A Better World Rothdas book review RSS
2.6 Stars

This sequel was mostly a disappointment. I had hoped for more originality; instead I received more plots taken from Season 2 of Alphas. I'm really not sure how the author will finish out the trilogy as Alphas only aired for 2 seasons. In addition to not breaking any new ground plot wise, there were failures in basic competency in the sequel. This is a spoiler for the first 20 pages, but there is a terrorist group, and their plot is to interrupt food and goods delivery to 3 major US cities. They do this by a launching an attack on a score of delivery trucks during a single night. This makes it so that insurers won't cover trucks that are delivering to the cities, so that absolutely no food or goods are delivered to these cities for 4+ weeks. But couldn't you just run trucks without insurance you ask? Shush! Couldn't the government just step in as an insurer of last resort? Quiet! Couldn't companies/wild catters just head in with supplies and charge a premium, like happens after a hurricane? Nope! Couldn't the government just pay outrageous fees to get contractors and drivers, like they do in war zones? Impossible! Ugh. The plotting has so, so many problems. And I could overlook this boneheaded plotting if it just came up once and then was accepted/forgotten, but the author keeps bringing it up again and again throughout the story, and each time it is a fresh annoyance. Oh no, this character's baby is starving, if only there was some way, some possible way, that we could get food into this city. Over and over again. There were other smaller annoyances: in this book the US President is an African-American man with a history degree from Harvard & a calm and intellectual speaking voice, which seems like Obama with the serial numbers rubbed off. And the book constantly describes him as weak and indecisive. It's like author, man, I'm sorry that it has been 8 years and Obama hasn't embroiled us in any pointless wars, that must really make you feel emasculated. But please don't bring that disappointment into your novel and insult my POTUS-waifu. And then there is the treatment of the Academies for the gifted, which admittedly were not great, but which did not seem significantly worse than your average US high school. I'm not sure that working as a staff member there should deserve a death sentence. But again, I'm too much of an Order person, sorry not sorry.

On the bright side, there are parts of the story which read just fine as sort of James Bond/Tom Clancy (JBTC) like adventure. It is a bit like an avocado that is going bad; there are black and rotted areas, but there are still some parts which are perfectly healthy and tasty. And I'm cautiously hopeful that it represents a trend, that perfectly boring and forgettable JBTC stories are being enlivened by being combined with super powers, Mythos beings, magical girls, etc etc. It won't always produce something good, but I feel like it will at least produce more interesting stories than these same authors would have produced 20 years ago.