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Simon Scarrow and T. J. Andrews
“Invader“ is the result of the amalgamation of five previously published ebook novellas featuring a new character, Optio Horatius Figulus. He is cast as a Gaul serving in the Roman army which, in itself, provides plenty of potential to develop a storyline with a different angle, with a non-Roman citizen in a command position. Sadly though, anyone hoping for a new hero cast in the mould of Cato or Macro is going to be bitterly disappointed.

Figulus is, and remains, a one-dimensional character throughout the story; all he seems to do is fight and the fight scenes themselves are not that good. His character never develops and we receive no insights of his inner thoughts or feelings. The story simply moves from one battle to another with Figulus being used and manipulated by ruthless, sef-serving senior officers. His accomplishments and ability to survive simply defy belief as does his complete lack of planning.

The storyline is weak and obvious, as are the “joins“ between the previous ebooks. This is more like a storyline for a video-game or a comic strip. I fail to see which level of readership this book is aimed at; it is far too simplistic if not downright insulting of Scarrow's adult readership. Maybe young, male, adolescents are the target but I suspect they might be a bit more discerning if they are going to take the time to read a book.

If you do feel the need to read “Invader“ then borrow it from your local library, do not buy it. Normally such a book would be go very quickly to the charity shop or for recycling before reaching page 50, but it was read cover to cover so that others might not loose the will to live.

A big fat zero.
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