Earth with Extra Perks
I will give the author credit for writing sci-fi for youth in a well-done, entertaining fashion; especially as writing sci-fi at all is a difficult chore.
It takes imagination on a monumental scale to create a world far away that doesn't exist and attempt to make it unique from the standard. In this book, the author started this very well, creating a weather pattern that is non-changing, even explaining the theory of the waveblast in a cool manner; however, it appears as if the waveblast is no more than monsoon season ("The waveblast is still in full effect, and the moisture continues to fall The grass...littered with puddles"). The bicycle that Brad is riding to Newviion for his job interview, are made of non-gravitational metals that one will lose to the gravity shield if not tethered; however, it's still a bicycle. He's riding that bike to a job interview at a large corporational facility? And later, he's riding a bus through town. Very earth-y. It's like reading a book about a young man and his friends on earth. Maybe it's this way because the inhabitants of the earth are the ones who built the new society and they simply take their knowledge and technology with them? If they are capable of creating non-gravitational bikes, why then can't everything else be as unique. Because the writer's imagination is limited to what he knows, and though he can generate a few things to make the book sound other-worldly, it's too much to stretch his imagination further.
The story plods along at a fair pace, but never really grabs the reader with anything exciting. I thought, for a moment, that when Brad gets an invitation for INTRIGUE that this might be where I feel some excitement starting (although at this point I'm near the end of the book). When the revelation is revealed I am far from moved. In fact, I am thoroughly let down. I was expecting, hoping, for more. I'm assuming the ending is meant to give us a sense that another book is coming; although most endings signaling a continuation end on a cliffhanger. This one didn't.
Overall, as far as the actually writing is concerned, it was written well. I can't point to any mechanical mistakes, but writing is more than ensuring your periods, commas, and grammar are done right; it takes more than a spark of imagination to create a plot; it takes more than putting a few characters together in the hopes they click. This book has great potential, but it just needed that something more.
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