Jesse is sitting in History class one day when everyone suddenly slumps over on their desks. He hears a strange voice in his head: "I am Lord Vertenomous and I claim this planet in the name of the Republic of Sanginia. You have been conquered by the greatest beings in the known universe. It took ten seconds."
At first Jesse thinks he's gone crazy -- but realizes the invasion is real when he is unsuccessful in waking any of his classmates and runs outside to discover that everyone else has fallen into the same strange sleep. He is captured by the aliens and informed that he has been saved because he is "superior product" who can hear the aliens' telepathic messages. Jesse and several hundred other humans others who are also capable of "hearing" are rounded up and made to be slaves to the Republic. The aliens use mind power to inflict pain, read thoughts and kill. Their control seems so complete everyone appears to have succumbed to fear and obedience. But as time goes on, Jesses realizes that his telepathic abilities are not limited to hearing the aliens – he finds himself seeing glimpses of other people’s memories, entering people’s dreams, communicating with others without speaking and even blocking the aliens’ access to his mind. When he notices the aliens are shocked and nervous about his new found abilities, he realizes that there might be a way to fight back after all. Jesse and some of his new friends come up with an escape plan to find human rebels rumoured to be in Mexico.
From the title of this book, I was expecting a funny read – and I did find myself laughing at some of the conversations and comments made by Jesse – but most of the time, the mood was more on the serious side. At times it felt grim, with the characters coming to grips with the fact that their families and friends were dead and that they might be living under the rule of the aliens forever. I liked how the book alternated between the first person narration by Jesse and letters and a personal log written by the alien Lord Vertenomous. The plot of the alien invasion, capture and escape to find other rebels was quite predictable, but having to put the two perspectives together to try to figure out what was going to happen made the story more interesting. While this isn’t a non-stop thriller, the book jumps into the alien invasion right away and there was enough suspense to keep me reading. I’d recommend this to anyone looking for a short, straightforward sci-fi novel.