Let me know when this sounds too much.
Global police force of X-Men.
(Still hanging in there?)
Angels, a sentient universe, space Nazis, aliens, mysticism, and a global police force of X-Men.
Author bio briefly: Mercedes Lackey is a well-established fantasy novel author. She has written more than one hundred novels over a two-decade career, as well as writing lyrics for and recording songs on the Firebird Arts label. Despite this, Invasion was the first novel of hers that I’ve read. Her Amazon page is here.
Invasion is actually a collaborative work with Steve Libbey, Dennis Lee and Cody Martin, with various combinations of authors tackling each of the braided chapters, following a few of the main characters.
Essentially a sci-fi superhero novel, Invasion is set in more-or-less modern-day America, where Metas are tolerated by the general public. Supermen and superwomen, with powers ranging from super-strength, super-speed, mind-reading, psychic manipulation, the ability to fly, Metas are uniformly beautiful, with many part of the Echo law enforcement force. Our narrator, who I believe appears in other Lackey stories, is a mage (dealing with magic rather than superpowers) is collecting the interwoven stories of a variety of metas who survive an attack upon the Earth. All standard fare so far. However, the giant aliens in their death suits are revealed to be space Nazis! Or occult followers from Nazi Germany. Or … something. The story develops in fits and starts, and keeping it all straight isn’t the easiest thing.
We follow at least a dozen main characters whose stories vaguely interweave as they react and adapt in the aftermath of the attacks. And therein lies the problem. There isn’t sufficient time for the characters to develop, for the audience to connect and to understand the motivations of these metas. The collaborative writing is also a little disconcerting at times, as the four authors styles occasionally get a little out-of-sync. However, it’s generally noticeable.
I had to grind through the first half of the book (read on my kindle), and it was a genuine struggle. However, by the time the story really started rolling, I was beginning to genuinely engage with the story, and was quite annoyed when the tale ended on a massive cliff-hanger.
It wasn’t a bad read, but I’m not sure that I’ll be chasing up the next two books in the series. The second book is World Divided: Book Two of the Secret World Chronicle and the third is due out some time in 2013.
There is a podcast version of the story available from the Secret World Chronicle podcast page.
Obligatory Amazon Links
The paperback: The kindle version: