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Earthman Jack vs. The Secret Army (Earthman Jack Space Saga Book 2) Kindle Edition
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|Length: 663 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
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Having said that, Earthman Jack vs. The Secret Army (Earthman Jack Space Saga Book 2) by Matthew Kadish, is such a book. Yes, you know the hero will win the day, but how will he do it? What pit stops, and pit drops will be in the way? Who will help him, and who will hurt him? Who is that person in the shadows? Who is the person in the spotlight? I have learned to care about these characters, and what characters they are, from the plotting fiends (yes more than one) and the plotting heroes, and heroines (again, more than one) and how they interact.
Have you heard that you will use speech used by people you admire? What does it mean, when a villain uses words the way Jack does?
The only thing I did not care for, and this is something Matt does well, most of the time, which is the inclusion of other Sci-Fi references, books, movies, bon mots, cliches, and the rest. This time, it was the inclusion of a visit by a Time Lord (you read and figure out which one.) My reason for not liking this visit, is that a co-mingling of those Jack's world and the Time Lord's bespeaks a question. Where was he, to save Earth in book 1, since Earth is his favorite planet, aside from Gallifrey?
Read this book, it will keep you involved, interested and wanting more (which is coming ... soon?).
Jack is still coming to grips with his home planet of Earth being completely obliterated, and is trying to settle into the fact that he's living in a new world, with new, unusual people and customs, and the friendships he made in Book 1 are being tested to their limits.
Is Jack the "Chosen One"?
Will the queen end up choosing Jack over the Crown?
What dark mysteries lie behind the masks of certain high-level individuals?
Will Jack and his friends band together once again to save the Universe?
These questions and so much more begin to get answered as we continue our journey with Earthman Jack Finnegan.
There was a lot of intrigue, and while the first several chapters for the story didn't have a lot of action per se, I thought Matthew Kadish did a good job of keeping the story moving. A number of new characters were introduced,and I found all of them interesting. Because Jack is an outsider, as people explained who other characters in the story were to him, you got to see the public perception of these characters. As Jack got to know the people, you also got to see them from a more personal perspective. I always find it interesting to see the public facade of someone versus the private person who puts on that facade.
I do like is how the enmity of the two principal families sets up the story. One of Jack's traits is a very strong loyalty to his friends. Jack becomes friends with people from both families, which, as the betrayals begin, makes Jack's whole situation that much harder. At risk of giving a spoiler, one thing I thought was neat was one of the characters who has every reason to believe they were betrayed by Jack actually refused to believe it because of what they knew of Jack's character. What was even better about it in my opinion is this character's loyalty wasn't a stretch. It fit everything else written about them.
One thing that I thought was nicely done was how several times Jack was able to do extraordinary things, but the 'how' was explained in vs The Ghost Planet when he was exposed to a Great Seal, and essentially given a huge,subconscious, download of knowledge. This isn't something he can do on command exactly, but he spends time trying to learn to control it. It does make for tense moments as he tries to figure things out and the story gets hairier.
One thing that I thought was interesting is as the story progresses, like vs The Ghost Planet, events spiral out of control until I could not see any way out for the characters. They do work out, of course, and what was nice is Matthew Kadish sets up the explanations for how they work out earlier in the book so it doesn't come down to a 'Deus Ex Machina' situation.
While Vs. The Ghost Planet might be something my 5 year old would enjoy at maybe eight or nine, I think the Secret Army would be intended for someone a bit older. I suspect the first several chapters might be harder for a pre-teen to follow due to lack of excitement, but once the intrigue starts to become visible, I think it might lose a younger reader. On the other hand, I thought Matthew Kadish did a good job of not making things too confusing. Either way, I thoroughly enjoyed it and look forward to the next book in the series.