Book Reviews · Fiction · Romance · Science Fiction · Young Adult

Review: The Silent Invasion (The Change #1) by James Bradley

The Silent Invasion (The Change #1) by James Bradley
Published March 28th 2017 by Pan Macmillan Australia
RRP AUD $9.99

The Earth is dying.

Plants, animals and humans are being infected by spores from space and becoming part of a vast alien intelligence.

When 16-year-old Callie discovers her little sister Gracie is Changing, she flees with Gracie to the Zone to escape termination by the ruthless officers of quarantine.

What Callie finds in the Zone will alter her forever and send her on a journey to the stars, and beyond.

The first book in an heart-stopping trilogy from award-winning author James Bradley.

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So before reading this book I didn’t really know much about it, and hadn’t actually heard of it before Pan Macmillan sent me an email about it and I received a copy for review. This, however, does not change my feelings or influence my review in any way. In total honesty, I didn’t enjoy this book. Maybe with some tweaking, it could be better, but too many things didn’t sit right with me.

Firstly, WARNING there is animal abuse in this book, and even though it wasn’t the main characters who did it, it was still disgusting and I couldn’t read it properly. I had to skip through it and seriously considered DNFing it, but I didn’t purely because I hate DNFing books.

Ok, so I didn’t completely understand the point of the book. I get that everyone’s supposed to be like nooOoooOOOOOOo omg I don’t want to catch the thing!!! And try and stop the spreading, but Callie literally said that it’s not contagious? If it’s not contagious and people don’t care why are the infected being quarantined????? Why are so many people trying to stop them????? And if the rest of the world think’s its contagious, why do so many of the people they come across literally do not care? And want to help them??? I don’t understaaaaaaaand. ALSO throughout the ‘adventure’ Callie is told to not trust anyone, but what does she do? Trust a random teenage guy who conveniently helps them get on a truck, and trusts so many other people along the way. AND does she ask questions? NOPE. Blindly accepts vague answers and trusts people <– do you see the problem here?? because I sure do.

The characters were pretty bland, not going to lie. I can admire Callie’s determination to protect her sister, sure, but what was she planning on doing when her sister turned? Take care of her at risk of being eaten or something (not really sure what was supposed to happen when they changed, but eh you get the gist)?? Callie’s inability to look past protecting her sister was infuriating at times, I just wanted her to sit down and think about things very, very thoroughly. Matt was the vaguest character ever, like everything about him was vague and shady, I didn’t like it. He didn’t really give any proper reasons for doing anything and I was just really suspicious of him. Gracie, the ‘infected’ sister, was the most mature 6-year-old (pretty sure she was 6 years old, but I may be wrong) I have ever read about. Most of the time I just pictured her as a 12-year-old, because that made my brain much less confused.

Wasn’t a fan of the romance aspect. Yeah, I could see them getting together in the end, but that’s just because it’s one of the biggest YA tropes. I didn’t feel a connection between the characters, and I don’t know if this would be considered one of those ‘live life like you’re dying’ situations where everything’s super rushed, but I didn’t like it. The characters didn’t know each other for very long, hardly know anything about each other and just because they travel together for a bit makes them compatible? And in love????? I don’t think so.

And, besides all that, majority of the story was travelling. There’s only so much travelling I can handle in one book, especially when that book is less than 300 pages and supposedly has a larger plot to it.

So yeah, as you probably would’ve guessed by now I won’t recommend this book. If you’re looking for a OzYA book or a book set in an apocalyptical world, there are so many other better ones to try out. I’m pretty sure I won’t be reading the second or third instalments. Sorry for such a negative review, but I honestly just couldn’t deal.

I received a review copy from the publisher



James Bradley is an award-winning novelist and critic. His books include four novels: WrackThe Deep Field, the international bestseller, The Resurrectionist, and Clade; a book of poetry, Paper Nautilus, and The Penguin Book of the Ocean. He lives in Sydney with his partner, the novelist Mardi McConnochie and his two daughters. The Silent Invasion is his first book for young adult readers.


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