I wanted to like this book. The second book built up a terrific cliffhanger, and this book wasted it by opening with everyone being in Hawaii. It would have been better if we followed Arlene and Flynn, trying to find a way to get out of L.A.
There are also more perspectives in this book than there are necessary. Each chapter has two perspectives, which adds to the book’s confusion. Once it goes to space, things get more confusing as they meet friendly aliens who don’t explain things very well because they don’t know how to talk to odd numbers of people.
We left off on another cliffhanger. This one isn’t as interesting because of all the build-up to it. I do want to find out what happens in the last book, but I’m not sure if it will be an improvement on this book or if it will change my mind about the series as a whole.
First things first, the authors made this book way too confusing. Instead of having one or two perspectives in the book, we have two perspectives in each chapter. I wouldn’t say I like this at all.
We start in Hawaii and are eventually told how our heroes made it out of L.A. It takes a while for them to tell the story like the authors were trying to build this up, but it was more annoying than anything else. To sum it all up, Arlene and Flynn jumped out of the window and eventually made their way to the street, then stole a series of cars on their way to the airport, where Jill was waiting for them on the plane. Ken then sabotaged the energy field again so they could escape.
We get told that Hawaii is the last bastion of freedom because nuclear weapons destroyed Salt Lake City. Ken is going to be okay and can talk now. He can also access all of the files on the base and tells the reader about many things that aren’t discussed in the rest of the book because Ken disappears from the story.
Jill is working with an extremely creepy scientist during her time in Hawaii. He tells her how awesome she is, forgetting she is only 14. There is a breakout in the lab where they experimented with live zombies, and Arlene and Flynn rescue Jill. She then goes with them to L.A. so they can take a spaceship to Mars. She gets stranded in L.A., and we hear a bit about her story after living there for a few months. Then she is gone from the book.
Albert is recovering from getting a fireball to the face. He heals up and goes with them to L.A. to go to space with them. He is the one who figures out how to talk to the friendly aliens. Probably the best thing that finally happens is that he finally gets married and sleeps with Arlene! Then he gets injured up in space and can’t continue with the mission. I was so glad this finally happened so I wouldn’t have to read about his internal struggle anymore.
Hidalgo is one of the new characters, and I have no idea why he is here. At first, he was a somewhat compelling character, and I wanted to know more about him. He was struggling with his feeling about his ex-wife. Near the end of the book, he gets some closure on the whole thing, which is great. Then he gets messed up in a teleporter accident, and Flynn kills him. Thanks for coming, buddy.
They go to space because friendly aliens are trying to help Earth. I don’t like how the authors do this because they are vague about what is happening. I wouldn’t say I like this that much because it changes things from being a demonic invasion to being aliens.
At the end of the book, our heroes and their two alien friends steal an alien ship and head off somewhere. We end on a cliffhanger, which isn’t as good as the first book.
We still have our two main characters, Arlene and Flynn, and the characters from the previous book. Albert, Ken, and Jill are all here but don’t get used to them being around. Then there are the three new characters, Sears, Roebuck, and Hidalgo.
What’s going on with Albert, Ken, and Jill? Albert is fine after being burned in the face by an imp at the end of the previous book. Jill is helping the scientists in Hawaii before she gets stranded in L.A. while helping our heroes on a mission. Ken doesn’t matter all that much. He is given one chapter that raises more questions about what is going on and made me with the book was something else.
Our new characters are interesting, or they were interesting at first. The first one I want to talk about is Hidalgo. He is given quite a bit of development, and he would play a more significant role in the book or, at the very least, be important to the plot. Instead, he is killed off near the end of the book. I had to double-take to ensure he was dead because it was abrupt.
Sears and Roebuck are the two aliens that tried to warn Earth about the upcoming invasion. They’re part of a hive mind, I think, and do an excellent job of confusing the hell out of our characters and the reader. It is explained why they’re so confusing, but it doesn’t make it any easier to read.
The two aliens describe what is going on, why the demon/aliens are here, and Earth’s place in all of this. It doesn’t help all that much. They give you as many answers as the authors are willing to give, but it comes across confusingly. I hope these two explain what is happening in the last book, but I’m not all that optimistic.
A Pawn in a Galactic Game
This was part of the book with a lot of promise but was explained so confusingly that I wondered if the authors knew where this was going. The Earth doesn’t matter to the friendly aliens, but the demons/aliens care about it. We don’t know why, but it is speculated that the demons/aliens fear humans.
Our heroes try to learn why this galactic war started. We get an explanation, but it isn’t very clear, and it takes a while to explain. We’re told that it comes down to a difference between ancient texts and their interpretation of them. The two sides have different interpretations of them, and they could not find common ground. It takes forever for this to get explained in a somewhat straightforward manner.
The overall picture of the galaxy sounds very interesting. Unfortunately, we don’t get too much information about all of this. It isn’t a priority of the authors to go over this.
By taking the story to space, we dropped most of the plot threads that would have been better to follow. I wouldn’t say I like this direction because we dropped some interesting characters and didn’t replace them.
Likes and Dislikes
After finishing this book, I felt the same as how I felt after the second book of this series. The difference is that the second book was better than this one. There is some cool stuff in here, but overall, I thought it was not that great.
I didn’t like having two perspectives in each chapter; it felt like too many chapters didn’t go anywhere. Characters are built up only for them to die off or disappear from the book. It felt like a waste.
Specifically, I wouldn’t say I liked how Ken and Jill disappear from the book. Ken was given a point of view section that raised some very interesting things, all of which are ignored. I thought Jill would go to space with them, but she gets stranded in L.A. and doesn’t show back up after it is explained what happened to her.
Like the second book, I like some of the things in the book. I did like that they leaned into the aliens. However, the execution wasn’t done very well. I wanted to like this book, but I feel that the series peaked with the first book and then got way too confusing.
I came into this book with a handful of questions. Some of those questions were answered by the authors, but most of the time, the answers led to more questions. None of the new questions were addressed, which made me wonder what the authors were trying to do.
This whole book felt like it was setting up the final book, and they were trying to cut the fat off of the story because they weren’t going to write more than four Doom novels. The story also went off the rails a bit. Some chapters were pointless as they built up characters that wouldn’t matter. A few chapters also advanced some stories that read like the authors planned for a more extended book series.
I didn’t like this book that much. Like the second book, it has some great ideas, but they’re dropped from the book for seemingly no reason. I’m glad this book is done, and I can move on to the last one in the series.