To celebrate SciFi Month, I'll be doing throwbacks with SciFi Novels this month. (Although, you may see something different next week during HoHoHoRAT. Haven't decided yet!)
So... What's It About?
Jake and some friends cross through an abandoned construction site next to the mall one night.
(Bad idea, nothing good ever happens outside of a mall at night.)
They discover that not only are aliens real, but some are secretly trying to take over Earth, as well as the rest of the universe.
Then, they are gifted the power to morph into animals.
The real question is, will they use the powers to fight the good fight or just pretend it never happened?
When Did I Read It?
First read around the age of 11. The timeline for the publishing date doesn't match up (June 1996), but I have very distinct memories of coming across this next one in the series in my elementary school library in 6th grade. Considering I "graduated" 6th grade in May 1996, I am probably misremembering.
(PS: Yes, I am a year younger. I went to Kindergarten at the age of 4 and graduated at 17.)
Does It Hold Up?
DISCLAIMER: I read the original book text, not the 2011 revival where they changed it to be a little more generic and possibly appeal to the current generation and beyond.
If you are familiar with the series as a whole or the basic premises, this particular book can be hard to get through. This is largely because it's main purpose is to set up the major series plotline and introduce the main characters.
There is some datedness to it, but it's almost nothing. Jake mentions owning a Sega (lol, in 1996, who knew that would be the one to disappear) and spending all his money at the arcade. Given that I'm the same age as the characters*, I can vouch for that being a little weird, even by 1996 standards.
A cursory glance at the new version has "Sega" turned into "a system" and a mild explanation that they are at a comic/game shop instead of an arcade.
Other than that, The Invasion does exactly what it set out to do; introducing the characters, triggering a series of events that lead to a quest to save the world, and leaves you wanting more. I'd say it holds up pretty well.
Fun Fact: My daughter, now 12, started reading these around the age of 9 or 10 and loved them. She had no complaints about any older technology --- unlike she did with The Baby-Sitters Club, lol.
*Unlike other Scholastic series where the characters were non-aging cartoons, except when demanded by plot, The Animorphs age in real time over the course of the series. The series starts in the summer of 1996 with them around the age of 12. (I was 11 for most of 1996.)