid, its slightly viscous texture coating his tongue and throat. When the cup was empty, he set the goblet back on the desk and fixed it with a baleful stare. "Nothing like a pint of blood to ruin a perfectly good wine," he muttered.
From the day of his lunch with Jack Hewitt, his losses had only worsened. He had a near-constant need for blood. A vampire regent need only feed once or twice a year, but now Kurt had to feed every day. Stealing blood from my own blood bank, hiding my tracks ... no one's caught on, but how long will it be until someone does? He used the stolen blood to make his bloodwine, mixing the concoction himself. Kurt hid his stash in a wine cellar he had built in the deeper recesses beneath his nightclub. And when the hunger comes, I sneak away to my cellar and drink like a secret alcoholic until I can face a live human or zot without attacking him. It's embarrassing, is what it is.
He started pacing. And then there are the other powers I've lost. I can't read minds. I'm no longer telepathic. I can still go out in daylight, but I have to stay out of the sun because I don't cast a shadow. He shook his head. For every day that passed, it was getting harder and harder to maintain the lie that, for him, it was business as usual.
Kurt stopped in his tracks and clapped his hands over his face. And what's so maddening is that I don't know why this is happening.
Dropping his hands, he walked back to the window and stared at the dark construction cranes guarding their sites like skeletal sentries. He traced a perfectly-manicured fingernail over his cheek. Could Balthus Coven have put a hex on me? It was possible. Vampires are not immune to magick. He thought about it, then dismissed it. No. It would take a coven of mages to hex a regent like me. Balthus only has one mage — Garrett. And she wouldn't dare. She has just as much to lose as I do.
He pursed his lips again. Could I be ill? I've never heard of it happening to our kind before. But there's always a first time. Maybe ... Then he grabbed his head in both hands and gritted his teeth, knowing he was grasping at straws. "That's simply absurd. I'm getting the vampire equivalent of senile, not catching a damned cold."
His jaw relaxed, but he didn't let go of his head. Whether senile or something else, his diminishment could cost him dearly. I deal with humans nearly every day. Before all this — whatever it is — started, it was impossible for anyone to guess I'm a vampire. But now ... if any human figures out what I am, I'll be permanently dead in short order.
Kurt let his arms fall to his sides. His — infirmity — could cost him in other ways, too. Kurt was of some renown among his kind for having attained his full regency at two hundred years old, a comparatively young age for a vampire. But if word of his disability got out, who knew how many of the undead would try to topple him from his Seattle throne?
And Seattle was a prize any would-be Master or Mistress would covet. Kurt had been among the city's founders. He was the reason Seattle had become a place where exotics — zots — could live and work relatively free from human molestation. But his influence went far beyond his control over the city's zots. Through his human servants, he pulled most of the strings in the city and county governments. The lieutenant governor was one of his human servants. He had influence in the state legislature, and even held influence over the state's delegation to Congress. As far as he knew, no other vampire in America wielded that kind of power.
I'll have to defend my domain against all comers, just like I did over five hundred years ago. His jaw tightened again. The prospect didn't cheer him. That never-ending chess game had been fun while he'd been a prince among the living, but now that he was dead, he'd no appetite for it. And I'm not fool enough to think my zots would help me keep what's mine. They hate me, and right now they hate me even more because of that damned revolution last June. He sighed. I really should have paid closer attention to those so-called college students. Those idiots ... burning my city. Equal rights for exotics is all well and good, but that won't happen as long as humans outnumber us by thousands to one. All those morons managed to accomplish was nothing.
Kurt returned to his desk and decanted the rest of the bloodwine into the goblet. He narrowed his eyes and poured the foul concoction down his throat. He set the goblet down and shuddered. "Ugh." Then he began pacing again.
If the tryst had worked the way Garrett said it would ... His lips tightened. It isn't her fault. It had been the mage's idea to combine her own formidable talent, Kurt's regent's powers, and the extraordinary psychogenetic strength of her werewolf ex-lover, Parker, by casting a magick spell to create a tryst. When they'd joined forces last June, they'd planned to use the tryst to cast a second spell that would have erased human Seattleites' fear and hatred for zots. She couldn't have foreseen the revolution. And the conditions under which we had to work ... 'less than optimal' would be an understatement. The only thing the spell casting accomplished was to stop the rioting.
A thought struck him. Could whatever's happening to me now be because of the tryst? He thought about it for a few minutes, and then shook his head. Can't be. It's been over five months since we cast that spell. If the tryst was behind this, I'd have noticed something long before now, wouldn't I?
He stopped his pacing, returned to his desk, and sat in his black leather executive's chair. Leaning back, he stared at the ceiling. Wasn't there any way he could stop his deterioration? Then he abruptly sat forward. No. There's a reason why this — cancer — is happening to me, and I'm going to find out what it is. And then I'm going to beat it.
He nodded once and stood. Then he dissolved into mist and flew across the city, back to his Last Chance nightclub.
While Kurt paced his office downtown, Parker Berenson, alpha of Seattle's werewolf pack, lay sprawled on the outdoor chaise he'd dragged from his house's rear patio into his backyard. A full tumbler and a half-bottle of Jack Daniel's rested on a small stand bolted to the right side of the chaise's sturdy metal frame. Next to the Jack was an ashtray with a half-smoked joint. Fingers laced over his stomach and his face pointed toward the stars, Parker's dreamy expression made him look like any other stargazer lost in contemplation of heaven's mysteries.
He closed his eyes. The problem with being in love with a space alien is that if you break up, the only people who can sympathize are usually locked up in the loony bin.
Opening them, he unlaced his fingers, sat up a little, and reached for his drink. He stared into the tumbler's night-blackened depths for a moment, then tossed back a healthy slug of whiskey. Lowering the glass, he slowly traced his index finger along its rim. "Melera's been gone three months, one week and five days," he said in low voice.
His beast stirred inside his mind. Been counting, have you? he growled. You counting the hours and minutes too?
Parker set the now half-empty tumbler on the stand. He picked up the joint and, concentrating a moment, torched it with his pyrokinetic ability, a rare trait among weres. Inhaling once, he lay back and settled into his earlier position. "Like you haven't been doing the same thing, fuzzbutt?" he exhaled in a cloud of smoke.
By now, this exchange between Parker and his were, a gargantuan man-wolf eight feet tall, had become familiar. Since the day Melera had left them for Maqu, her home galaxy, they'd camped here in their backyard on as many of the few clear nights they could, their shared eyes scanning the heavens for a sign of her return with the desperate fervor of shipwreck survivors scanning the horizon for signs of rescue. Unlike shipwreck survivors, Parker and his wolf had no idea what they were looking for. But they'd know it when they saw it. At least that's what they kept telling each other.
Look ... I-I'm sure she's okay, his wolf growled. Think of it this way. She's on the mother of all road trips. She's probably been doing it since she was a cub.
Parker took another hit from the joint. Reaching for the ashtray, he stubbed out the roach. Then he re-laced his fingers across his stomach. "Except the road out there goes on forever and there aren't any gas stations along the way."
Man and wolf watched the sky in silence. Despite the ambient glare from the city's lights, Parker could see well enough, with his wolf-sight, to spot anything that moved. So far they'd seen a bunch of birds heading for wherever, a few jetliners heading for wherever else, and a slew of satellites heading for nowhere. But they'd seen nothing that looked like it might be a spaceship heading for base in the South Pacific.
"What happened?" Parker whispered. "Us and Melera ... we were so good together. God, we loved her enough to leave Earth and follow her to her galaxy, even if it meant dying in that crazy war she's fighting over there. And then ... I don't know. It's like some kind of switch got thrown, and then we were fighting all the time — about what, I can't even remember — and then she was gone. Why?"
Uhrrm. Maybe us being assholes had something to do with it?
He ignored the question. "Those things we said to her just before —"
We? You had our body that last time, remember? I didn't say jack.
Parker rolled his eyes. "Okay, those things I said to her just before she left. Happy?"
His wolf didn't answer.
Reaching for his drink, Parker picked up the tumbler of Jack and drained it. "The look on her face ... for a second I thought she was going to kill us." He refilled his empty glass and knocked back another slug. "And then she skipped through the Void. Disappeared. Poof — just like that."
You're forgetting about her chewing us a new one first.
Parker snorted. "Yeah. In Xia'saan, or however it's pronounced." He smiled a little. "Those five voices of hers ... I don't know what Melera said, but from the way it sounded, I'm pretty sure I don't want to know."
Me neither. Though learning some new cuss words might have been fun.
Behind them, the sound of a door opening cut off further conversation. Parker sensed a pair of lupine eyes focused on the back of his head. "Maybe you should take up astronomy," a woman's warm, contralto voice said.
Parker said nothing. He didn't move, either.
The silence lengthened. Then he heard the sound of bedroom slippers slapping across the patio and then swishing through the late fall grass. A large, red shape appeared in his peripheral vision. "Parker," the woman said in a tone that demanded acknowledgment.
Parker rolled his head toward the sound. Mandy Stewart, the mayor of Seattle's chief of staff, stood over him. A handsome blonde by anyone's standards, her brown eyes looked angry.
Dressed in only a thin silk robe, Mandy seemed impervious to the November chill. She took a breath, and the look in her eyes softened. "Park, when you chose me for your freya last August, I accepted not because I thought you loved or wanted me, but because our pack needed me. So I agreed to all of your conditions. You will not father my cubs. You will not to allow me to live with you. Other than the times when the pack needs to see us together, we are freyr and freya maybe once a week."
She dropped to her knees beside the chaise and gazed at him, her brown eyes almost pleading. "You know a freya is committed to serving her pack, Parker. She must be everything they need her to be — mother, sister, friend or lover. She is committed to serving her freyr — her alpha — with as much, if not greater, devotion."
Parker watched Mandy's lips descend until they were only inches from his. "Parker, I am yours. I promised you that I will be whatever you want me to be, whatever you need me to be, whenever you wish me to be." She stared into his eyes and suddenly kissed him with fiery passion.
A white-hot burst of pain seized the right side of his face. Parker jumped. "Argh!" he grunted. He tasted blood.
Bitch did not just do that! his wolf howled, and surged to the forefront of his mind. Without thinking, Parker slammed his will against it and held firm, as if trying to keep a monster from exploding out of the closet. He looked up, blood dribbling down his chin.
Mandy towered over him. "But the one thing I will not be is ignored," she said in a voice as hard as marble, matching the look in her eyes. She glared at him a moment longer, then turned and stalked toward the house.
Parker watched her go while wiping the blood from his lip with the sleeve of his sweatshirt. After Mandy had disappeared inside, he picked up his glass and took a swig, wincing a little when the alcohol passed over the wound she'd made. Returning the glass to the side table, he pinched the remains of his joint between his thumb and forefinger, torched it, and took a deep drag. Stubbing it out, he popped the now-cooled roach into his mouth. Then he lay back in the chaise and stared up at the sky. A moment later, he laughed.
What's so funny?
"You. Me. Mandy. Melera," Parker said between chuckles. "God, think about it. A sexy, willing blonde waiting for us in our bed, and we're out here —"
Waiting for the impossible, his wolf finished for him.
Parker's breath caught. His look turned bleak. "Yeah."
Neither one said anything for quite a while. Parker looked at his watch. Ten minutes had passed since Mandy had bitten him. Enough time for him to salvage his dignity as alpha wolf, but not enough time for Mandy to think he was disrespecting her again. Swinging his legs to his right, he planted his feet on the ground, lifted his muscular, six foot six-inch frame off the chaise and stretched. Dropping the ashtray into the chair, he picked up the now-empty tumbler and the near-empty bottle of Jack in his right hand, grabbed the chaise with his left and dragged it across the yard, releasing it once he'd reached the patio.
Hand on the sliding door panel, Parker had been about to step over the threshold when a wave of vertigo hit him. The tumbler and bottle slipped out of his fingers and smashed on the paving stones. Swaying like a drunkard, he staggered around the patio until he tripped over the chaise. He tried to get up, only to fall on his knees, and then flat on his face. Gasping, he managed to rise up on all fours.
Excerpted from "Invasion"
Copyright © 2017 Roxanne Bland.
Excerpted by permission of Blackrose Press.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
The mash of cross-genres and shear volume of characterless was so mind-boggling in the first few chapters, I almost put the book down. But Ms Bland's imaginative, twisting plot lines just wouldn't allow me. So glad I pushed through because by the time I got to The End, I didn't want it to end. I received this book from eBook Discovery. This is my honest review.
Invasion, by Roxanne Bland is a blend of werewolf, vampire, fantasy and sci-fi genres, set in the modern world. We follow Kurt, a vampire, Garrett, a mage, and Parker Berenson, the alpha of Seattle’s werewolf pack. They become bound together, despite their struggles and differences in the face of an alien invasion that brings Melera, an old flame of Parker’s, back into the mix. Mag Beloc bursts onto the scene as the real cause of the invasion, who commands a fleet of warships in pursuit of the intergalactic assassin, Melera. And so all the pieces fall into place that make for an interesting narrative as the comrades deal with the magic that binds them and the insurmountable odds of an alien invasion force on Earth. Roxanne Bland’s novel blends many genres but, overall, follows similar beats that are pretty familiar to science fiction adventure novels. This story stays colorful with it's interesting use of vampires and werewolves, but at the core of the story, you still have a tale of heroes struggling against one another and the external forces lining up against them. The novels strengths lie with it's well developed characters and their relationships rather than the premise. Kurt, Garrett, and Parker are all fun and dynamic characters. Whether it's spicy dialogue or intriguing interactions, the well rounded characters are the most appealing aspect of this novel. Although the plot left me wanting more, these character can be anywhere and still be interesting. The novel has a lot of telling rather than showing as well as descriptions that tend to weigh the action down, making the overall pacing slow. This is something that many readers revel in, but with a plot that involves vampires and werewolves battling aliens! I thought it would faster. I will say there are some really great action scenes as well as a steamy sex scene, so if you consider yourself mature, then this novel is for you. All in all, if such a wild blend of genres is your thing then this is the book for you. Science fiction fans may find themselves most at home in this world, but fantasy fans will want in as well. Either way, Invasion is sure to please pulp readers of all stripes.
Reviewed by Rabia Tanveer for Readers' Favorite Invasion by Roxanne Bland is the story of three beings from different species, but when the need arises, the three of them join hands to save everyone else on the planet. The novel follows Parker (the leader of a pack of werewolves), Melera (an alien assassin), Garret (the beautiful mage of Balthus Coven) and Kurt (Master of Seattle Vampires). A spell was cast to stop the fight between the humans and the supernaturals (the zots) so that there is peace. However, when the spell was cast, it nearly destroyed three of the most powerful zots on Earth. Kurt is close to losing his vampire nature. True, he got to have the abilities of a mage, but his essence is not at stake. With his powers weakening every day, he is on the brink of exposure and being overthrown from his position as the Master. Garret is the beautiful mage who now craves blood and there is nothing that she can do to stop it. Her ex-lover, Parker, has problems of his own; the Alpha of the werewolves has a girlfriend, an alien assassin, Melera, who has finally returned to Earth but she has brought someone far more dangerous with her. Her nemesis wants to end her life and capture Earth. Can these three powerful zots save Earth or will they fall prey to the spell that has weakened them? It is a fast paced novel that grabs the attention of the reader from the very first chapter. Opening the novel by showing the “Master” terrified leaves a very poignant impression on the minds of readers. I felt that the author, Roxanne Bland, handled the two sides of the races really well. There were the zots (dark, dangerous and powerful) and then there were humans. The story is dark, richly woven and impressive. I loved reading it and enjoyed the way the characters were introduced and developed to their full potential. Brilliant!
Reviewed by Arya Fomonyuy for Readers' Favorite Invasion by Roxanne Bland is a great success and a story that will blow the minds of paranormal fans. Get into the exciting world of vampires, werewolves and witches, and follow an extraordinary phenomenon —the auras of a powerful vampire, the leader of a Coven, and an alpha of a werewolf pack are linked mysteriously, thanks to a spell gone wrong. When the story opens, Kurt, the vampire Master of Seattle, is experiencing great weakness in his physical strength and he is getting more upset as every moment passes. The conflict quickly escalates with the return to Earth of an intergalactic assassin, the love of Parker, the werewolf. What is most disturbing about her return is that she is being hunted by a powerful enemy, Beloc, who brings a fleet of spaceships with him, and who represents great danger to Earth. Can the powerful creatures find a way to reverse the curse on them, sort out their differences, and resist the enemy poised to invade their world? Roxanne Bland has written a covertly seductive, realistically detailed novel, with characters that display a lot of grit and stamina, characters that readers will enjoy following. The plot is emotionally charged and she explores the strong conflict at different levels, surprising readers when they least expect it. She has the gift of taking a popular genre and stretching its contours to reveal aspects that will surprise and entice readers. Invasion scores on multiple levels — from the cunningly measured pacing to the sophisticated plot, from the biting suspense to the memorable characters, from the tantalizing prose to the richly constructed setting. It is immensely satisfying, a novel with characters that literally coerce the reader to follow them.
Reviewed by Romuald Dzemo for Readers' Favorite Invasion by Roxanne Bland is a great entry in the supernatural genre, with compelling characters and a powerful plot. Three paranormal characters are doomed by the interconnectedness of their auras, the result of a failed spell — Kurt, the vampire Master of Seattle; Garrett Larkin, the Mage of the Balthus Coven; and Parker Berenson, the most handsome and alpha of the werewolf pack in the city. While these characters struggle to find a way of gaining control of what is happening to them, they are faced with a huge challenge: Parker’s sweetheart and interstellar assassin, Shen’zae Melera, returns to Earth, tailed by her nemesis, Beloc. Beloc, with his fleet of spaceships, means business and what he plans to do could have devastating consequences. Can Kurt, Garrett, and Parker deal with their problem in time to mount a strong resistance? Here is a book that transforms the reader’s reading experience into something superb. The characters are infused with great depth of humanity; the plot is rich and atmospheric. In Roxanne Bland’s masterful hands, characters get an exciting world of their own, with magic brushing the reader’s senses as they quickly believe fiction to be real. From the very first page, the reader is caught up in a stream of powerful emotions, pulled into a conflict they follow keenly to the end. The descriptions are rich in detail and the reader will appreciate the exciting dialogues. Invasion stands out because it is original, with characters that feel real and a plot that is crafted to take the reader on a one-of-a-kind adventure. This is a page-turner, engrossing and delectable.
Reviewed by Liz Konkel for Readers' Favorite Invasion by Roxanne Bland revolves around three different individuals: the alpha of a werewolf pack, Parker, Seattle's vampire master, Kurt, and mage Garrett. After failing at a tryst to stop Seattle's riots, the three start experiencing potentially damaging side effects when their auras start merging together. When Garrett wakes up covered in blood, she turns to her old mentor, Feodor, for guidance. Meanwhile, Kurt is experiencing a serious drain in his powers which, if discovered, could send others to challenge him. Parker struggles to mend his broken heart and a sudden thirst for blood when his love, Shen'zae Melera, returns to earth with the shocking news that her enemy, Mag Beloc, has followed her and will stop at nothing to get her back, even if it destroys the world. Despite tension and jealousy, the four are forced to work together to stop Beloc before it's too late. The plot is layered and complicated, following Parker, Kurt, and Garrett's individual journeys dealing with their side effects, while also blending in Melera in space and a potential alien invasion. Roxanne Bland flawlessly weaves each thread together, building upon each one and bringing them together into one succinct story. The world is gritty and the core characters are forced into hiding, pretending to be human, for in this society any supernatural being is executed upon proof of what they are. They constantly live in fear of being discovered, but they're also dealing with supernatural politics. If Kurt shows weakness, he can be challenged and killed, with his position going to the winner. Though they're powerful supernatural beings, Bland makes them realistic, emotional, and allows for you to form a real connection with them. They have so much at stake, due to their auras blending together, that it's easy to understand what they're feeling. This makes them a bit unpredictable because they're willing to do whatever they can to protect themselves. This makes them a little dangerous, but also sympathetic. They're all wonderfully flawed, but there's something good about each of them that makes them redeeming. The tension between them makes for an endearing plot, especially since they're literally connected to each other, and forced to rely on people they're not particularly fond of at the moment. Garrett lied to Kurt and Parker about the tryst, while Kurt also betrayed Parker, and then it's topped off with a dose of jealousy, making for a fun read. Invasion is a marvelous blend of science fiction action, magic, a gritty society, and romance.
Reviewed by Divine Zape for Readers' Favorite Invasion by Roxanne Bland is a gripping story that will delight fans of the supernatural, a story with a monumental conflict and strong characters. Meet Kurt, Garrett Larkin, and Parker Berenson, powerful creatures whose auras are mysteriously bound, thanks to a spell that went awry. Now, the auras of a vampire master, a mage of Balthus Coven, and an alpha of the werewolf pack are woven together, and that is serious cause for worry. Their relationship is threatened by jealousy and love interests. As if their auras being bound together wasn’t enough to create much fear, Parker’s love and interstellar assassin, Shen’zae Melera, has returned to earth. But her return has brought with her a much deadlier enemy, her nemesis Mag Beloc, who brings a fleet of warships with him and who may have very disastrous plans for earth. I was hooked from the very beginning of the story with the description of the vampire regent and Master of Seattle, Kurt, whose powers are diminishing and who is terrified. The author does a wonderful job in weaving the setting seamlessly into the narrative, allowing readers to get clear images of where the action takes place. The plot is strong and it is punctuated by intense action. The characters display strong levels of emotions. The conflict is well-developed and it exists at different levels — emotional, psychological, and physical. The reader immediately becomes keen on following the key characters and their fates. Roxanne Bland shows a lot of ingenuity when it comes to plot, featuring a powerful and original concept, and conflict that creates excitement around the characters. Invasion features great and balanced writing with exceptional characters; it is a delightful read.