kept me interested throughout. character motivations were too vague though especially the villians. they obviously intensely evil but I couldn't understand why.. perhaps in later books the author will explain.
I don't usually write bad reviews, but I also have almost never been unable to finish a book...
The Book follows 3 teens who are so cookie cutter 'Disney channel' characters that its hard to take them seriously as real people. They start having 'Adventures' in discovering alien tech, and spying on the government without ever really explaining what their motivations are. In one chapter, they are just sending up a drone to spy on a government facility. There is no explanation as to why they are doing this, or what they are looking for, it's just what's happening. Predictably the drone crashes on the base and is seized. The director of the facility decides to keep it in his office, which makes zero sense, but it happens so the kids can spy on him with the camera that's still running on it. It's non-logic action, after non-logic action over and over again to further the plot, which would be fine if the dialogue were not so bad. The characters are constantly explaining things to each other that the reader already knows. 2 characters will see a thing happen, in detail, then they will go to the third character and explain in the same detail everything that happened AGAIN. Is the author paid by the word? He also started repeating himself between the end of a chapter and the beginning of the next chapter like you were coming back from commercial break. The whole thing reads like young adult sci fi but with some pretty borderline adult material thrown in like a graphic beheading, disembowelment, and implied rape scenes... so caution before handing this off to your kids. The only enjoyable part of this book for me was their discussion on practical science, and science theories, which were pretty solid. Though at times they got to repeating even that stuff several times in what I can only assume was padding for a longer book. I don't know about the rest of the books in this series, I couldn't finish this one. I tried a few times to just grit my teeth and grind through it but when I realized I only have 2 hours left and NOTHING has progressed or even begun to be wrapped up I deleted it. They are going to leave a ton of things open ended and I have no intention on following up with book 2.
This isn't a beach read, but you will feel smarter! I appreciated the science, but thought it got a little too science-vs-story heavy toward the end. Lots of loose ends and intrigue to propel me to the next book though!
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.