Amazon have been pushing The Second Ship at me for a while based on my reading habits. Having just finished Hamilton's Void trilogy I thought I'd try..Show More » a new author and relented to suggestion pressure. Within a few minutes I was regretting the use of my monthly credit.
This book really doesn't know what it wants to be. It's like Enid Blyton's Famous Five meets the X-Files, swinging between teen fiction and much darker conspiracy sci-fi. The three principal characters are irritating and two dimensional, and almost everyone else is either undeveloped, or worse, a transparent cliche. Suspicious, "you kids are up to no good", battleaxe teacher who tries to thwart them at every turn, anyone?
Science fiction needs to be believable, if not necessarily possible, but the polymathic knowledge of computing, physics, biology and chemistry shown by the three high-school students, not to mention the way they deftly outmaneuver the NSA, is simply not plausible. It stretches your belief too far, and because these devices underpin the entire book the whole thing fails to stand.
Initially I thought I'd mistakenly picked up a teen-fiction book, but the violence and sexual themes make it unsuitable for younger readers.
This book is dull and trite, and I wouldn't recommend it for anyone; teens, conspiracy lovers or hard sci-fi fans. I'm not sure if it's aimed at any of these markets, but if it is, it fails. I found it a real effort to finish, and I won't be buying the sequels because I just don't care what happens to these characters.