The Serene Invasion by Eric Brown (Solaris, Amazon UK, Amazon US) is the author’s return to the topic of first contact, much like his linked Kethani stories. The arrival of the Serene brings about a quick and decisive end to violence on Earth, with humans no longer able to commit any acts of aggression towards each other. With this stark forced change in behaviour, many of the human race praise the intervention, while others simply cannot accept such a massive and unwelcome intrusion. What follows is a look at the changes wrought on humanity, how the representatives of the Serene help guide those around them, and how some simply cannot accept the gift they have given.
Brown manages to tell a gripping and very detailed account of such a change. Not only does he look at the immediate effects of such an act, but he also shows the longer term effects of the coming of the Serene. While the transition is not entirely without problems, Brown is able to present both sides through various characters, their personal attachments, and just what they want for the future. The Serene Invasion is a quick and compelling read with big ideas and comments on societal change that will stay with you past the story’s conclusion. Recommended.