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4.1 out of 5 stars58
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on February 2, 2012
So the first book I had some issues with and this book goes a way to correcting those errors. We find Alex still between two women and trying to come to terms with the Program. Much of the books is filled with cut scenes with others so although Alex is still the main character "I think" you get a lot of face time with the tough one "Alice, Mitzi, Margot, etc". All of the book has to do with them battling an unknown army of exiled operators Anathema. Given that much of the book is battles which I liked, not a lot of them involve Alex which is somewhat sucky.

- Alex is still the least likable character even with him starting to use his powers and actually have a voice. This may be deliberate as I really think his current personality is not his own. But even given that I struggle not to skim when he is in the scene as I find his character lacking well everything power, competence, intelligence, initiative or the common sense of a rock. He also is bullied or used by just about everyone including his kind of friends.
- I talked made mention of this above but it deserves it's own point. Everyone tries to use everyone in this book except for Alex who is probably to dumb to do it. I especially found Vivek, Rachel and Ana all to be the worse cases and was not a fan. I understand it is part of the world but really can anybody have a friend in this who does not use them or betray their trust.

- Given the fact that I dislike how the main character is portrayed the story is great and the other characters are engaging and fun to read.
- People are fully fleshed out and delight to get to know. No cookie cutter people here at least as far as I can see.
- Writing itself is well done with only a few spelling errors nothing that the casual reader will care about.
- World is built well and you feel as if you are their. I sometimes feel that a person has a good plot but the world is hard to imagine. Not so here the places are described well and you can envision them.
- Long book way longer than what you would expect.
- Price in a day when it seems every person is trying to go higher on the price for indie books he is staying at 99. I like that and admire it.

Good sequel better than the first book some issues remain for me as regards to Alex but I have hope that he will become someone I can enjoy reading about versus a person I have to grit my teeth on. If you have read the first one I would strongly encourage you to read this one. If you have not read the first one it is a good book and I would say that the series is worth reading.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on February 23, 2012
I'm really enjoying the series so far, however I really think the books need a bit better editing. There have been many times in both books where words were out of order, or the wrong word was just plainly used. It's not enough to get me to not read the books, but it definitely messes up my reading flow because I notice all of the little mistakes as I'm reading it...
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on April 2, 2012
I picked up this book and its prequel before a trip as they sounded like they'd be very interesting to read. There is definitely something there but the frequent typos and editing problems made it hard to see it at times. I also had some problems with the narrative as the author would set up a scene (a battle perhaps) and then jump past it to the aftermath. Several characters had "unusual" protocols but the author decides to keep the reader in suspense as to what they are--fair enough--but the payoff isn't always there.

I'm not sure I'll pick up the last 3 volumes in the series when they're published unless the author gets some better editing under his belt.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on September 19, 2013
The only reason I finished this book is because of the characters I mentioned in the first book's review. Jessica, Anastasia, Eerie and Emily make this worth the time and effort. Well, add Katya to that group.

Alex is no longer the turd in the tea cup. The author took away the tea cup. There is no growth to this guy in book 2. If anything, he regressed. Surlier and dumber. Biology exists to erase morons like this guy. Having to read about this guy a 2nd time, and see him slide further away from maturity made this a very painful read.

The editing in this book is far worse than book 1. Made me want to find a red pen and scratch the hell out of my Kindle.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on July 8, 2012
I tried to like this book...I really tried. It wasn't the editing that bothered me it was that I found most of the characters unlikeable. The manipulation disturbs me but what really bothers me is the "program" and the way they teach these children to be killers. Should at least like Alex the protagonist of the story but I find him stupid and gullible. I have to force myself to turn each page. It literally almost hurts to continue. Mr. Rawlins is a fine writer and I am sure there are many readers that will appreciate his point of view with this story. I am not one of those people. I HAVE to like someone...anyone to root for, sadly I have no one I care for. I feel sorry for Emily and sure she will get shafted by the end of the story. Will I ever read another story by Mr. Rawlins? If they let me read the ending first I might. But if I have to spend my money to find out what happens I'll wait until someone can tell me.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
I read the first book after it received an edit-makeover, so a few typos here/there weren't a big deal. This book picks up the story of Central, Alex, Eerie, etc and is a fun enough run. The Anathema are blacksheep Operators hell-bent to change the face of politics and we see some more positioning from Ana which sets up the next book. Alex is still the blundering slacker - he really hasn't changed too much and it feels like he is too slow on the hero arc, which I'm confident this series is scripting. His friends are still plotting and or covering secrets and Alex is slow to 'ask the right questions'. However, you get to learn more about the other main characters and it keeps you motivated to read book 3.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on February 3, 2012
Really enjoyed this sequel. Mr. Rawlins seems to put out books at an ridiculous rate and each one is better than the last. Many of the questions of the first novel are answered in this one which makes me want to go back and reread the first of the series. More action, and satisfying action, in this book. The detail spent on describing the hand to hand combat is better than any I've read. Most importantly I want to mention that Mr. Rawlins continues to produce a professional quality (exceptional cover art) product, but still maintains a ridiculously low price. For half the price of a cup of coffee you'll be getting a great read and a fun ride!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on February 1, 2012
Rawlins does a good follow-up to The Academy with The Anathema. While the writing style at times can be a bit shaky, it gives an interesting perspective for the narration. The characters are all very well written but at some points a few characters turn into perfect archetypes. The story itself was well worth waiting for and gave more insight into the world of The Central Series. Rawlins has developed the main character Alex so that he no longer gives off the apathetic feeling that was played upon throughout the first book. Overall a fairly good sequel to The Academy and undoubtedly worth the 99 cents.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on February 12, 2012
I'm really enjoying the series so far. It's a unique take on a modern set fantasy novel, with a good mix of being given enough information for the world to feel real and fascinating, and not so much that you fell bogged down in technical details. Much more development of the side characters in this book than the last, big plus. I took off one star for the typos.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on February 4, 2012
Hey Zach,
What took so long? On the other hand, it was worth the wait. Loved what you did with the characters. They are more interesting and better developed than ever. I have no idea where this is going, but I am in for the long haul. Keep 'em coming. I will just sit here waiting for volume 3.
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