Please be aware that this review contains some spoilers. Do not continue reading unless you are fine with being spoiled.
Okay, look. It really bugs me when I dislike a book. But more often than not, I’ll push through to the end because I keep hoping it’ll get better. Sadly, The Silent Invasion did not get better.
The first thing that really threw me about this book was the lack of commas for introductory clauses. I don’t know if everyone will notice this but, as a trained editor, it was like a repeated headbutt. I lost track of the amount of times I had to go back and reread sentences because the action was totally unclear.
Stories are usually separated into those driven by plot and those driven by character, but The Silent Invasion seems to be driven purely by circumstance. And the circumstances are, quite frankly, not that interesting. They could be. The 5th Wave was interesting enough, and this story is similar in many ways.
Throughout the book, the characters travel from Adelaide (South Australia) to Queensland. At nearly 2000 kilometres, that’s a pretty bloody long journey, but very few interesting things happen along the way, and even the most difficult issues are solved within a chapter or two.
I could go into a lot of detail about the other things that troubled me in The Silent Invasion but I don’t want this to descend into a full-on rant so I’ll just try and sum it up. The big twist is visible a mile away, and therefore has absolutely no impact. It actually makes Callie, the protagonist, look ridiculous for not having figured it out sooner.
The romance, on the other hand, comes out of nowhere. There’s no build-up; no previous tension. The characters barely speak to each other (or at all) during the course of the book, making it impossible to invest in any relationship.
Then there’s the matter of animal cruelty. A dog is brutally beaten to death because… I don’t know why. Whatever the scene was intended to achieve, it came across as a poor attempt at shock value. I say poor because instead of just turning me against the characters committing the act, it turned me against the entire book.
The Silent Invasion is a relatively quick read and some people may enjoy it. So many elements of the synopsis (including the Australian setting and Australian author) made me think, ‘Shut up and take my money.’ But the idea was better than the execution, and this book was just not for me.
I was provided with a copy of this book by Pan Macmillan Australia in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.