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- Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Format Kindle
The first Book in this series, (the series is now up to at least five books), is a little bit goofy around the edges, but it struck me as so well conceived, well written and well executed that it still caught and held my attention. After some reflection I was curious to see if the author could keep up the cheerfully inventive pace and appeal that was established in Book One, so I downloaded this second volume. I am happy to say that while there is still an engaging air of goofiness to the project, this second book is, if anything, even better than the first.
There are a few aspects of the book that in particular highlight the source of its appeal. First off, in Gilbert the author has created a genuinely engaging, bright, resourceful and high energy hero. This kid has an inviting presence that I suspect would draw a young reader along. Gilbert is relatable and as authentic as you could expect for a kid who is zipping around on Mars. He is complemented very well by the heroine, Aoleon, who is patient, good humored, gracious and competent, but with an endearing playful streak. Neither character is loaded up with cutesy quirks, and either or both of them can hold the center of the book very well.
The second continuing appeal lies in the science behind the books. As is always the case there is a bit of jargony gobbledygook, but here the author has made an honest attempt to make everything sound as plausible as possible. And, where real science and astronomy can be fit it, (names of star systems, effects of low gravity, atmospheric effects and so on), the author does so. This mix of the real and the speculative and fantastic is old school, but very rewarding.
Further, there is a wide range of humor in these books, with different bits tailored to different readers of different abilities and levels of experience. So, you get everything from floating cows to a character named "Charm Lepton". I don't usually come across middle grade fantasy space adventures that feature sub-atomic particle physics jokes.
Finally, I remain surprised and pleased by the quality of the writing. Between the handmade looking graphics, (which remain fun for all that), and the fact that this is a self-published series, the hardened browser could be forgiven for expecting an energetic but poorly edited and probably sort of clunky effort. This book is well edited. Grammar and syntax are proper. Vocabulary is actually fairly advanced, although the overall narrative is perfectly manageable. Adjectives and clauses are in the right places and modify the right nouns. Everything is just sharper and tighter than one would expect.
I guess if there is any weakness it would have to be that the plot wanders around a bit. This is not necessarily a complex, carefully plotted multi-book space opera. Given the intended readership that's probably not a bad thing. This is more along the lines of an episodic adventure series with some series wide story arcs but also lots of shorter mini-adventures, (eating Martian pizza, visiting Aoleon's Space Academy, watching a psi-ball game). I'm O. K. with that and I think it actually might appeal to a younger reader, who could read this series all at once or could dip in and out of it as time and inclination allows.
The main upshot, though, is that this series continues to zip along at a merry and entertaining pace, and continues in my mind as a happy find. There is just a lot of old-fashioned good humored style on display in these books, and I would expect the series to appeal to a wide range of adventurous readers. (Please note that I purchased this book as a Kindle download with my own cash money. I have no connection at all to either the author or the publisher of this book.)