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Invasive Species

3.82  ·  Rating details ·  465 ratings  ·  104 reviews
There can only be one dominant life form on Earth.

In the remote African wilderness, a rainforest is dying. But something else has come to life: A newly evolved predator that has survived the depredations of mankind, only to emerge from its natural habitat faster, stronger, and deadlier than anything humanity has ever faced.

And it is no longer man.
Paperback, 496 pages
Published December 3rd 2013 by Berkley
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Average rating 3.82  · 
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Mogsy (MMOGC)
4 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum

Nature is scary. Books that remind us of this fact are always enlightening, and that’s what I loved about Invasive Species. When your story involves science and ecological elements—and especially when your focus is on nasty, icky bugs—even a novel in the Suspense/Thriller category can easily read like a Horror.

From the book’s description alone though, it was hard to tell what it would be about. All we know is that an unkno
Brenda Mantz
Dec 11, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Joseph Wallace is a writer's writer. I knew that from the first few pages of Diamond Ruby and it was confirmed as I "chewed into" Invasive Species. The pacing of Joe's latest novel is meticulous. He leads us skillfully through the terrifying events and we go with him willingly -- eagerly. The characters are fascinating and unpredictable - especially the "thieves". Who could stop reading after being stung by this sentence early in the book? "A freakishly thin, black, arched body topped by a pair ...more
In Invasive species we meet Trey. Trey is a man without roots, more at home observing wildlife and ecosystems in remote places. Better with solitude rather than dealing with people.

A horrific experience in Tanzania leads Trey to hunt down sighting of a wasp. But this is clearly no ordinary wasp. Sightings and encounters start happening all over the globe, but what will this mean for mankind?

Invasive Species makes me think about a conversation I had with an old friend regarding insects. My frien
Curtis Poe
Dec 19, 2013 rated it it was ok
I am unsure of why this book is so highly rated by many people. As a light thriller, it was a pleasant read: Wallace's writing stays out of your way and let's you dig into the story, but as a story, it ranks up there with The Da Vinci code in terms of unbelievable plot and poor characterization, though Wallace is better than Brown in the latter's respect.

The story is about a species of very large wasp that has evolved to raise its young inside of mammals, including humans, and a small group of p
Aug 10, 2014 rated it did not like it
There wasn't much here to like.

The author seems to have an absurdly low opinion of humanity, considering how little of a fight he has them (us) put up. I mean, they're wasps, for fuck's sake. I hate them as much as the next guy, perhaps more, but a shoe is their doom. A shoe. Most of us are wearing two of them. And why does no one ever once think of wearing a bee suit in this entire book?!?

The way to tell a story with a monster like this is not to make each and every insect into a superbug, but
Oct 22, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This book caught me by surprise. Joseph Wallace's last book was a young-adult adventure into baseball in the time of Babe Ruth, featuring a young woman who was a baseball phenom.

Invasive Species couldn't be further away from Diamond Ruby in genre. That said, it is one of the best books I've read this year, and certainly the one I read in the shortest amount of time. I simply couldn't put this one down.

The plot races from beginning to end in what seems like moments, cataloging the rise of an inse
Jenny Denman
Jan 04, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I do not consider myself a science fiction fan. But as a reader who loved Diamond Ruby and Joseph Wallace's artful development of characters, I had to give this a try. I was immediately hooked by the suspenseful plot and descriptive setting. Not only is this a tale about a species capable of bringing down civilization, but it is a journey into many desolate parts of the world. This book will not only take you on a thrilling voyage throughout the planet, but it will require you to think about the ...more
Nov 10, 2013 rated it it was amazing
**DISCLAIMER** I won a pre-release copy through First Reads on the Good Reads website.
All I can say is that this is a fast, suspenseful, science-based, thriller of a read. I lost lots of sleep because I just couldn't get to a stopping point. I couldn't wait to see what happened next. This is the story of an unknown species of wasps that begin to travel throughout the world implanting their larvae in animals and humans. Once the larva is ready to leave its host, the host dies. The political, medi
Charlie Kaufman
Nov 11, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Ok so first things first, I won a copy of this book from Goodreads. Thanks You!

Now that that is out of the way. Allow me to oh so "thank" the author for all the future freakouts I am going to have every time I get bit by a bug in the future!

I highly enjoyed this book! It is one of those books that you tell yourself that you will just read one chapter before bed and end up at 2am with all the lights on in the house. I am still going to classify this one as action/adventure.. but it leans toward t
Dec 15, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I read this book in one fell swoop on a flight to London. Ok, I had to catch the last 70 pages or so once I got to my hotel. It's a fast, fun and scary ride, based on the idea that a tiny little piece of our world can take the rest of us down with it if don't watch our step. A timely idea, for sure, but Wallace is really more concerned with keeping us turning the pages. If you like scary apocalyptic thrillers, this is a good bet. Also worth checking out by the same author: Diamond Ruby. A histor ...more
Mike Shoop
Dec 11, 2013 rated it really liked it
A world comes to an end as we know it scifi thriller. A huge African wasp has developed intelligence and uses mammals as hosts as it spreads across continents, attacking humans and other animals. Never fear, there is a group of people, including scientists, who race again time to find a way to stop the complete takeover of earth. Nonstop action, violence, and general creepiness.
April Castoldi
Dec 16, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Loved this! It was creepy, exciting, and I didn't want to put it down. I read it with a sense of dread, reminding me of the anxiety and tension of the first Alien movie. It also reminded me of Ender's Game, a favorite for many years. ...more
Jan 25, 2020 rated it really liked it
Interesting sci-fi post-apocalyptic book. I liked the biology stuff, and I dislike wasps even more now.
Apr 13, 2014 rated it it was ok
While reading this novel (and skimming much of the middle section), I kept thinking that this was a “B” version of books I have enjoyed such as Jurassic Park or Hot Zone. The author made numerous references to movies (Bourne Identity) and short stories (A Sound Of Thunder) and hints of authors (Creighton) and ideas from authors (Vonnegut and free will). This book seemed to be snippets of numerous ideas previously explored and not a unique exploration. There was government conspiracy, traveling a ...more
Mar 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book! I am a huge fan of Michael Crichton's sci-fi-mystery novels, and this felt very much like Crichton. I had to double check that it wasn't him because the pacing, subject matter, everything was in such a similar vein. Characters were believable (esp. the politicians and their response). ...more
Dec 30, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: sci-fi, thriller
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Shellie (Layers of Thought)
Original review posted at Layers of Thought.

An apocalyptic horror/thriller that has a parasitic insect at the core of the story.

Description: Trey Gilliard is a loner, a researcher who prefers his forays into the wilderness more than relationships. When the story opens he’s working for ITC – International Conservation Trust – in Senegal, West Africa. The horror begins when Trey hears screams and follows a trail of blood leading him to a local clinic.

He finds an examination room, where a local doc
Jul 30, 2014 rated it really liked it
Though I preordered this before it was released last December, it got a bit lost in the shuffle of other books since then. I brought it with me on vacation last week and cranked through it. Despite being nearly 500 pages long, it's a quick read, especially compared to "Thirteen Moons," which I finished just before starting this. (It would be hard to pair two less similar books.)

The premise here is there is a species of wasp in Africa that uses primates (and other animals) to breed. After co-exis
Sharlene Orlowsky
Dec 24, 2013 rated it it was amazing
The first thing you should know is that this is the first book I have finished since the summer when I had lots of free time and freedom from most of my other responsibilities. With that in mind, I started the book on Sunday evening and finished in three days. It hooked me from page one and there were times when I got to the end of a chapter and said to myself, "just one more."

The highlight for me was the story. I'm certainly no expert on all the science and geographic references that were made
Angela Crawford
Aug 12, 2014 rated it it was amazing
From the Description:

There can only be one dominant life form on Earth.

In the remote African wilderness, a rainforest is dying. But something else has come to life: A newly evolved predator that has survived the depredations of mankind, only to emerge from its natural habitat faster, stronger, and deadlier than anything humanity has ever faced.

And it is no longer man.

The massive swarm is moving across the globe and breeding at a cataclysmic rate, using humans as hosts in a seemingly unstoppabl
Dec 15, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Greatly enjoyed this fast-paced, imaginative trip down the chute of bad decisions and unintended consequences. While written in a commercial, pop-science style, it all seemed a little too real to me—to the point that when I was watching the nightly news I got annoyed at the focus on trivia like Beyonce’s new album when, hey, THE WORLD IS ENDING. (-:

This is for fans of the terse, quippy style of Lee Child & Jeffery Deaver crossed with the natural science details of Michael Crichton/Richard Prest
Nov 05, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Tale takes you from West Africa all around the world and scares you the whole way...

Trey Gilliard - adventurer, life scientist - is in Senegal, West Africa when he first sees the new species of black huge wasps. "Thieves" they are called and the world will never be the same.

Trey and his comrades do their best to track down a way to kill these deadly insects and travel all over the world doing that - New York City, Costa Rica, Australia, Panama.

This is a rip roaring adventure that reads like a Cr
Dec 05, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Full Disclosure: I am one of the directors of the book trailer for Joseph Wallace's new novel, INVASIVE SPECIES. I wanted to read the novel before committing to shooting the trailer, and I am so glad I did! I am a big science fiction fan, and this was a great read.

As the book opens, a new variety of wasp is discovered in Africa, which uses humans as zombie-like hosts for the insects' larvae. After they hatch, in a particularly gruesome fashion, the human host dies. Scientific, political and per
Eric Feinstein
Dec 09, 2013 rated it really liked it
Joseph Wallace has made his first foray into the science-based "what if" genre with great success. The premise of the story is very compelling and certainly topical, with well developed characters and a brick pacing. He skillfully takes us from one locale to another while weaving an intricate tale of evolution, natural selection, and survival, while simultaneously offering a cynical look at ineffective government bureaucracy.
It is a quick read, with a compelling, page-turner pace, and offers a c
Keith Bass
Nov 11, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I was reluctant to start this book because from what I had heard, I would not be able to put it back down. The reports were true.
The plot is intricate, the characters are superbly drawn, and the story is chillingly plausible. I've done a fair amount of traveling and the brief sketches that Mr. Wallace gives to set the various scenes around the world are wonderfully evocative.
All I can say is that it has made me intensely aware of every insect that crosses my path.
Dec 29, 2013 rated it really liked it
If there is a hereafter then Michael Crichton is looking at this book and is pleased.

This book scared me. I'm an avid King and Hill fan, other horror authors fan, but this book scared me as much as any I've read in a good, long time. This book was believable, realistic. The characters weren't super human but they too were realistic.

Now I want to read more by Wallace.
Dec 03, 2013 rated it really liked it
Wow! Alien meets Mad Max!? An apocalyptic, cautionary tale. Interesting...and I hope nothing like it ever happens!
Brian Pennington
Dec 08, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Excellent fast paced read in a weekend.
Dec 17, 2013 rated it really liked it
Loved that the ending was unusual ....
Chris Carroll
Dec 30, 2013 rated it really liked it
This is a really good, smart, suspenseful thriller. Joseph Wallace's book reminds me of Michael Crichton's best, and to be honest, it's probably better. I'm really looking forward to his next book. ...more
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I am thrilled to announce that SLAVEMAKERS, the follow-up to my novel INVASIVE SPECIES, will be published by Ace Books on December 1!

Set twenty years after the apocalyptic events of
INVASIVE SPECIES ("You might want to read this one under the bed"--Jack McDevitt), SLAVEMAKERS was a blast to write. I loved being able to use some of the fascinating--not to mention creepy--facts I've learned during my

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