I loved the first book - Spin, and expected more of the same from the sequel. While this is still a great character novel, it unfortunately simply has much less actually happen throughout the book. Part of this is because it covers a much shorter time span than the first novel did, but with that aside it still lacks any significant events to drive the characters forward.
If you loved the first book, you'll still enjoy this one, but fair warning, it doesn't quite live up to it's predecessor. I'm starting the third one now and hopefully that one improves upon this.
These aren't easily understood, stand-alone books.
The narrator needs some energy drink. If you want to fall asleep to a good book this is it. He has the voice of a bored high school science teacher. It seems he sometimes gets his characters mixed up as well.
If you want to read about the continuing life stories of the characters from "Spin" you are mostly out of luck. This one explores some of the IDEAS presented in the first book and takes the reader into the world beyond the arch - a place both mundane and fantastic. As in "Spin," big weird stuff happens in the sky - an image which I always find compelling. Also as in "Spin," plenty is left unexplained. I have come to love Scott Brick's narrations, and he does a fine job here. I'll say what someone else said in their review as well - it is much better than most science fiction out there.
From my reading history my perfect book would include; a space ship piloted by Ender Wiggin, that is infested by Zombies, who are being hunted by Drizzt Do'Urden and Lestat, while Joe Ledger and Amy Harper Bellafonte try to keep the ship from distroying Middleguard. The Sequal would be from Bean's perspective, with an epilogue by Malcolm Gladwell.
SPOILER SPOILER(Kinda) If you read Spin and are looking for additional material on Tyler Dupree and his life as a fourth, your out of luck. It seems to me he is treated as an afterthought where he is only discussed for a few paragraphs. Diane is in it more in the later chapters but more as an auxiliary character. Read the summary and expect nothing else because you wont get it. But it is a decent book with more info on the hypotheticals. The ending is a bit of a letdown the climax was less than insightful an more or less just a restating of what was discussed by Jason Lawton. Robert Wilson should have just finished Spin with one word END.
I can understand why many did not enjoy Axis as much as they did Spin. Axis goes much further into the bazaar than Spin did. Though the human story element isn't as strong in this book, for those like me who want to delve deeper into the Hypotheticals, though, I believe you'll enjoy it. It would have been nice, however, if the character links between the two books were stronger.
I don't write many reviews. I would recommend Spin to anyone who likes good, thought provoking Sci Fi. I wouldn't recommend Axis to anybody. Frankly I thought Spin ended well enough to be a stand alone book. I was interested to see how the author would continue the story but it seems more like he didn't.
Weak characters. Weak, uninteresting plot backed by a couple of good ideas which aren't necessarily new from the book Spin. Normally the second book of a trilogy gets lower reviews, but this book has me less than interested and wondering why even bother trying to make this a trilogy at all? It almost seems like it was continued by a different author. Not recommended. I finished it but in the end couldn't care less what was happening.
I'm waiting to see how the series ends. If its ends well than I am okay with working through this one. I know that one of the characters you think is dead is a part of the next book. So we will see! As a stand alone the book was only ok.