Invasion: Earth by Harry Harrison ISBN 044137154x
Four out of five stars
This is another alien invasion story based on a ship appearing out of nowhere and landing in Central Park in New York City. Colonel Robert Haywood of Air Force Intelligence is coincidentally in the city and he along with the rest of his three-man team are the first humans to enter the spacecraft. They find two creatures dead at the controls, kill another like it that attacks them and free another that was manacled to the wall.
That creature says that it is a member of a species called the Oinn and can speak English, it claims that it learned it and Russian from observing Earth’s television broadcasts. Its name is Hes’bu and the story is that his race is in a deadly war with another called the Blettr, the two pilots and the other creature were Blettr and were holding him prisoner.
The Colonel is joined by Soviet intelligence operative Nadia Andrianova, an expert linguist that is quickly able to learn the language of the Oinn. Hes’bu claims that the Blettr are powerful and have been following his ship and are most likely on their way to Earth in order to conquer it. The genuine external threat leads to the end of the hostility between the United States and the Soviet Union as they join forces to prepare for the invasion.
However Haywood and Andrianova have their doubts about the claims made by Hes’bu and they engage in additional intelligence gathering. They quickly learn that all is not as it appears, so alternate plans must be made.
The story itself has some major logical flaws, yet it moves along well enough to keep you entertained. Militarism is a dominant theme, but not to the point where it is overboard. Basically it is a formulaic alien invasion story with a few minor plot twists.