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Invaders from Within

(hardback)
Series: Choose Your Own Adventure (1979-1998) #110
Translated Into: Invasión extraterrestre (Spanish)
Vetřelci z nitra Země (Czech)
Votrelci znútra Zeme (Slovakian)
Author: Packard, Edward
Illustrators: Mattingly, David B. (cover)
Bolle, Frank (interior)
Release Date: 1991
ISBNs: 0553288377 / 9780553288377
0836814010 / 9780836814019 (hardback)
Length:114 pages
Number of Endings:12
User Summary: While visiting your Aunt and Uncle in northern California, you lose track of time while hiking the nearby Hawk Mountain.
damieng's Thoughts: With a title like Invaders From Within this book had been languishing on my shelf for some time but turned out to be a rather enjoyable way to spend half an hour.

Edward Packard spends just a few pages setting up the story before throwing some choices at the reader that send the story in totally different but consistent directions. The plot moves on briskly as is to be expected in the slim CYOA series, but by filling almost every page with narrative, it feels a little less rushed than others.

I was expecting this book to be a run-around to try and prevent an invasion, but Packard goes further, opening up a few surprising directions to appeal to the excitable child in me. His ever-present Dr. Vivaldi accompanies you on one such excursion.

The illustrations are well drawn and though a little unimaginative still add a little atmosphere to an otherwise fun read.

More reviews by damieng

drereichdude's Thoughts: I re-read this book which I've had in my collection for some time, and I was very intrigued by the plot. You are visiting California and go hiking in the mountains, when you find a "power dome" that, if you choose to enter it, transports you to another planet.

Edward's Packard's sheer brilliance come forth when he describes the race of aliens you encounter there. They are called Cretians, and they are somewhat insect-like, and they have elephantine trunks that act like appendages. They are truly unique in the respect that they require pollution and a toxic environment to survive. They tell you that you are on the planet Balya, and that they know your language, as they learned it while they were "seeding" Earth with capsules containing Cretian young. As you find out, it's perfect for them to come to Earth: they need the pollution that Earth has in abundance. Hopefully, the next choice you make has you leave the enclosure so you do not die in agony from carbon monoxide poisoning!

You step into the outside world, and what awaits you is a glorious sight to behold. A completely unspoiled planet with clean air, water, and soil. You later encounter the native aliens on Balya. You stay with them, learn their language, and they tell you that the Cretian's home planet was destroyed, so they came to this world. The Cretians became accustomed to the toxic environment that they had inside their enclosure, as their doomed world was a lot like the way Earth is now!

One positive ending has you stay permanently with the Balyans, and eventually a space mission from Earth visits, and you learn that people from Earth can come to Balya, and the Cretians will settle on Earth! It's the perfect exchange!

Another path has you find a Cretian on Earth, who you name Slimy. If you bring him to the Florida Everglades, he unearths the same capsules where the young hatch from. Dr. Vivaldi (a recurring character in Edward Packard's books) tells you that the creatures need the pollution that humans create, which they consume. It's an example of a symbiotic relationship. Another happy ending!

I have to say, I never would have come up with this idea. Aliens who require the pollution that humans create! Imagine that!

This is a pretty good story, and even though the Cretians look weird, they are friendly. That's good, I prefer the benevolent aliens (E.T., Superman) to the malevolent ones (the Xenomorphs from the Alien movies, or the killer creatures from the movie Independence Day). Read this book today!

P.S. The Power Dome would later be a separate Edward Packard CYOA title, also involving aliens!

More reviews by drereichdude

Special Thanks:Thanks to Damien Guard for the plot summary.
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