Invasion (C.H.A.O.S. # 1)

Invasion (C.H.A.O.S. #1) by J.S. Lewis
Thomas Nelson, 320 pages

He didn’t ask for the job, but now all that stands between us and chaos… is Colt.

Colt McAlister was having the summer of his life. He spent his days surfing and his nights playing guitar on the beach with friends. He even met a girl and got his first car. But everything changes when his parents are killed in a freak accident.

He’s forced to leave his old life behind and move to Arizona with his grandfather. The only person he knows at the new high school is a childhood friend named Dani. And Oz, a guy he’s sure he’s never met but who is strangely familiar.

But what if his parents’ death wasn’t an accident? His mother, an investigative reporter, was going to expose a secret mind-control program run by one of the world’s largest companies. Before she could release the story, what if agents from Trident Biotech made sure she couldn’t go public?

Vowing to uncover the truth, Colt gets drawn into a secret world of aliens, shapeshifters, flying motorcycles, and invisible gateways.

The Invasion has begun.

I wasn’t sure what to expect when I requested Invasion by J.S. Lewis from Booksneeze, so I had zero expectations when I started reading the book, too. Invasion is the first book in the C.H.A.O.S. series, and the first book tells the story of Colt McAlister, orphaned at 16 after his parents died in a car crash. Soon after he moved with his grandfather in Arizona, weird things start happening such as weird creatures chasing him, and random people trying to kill him for some reason. Soon Colt finds out that his mom was about to release a story about mind-controlling chips from a huge and powerful corporation, Trident Biotech. As Colt tries to uncover the mystery of his parents’ death, he runs for his life with his friends and he encounters all weird creatures and high technology, and he realizes that there may be more to this than he thought it was.

Invasion has 57 chapters, which I found a bit daunting when I started reading. These were short chapters, however, which made it for easy albeit a bit shallow reading. There is strong world building in Invasion, backed with interesting facts and information with how aliens and different creatures have been hidden among humans since the start. If you liked the setting in Men In Black, this book provides the same kind of world. Just like other books that involved conspiracies, action wasn’t lacking in this book: chase scenes, fights, random people trying to kill the heroes are a-plenty here. There’s also enough secret hideouts, mysterious people and advanced technology to excite sci-fi fans around.

However, I never felt invested in the characters. I liked Colt, Oz and Danielle, but I didn’t feel like I knew them for real. It may be because of how the story flowed or maybe even because each chapter is too short for me to glean much about who they are and what makes them tick. There also seemed to be a crowd of secondary characters all over the place, and while I get that it’s needed to build the new world that Colt is moving into, it was kind of hard to keep track of them. The overall premise was interesting, and it does make for an interesting read but I felt that I would be more interested in this if it were a movie instead of a book.

I think Invasion is still a good book, but I think it’s not for me. Perhaps it’s my age, or my lack of scifi knowledge and love. I like my aliens and wild worlds with chase scenes and explosions, but this one just failed to capture my interest. Maybe younger boys or longtime scifi fans would enjoy this more than I did.

Invasion by J.S. Lewis is already out in hardcover, published by Thomas Nelson. Thanks to Booksneeze for the review copy.

Rating:
→ I didn’t really finish the book, but I thought it had enough potential to get a 3-star rating.

My copy: ebook, review copy from Booksneeze

Cover: Booksneeze
Blurb: Goodreads

Other reviews:
Pessimistically Optimistic Meanderings
The Pumpkin Pie Patch

In My Mailbox (12): Holiday Swap, Merch and Ebooks

I meant to do an IMM post last week but I can’t remember why I skipped it. Perhaps it was because I had too many posts lined up. That, or I just felt lazy doing one. It was kind of a good thing, though, because it turns out I don’t have my camera cable at home so I couldn’t transfer photos, anyway.

This week is a pretty good book week, with Christmas coming and all that. I haven’t been to many Christmas parties yet (not until next week, anyway), but this week I received a lot of packages. Not all of them were books, but they were still packages, and it’s always fun to receive stuff in your actual mailbox. :)

In My Mailbox is a weekly book meme hosted by Kristi from The Story Siren, where bloggers post about what books received that week, be it via  mailbox, library or store. Here’s this week’s stash!

  1. The Giver by Lois Lowry (National Bookstore) – I got this because I was thinking of getting Matched, but I thought I’d read this one first since Matched has been compared to this a lot. I already posted my review here and suffice to say I really liked it. :) Will I get Matched now? Still not sure — what do you think?
  2. No Strings Attached by Mina V. Esguerra (National Bookstore) – I’ve been hounding the bookstores for her newest book after she told us about it in Twitter, but alas, it’s not in Eastwood. Then she tweeted that she saw it already, and since I can’t find it anywhere near I work, I took a special trip to the mall near our place and found lots and lots of copies. :D I finished reading this last week, will post a review next week.
  3. Mistwood by Leah Cypess and Blue Angel, White Shadow by Charlson Ong – After getting Mina’s new book, I got home and was welcomed by a package! It was from my Holiday Swap Santa, Tarie! She already sent me a message about it before I got it, telling me that the review copy of Blue Angel, White Shadow will be added in the package so I didn’t have to pick it up where she’s leaving the other copies for the other bloggers who will get it. :D I was really excited to see she got me Mistwood! I’ve been eying this one in the bookstore for a long time now. :D Thanks so much, Tarie! :)

I also braved the mall crowds yesterday to pick up the NaNoWriMo merch I ordered with some Wrimos from Johnny Air Cargo. The shipping fee kind of set me back a little, but I’m glad these things finally arrived. The jacket and the books aren’t mine, but I got my ML shirt, key chains and posters. :)

EBOOKS:

  1. Dining with Joy by Rachel Hauck (Amazon Kindle store) – I still have that ebook itch, so after buying and reading Anna and the French Kiss, I browsed the store again and found Rachel Hauck’s latest novel. I liked the first two books in the Lowcountry Romance (Sweet Caroline, Love Starts with Elle), and this third companion novel seems very promising. :)
  2. Reaper by Rachel Vincent (Amazon Kindle store) – I found out this ebook is free from the store, and I can never resist free ebooks. :) I must finish reading the rest of the books in this series.
  3. Invasion (A C.H.A.O.S. Novel) by J.S. Lewis (Booksneeze) – Booksneeze recently received a lot of new titles lately, and I found this new young adult series. It seems pretty interesting, plus it has an ebook version so it saves on shipping time. :)
  4. Here Lies Bridget by Paige Harrison (NetGalley) – I know I still have a lot of NetGalley titles lined up in my TBR, but this book caught my eye. Looks very interesting. :D I don’t know when I’ll be able to read it, but I will. :)

Next week, it’s our Goodreads group’s Christmas party, and I’m sure there will be books to bring home there again. :) But that’s for next week. I still have to shop for presents for that!

Now I shall get ready for my godsister’s wedding. :) Have a great Sunday, everyone!