Reviewed by Liz Konkel for Readers' Favorite
Invasion by Roxanne Bland revolves around three different individuals: the alpha of a werewolf pack, Parker, Seattle's vampire master, Kurt, and mage Garrett. After failing at a tryst to stop Seattle's riots, the three start experiencing potentially damaging side effects when their auras start merging together. When Garrett wakes up covered in blood, she turns to her old mentor, Feodor, for guidance. Meanwhile, Kurt is experiencing a serious drain in his powers which, if discovered, could send others to challenge him. Parker struggles to mend his broken heart and a sudden thirst for blood when his love, Shen'zae Melera, returns to earth with the shocking news that her enemy, Mag Beloc, has followed her and will stop at nothing to get her back, even if it destroys the world. Despite tension and jealousy, the four are forced to work together to stop Beloc before it's too late.
The plot is layered and complicated, following Parker, Kurt, and Garrett's individual journeys dealing with their side effects, while also blending in Melera in space and a potential alien invasion. Roxanne Bland flawlessly weaves each thread together, building upon each one and bringing them together into one succinct story. The world is gritty and the core characters are forced into hiding, pretending to be human, for in this society any supernatural being is executed upon proof of what they are. They constantly live in fear of being discovered, but they're also dealing with supernatural politics. If Kurt shows weakness, he can be challenged and killed, with his position going to the winner.
Though they're powerful supernatural beings, Bland makes them realistic, emotional, and allows for you to form a real connection with them. They have so much at stake, due to their auras blending together, that it's easy to understand what they're feeling. This makes them a bit unpredictable because they're willing to do whatever they can to protect themselves. This makes them a little dangerous, but also sympathetic. They're all wonderfully flawed, but there's something good about each of them that makes them redeeming. The tension between them makes for an endearing plot, especially since they're literally connected to each other, and forced to rely on people they're not particularly fond of at the moment. Garrett lied to Kurt and Parker about the tryst, while Kurt also betrayed Parker, and then it's topped off with a dose of jealousy, making for a fun read. Invasion is a marvelous blend of science fiction action, magic, a gritty society, and romance.