The Quiet Invasion

Posted by : atcampbell | On : August 20, 2002

The Quiet Invasion by Sarah Zettel

Thirteen people attended this discussion at Lori and A. T.’s house, including one first-time visitor. Also, one person submitted comments by email. Our topic was The Quiet Invasion, a sf novel set on Venus featuring noble scientists, academic dishonesty, flying aliens, and politics. Eight of us had started the book, and five finished it.

We thought this book had cool aliens. They were nonhumanoid flying creatures with strange biology, but they had distinct personalities and were well-drawn sympathetic characters. The structure of their society and its interpersonal relationships were well thought-out, and Zettel described this so well that we understood the aliens’ actions. The book alternated points of view between humans and aliens, and most of us looked forward to the alien sequences. The exciting plot kept us turning the pages.

There were some problems. We felt the visual descriptions in the book were unclear, so we had trouble visualizing the aliens and their environment. A few of us found it unlikely that all the political leaders in this book, both human and alien, were female. Several people found the ending of the story was a letdown.

We think The Quiet Invasion is a book full of interesting ideas and characters, and we think Sarah Zettel is a writer with a great deal of promise. After the meeting, most of us went to a nice dinner at North and South Chinese Buffet.

— A. T. Campbell, III