Cover image for The quiet invasion
The quiet invasion
Zettel, Sarah.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Warner Books, [2000]

Physical Description:
419 pages ; 24 cm
Geographic Term:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
X Adult Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order



Venus, second planet from the Sun, is a lonely sphere of lethal heat, deadly pressure, and poisonous winds. Yet mankind still explores it for signs of life. When an abandoned alien outpost is discovered on Venusian soil, Dr. Veronica Hatch is sent to investigate. What she discovers is extraordinary -- an alien race has escaped its dying and distant world to colonize Venus, the only planet that can support it. But back on Earth, this news is received with dread. Fearing the aliens will invade and conquer the entire solar system, Earth prepares for war. It is now up to Veronica to urgently convince the aliens that mankind is truly worth saving -- before Earth becomes ground zero of an interstellar war.

Author Notes

Sarah Zettel lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Venus seems uninhabitable, but scientist Helen Failia has made it her life's work and believes her orbiting research station should be a permanent Venusian colony. Others on board regard Venus as providing a long-awaited opportunity to rebel against tight UN control of colonies on Mars and the moon. When an alien installation is discovered on Venus' surface, a team of artists, scientists, and reporters is sent to explore. Artist Veronica Hatch becomes convinced that the installation is a fraud. But who assembled it, and why? The station is thrown into tumult, only to be silenced when real aliens suddenly appear to save the lives of a surface team. Ambassador T'sha and the People, whose world is dying mysteriously, see Venus as their last hope. Zettel alternates point of view between humans and aliens, thereby demonstrating her gift for creating fully realized cultures. As in Playing God (1998), tension builds slowly during human-alien interaction, as the two peoples discover differences and similarities and come to a riveting confrontation that bodes either a new era or the deaths of millions. --Roberta Johnson

Publisher's Weekly Review

Zettel (Fool's War, etc.) has a gift for creating fascinating aliens with rich cultures and radically different, though still comprehensible, mindsets. She's somewhat less successful at portraying intergalactic politics, though in this novel she valiantly struggles--and almost succeeds--in generating a realistic future where a nearly omnipotent United Nations on Earth controls what happens to the colonies on Mars, the Moon and, especially, Venus. The Venus colony is the life's work of Dr. Helen Failia, who has done everything possible to make the base a self-sufficient outpost rather than a temporary research station. Just as Helen is about to lose funding for her beloved city, the surface of Venus sprouts what appears to be an alien artifact. Closely monitoring the humans' discovery of the artifact are aliens from another planet, who are looking to claim Venus as their new home. These aliens are in dire straits because their ancient, living cities are falling ill and dying. Their complicated belief system dictates that they cannot colonize Venus if humans have a legitimate claim to the planet, but if they judge the humans insane, they can destroy them like weeds. While Zettel's humans plod through the fairly pedestrian plotting, her aliens soar forward in unexpected and wonderful ways, making this a first-contact novel worth reading and relishing. (Feb.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

The discovery of an alien artifact on Venus comes at a crucial time for the research colony of Venera, but the complications that result when a living alien species lays claim to the planet drive both humans and aliens to the verge of armed conflict. Zettel (Reclamation) endows both her human and alien characters with depth and variety, highlighting the concerns common to all sentient life. Strong elements of action and intrigue breathe life into a tale of social conflict and personal crisis. Recommended for most sf collections. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.