July 7, 2014

Martians in the Maritimes: an audiobook review of William Meikle's "The Invasion"

The Invasion
by William Meikle
narrated by Mikael Naramore
Gryphonwood Press (2013)
Audible, Inc. (2013)

When you live in Canada, you tend to go squee when a movie, show, or book acknowledges your existence. It's kind of a thing. When you live in Atlantic Canada, it's ten-fold. We are a picturesque region, though not often looked upon as the backdrop of an action-thriller. William Meikle has remedied that with The Invasion.

At its heart, The Invasion is pure popcorn fare. A B-grade sci-fi flick in book form, in my case audiobook form through Audible. You might even expect an adaptation to appear on SyFy sometime shortly after the Sharknado trilogy is complete (come on, folks, you know you want more sharks in tornadoes). There's just enough time spent getting to know the characters who are beset upon by the green fungus that covers the planet, so as to give you at least a mild want for their survival. The meat of the story, however, comes in the wondrously epic scale of apocalyptic destruction Meikle cooks up for the small Canadian island from which we witness the invasion begin. I'm not sure how terribly accurate things like the military capabilities and strategies were, or the scientific plausibility of some of the alien attack methods, but I wasn't too concerned with stuff like that. I just wanted tons of action and a unique way to bring about Earth's destruction, and on that front, I think Meikle delivered. Roland Emerich would be proud.

As for the narration, Mikael Naramore offers up this really engrossing delivery, like your hearing top secret intel from a government informant across the formica table in the back of a nondescript diner. The ramping up of the action comes through loud and clear with a voice like that.

The Invasion is a little over four hours long, something that works out to novella length I believe, which is ample time to deliver a nonstop, action-heavy, event-driven story like this. If you're looking for introspection, look elsewhere. Deep thoughts will not be heard over Meikle's barrage of weapons fire.

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