I received Dave! Part 1: The Invaders by Marc Richards by means of an email alert from Marc Richards. The book had a sale price of FREE on the Amazon site and I didn’t have to pledge to write any type of review. But I think it is polite. I knew I would post comments on my blog (and elsewhere) without author prompts because I like the way Marc Richards pokes fun at everyday things. “Invaders” is part one of a trilogy containing lots of up-to-date politically relevant satire. It is difficult to write something that makes fun of the current POTUS and his court when daily reality itself has the appearance of satire. Despite the many claims in the book about the origin of the current leadership, I maintain my belief that POTUS is not a leading element of an alien invasion.
STRUCTURE: Beginning with a lofty social claim and regret, “I’m trying this little social experiment before it’s no longer possible for anyone to do social experiments” the story turns quickly to the personal problems of Glenn Richter (loc 14-14). He wants to get his personal struggle out to the world, or that part of the world on his email contact list. Glenn invites everyone to forward this email to all their email contacts adding their personal stories and observations about the state of the world as they see it. This becomes a giant chainmail. Glenn urges haste. There is a giant conspiracy afoot that will soon end the world as we now know it. As different actors add their stories, a world in deep trouble is revealed.
CHARACTERS: Although Glenn kicks off the story, he is not the most important person in this story but who knows how that will work out in later works? This is a trilogy; those not important here may turn out to be important down the road. Mel Gibson, as the President (USA), is important. Elected in 2026, he replaced Trump, a leader very reluctant to give up power. Marc Richards (sound familiar?) appears unpredictably now and then. His appearance heralds, unapologetically, references to his other writings. Marc likes to talk directly to the reader(s).
In this first novel, the reader will follow Eric, the main narrator who does not appear until 30% into the story. He will interact or have fond memories of Dennis/Denise/Starlet, sister/brother to the originator of the chain letter, Glenn. Readers will meet Nick, a resident idiot who first observed Mel Gibson lose face, Mary and Drew, film colleagues who literally throw shit at each other, Carlton, who will nearly kidnap Eric and inject him into a conspiracy, and Ray. Nobody really likes or trusts Ray, but he seems indispensable.
SOCIAL ISSUES: As we read about house-poor Carlton, we find many views of income inequality. Dennis/Denise/Starlet explores the Transgender life and is not the only one to do so. Immigration issues appear through an organization IRON (Immigrant Removal Operations Network) along with the very existence of the Wall, a target of the Topplers supported by the Invaders, and a source for many conspiracy theories. One of my favorite issues, political correctness, is tied to the Transgender element by the following: “It seems like every third person I run into around here is gender-fluid. Although, you have to be careful using that term. Some folks, if they don’t identify as such, find that term highly offensive. Some prefer to use the term “gender-liquid”, and some like the term “gender-viscous”. Some even like to be called “sir” or “ma’am”, whatever that’s about.” (loc 347-351). This also introduces the humor of Marc Richards which I find original and creative. This is not some novel which readers should skim. To appreciate the humor, slow down. There are many asides characters make to each other and directly to the reader.
This was a fun read for me, I will read more of the trilogy. It may not be fun for those thin-skinned and prone to see or invent micro-aggressions everywhere. Marc Richards is not disparaging, minimizing, or marginalizing groups of people. He is criticizing societies’ non-attention or misdirected attention toward many groups. And he does it with irony, satire, and some very absurd commentary. Good stuff.