Second Ship drove me crazy. I always wanted to know what was going to happen next, which is a very good thing meaning the story enthralls. On the other hand, Richard Phillips tone and writing varied wildly. I mean, he isn't Ludlum bad, or Coes bad, but at times it was "The Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew and the Alien Mystery" and then would shift to bloody psychotics and then yet again to painfully flirtatious Special Ops spies. Also, the narrator did the story no favors by being overly dramatic at times.
The dialog was painfully stilted and unreal between the 3 teenagers-- except when it wasn't. The villains were cartoonish--until they were scary and hateful. The faux science was fun. The recreated space battle was terrible.
The story was complex without being confusing, which is a very good thing. The teenagers were idiots, even for teenagers, who are always sometimes idiots-- until they were clever and insightful.
The last few chapters almost knocked things down to 3 stars because they were disgracefully curtailed, as if the author was in a hurry to get to his sequel and lost interest in the current book.
What, the kids HAD to turn in their cell phones to the ridiculously hostile teacher? What? Was she the Gestapo? Could they not risk a day in suspension to save their lives?
What happened to the young Rodriguez boy? And no angst from the teens at all about the suicide of Rodriguez senior?
I bet the Rag Man returns, and the spy guy should know that.
And why why why not send the video of the chief mad scientist torturing one of his staff to the NSA, if it can be done in an untraceable way?
So... lots of plot problems and some bad dialog trumped by a great story.
I enjoyed this book alot. There were some elements that thankfully weren't graphic or I would have not recommended this book. the author does a great job of setting the stage and weaving a Web of conspiracy that is plausible and exciting at the same time.
I read the book several years ago and I forgot how much I liked this series of books. Mr Andrews did a good job of bringing the characters to life.
I loved this book. The characters were great, and as always McLeod Andrews was excellent. He changes his tone and inflections subtly depending on which character the book is focusing on. Giving the narration movement and progression. His character voices are spot on.
It starts out feeling like a heavy teen fiction. But it ends like an ass kicking action novel.
The Second Ship is a story that adds a twist to the standard fiction leveraging the rumors of an alien ship crash in Roswell, New Mexico in 1948. That twist here is that a second ship also crashed at the same time and remained undiscovered by the government. That second ship is eventually found by 3 high school students at the same time that the US government comes clean about the first ship. These kids keep the discovery to themselves and use the alien technology at their disposal to uncover the true motivations behind the President's promise to freely share advanced alien technology with the world.
The story is deeper and more complex than I expected but it is also written in a way that just doesn't feel realistic. It isn't the sci-fi that feels unrealistic, it is the speech and mannerisms of the 3 high school kids and their interactions with those around them, including their parents, teachers, and the FBI/NSA. For the majority of the book I found myself interested in the story and felt that it had potential but I was never totally invested. This is no fault of MacLeod Andrews who does his usual superb job on the narration and kept me engaged more than I would have been otherwise.
When the book just ended out of the blue without wrapping up the story in any way it left me unsatisfied and on the fence about continuing. Think twice before you pick this one up unless you go in with a willingness to listen to more than one book.
The story seems meant for young adults, however, this old guy enjoy the story and is looking forward to the next one.