Escape Velocity

A curated Collection of Fantasy and Science Fiction Media

Andy Skampt, April May’s closest friend, struggles to find meaning in his life after April’s death and the disappearance of the Carls. When he receives a mysterious text message and finds a mysterious book of instructions, he is dragged into an equally mysterious game. When he finds out an old nemesis has grand plans, he and April’s other friends are forced into action once again.


Like with my review of the previous book in this series, I want to say that this low rating is not because I think the book is plain bad – it was just a frustrating read for me. I do believe the book has an audience – that audience is just not me or people like me. Additionally, if you read my review of part one and still read that book, then my review of part two is not going to do anything for you, for I think people that loved the first book will love the second, and people that didn’t like it probably shouldn’t be interested in reading this one to begin with.

My main problem with An Absolutely Remarkable Thing was the prose, which is only alleviated very slightly in this sequel due to the fact that other characters get to speak more. I know other curators did find it easy to read, and it is, but it remains surprisingly hollow.

The book has a more conventional plot than the previous instalment, which was promising at first, but Green dodges the science-fiction questions and handwaves explanations, giving the impressions that the aliens’ science magic functions exactly as the plot demands. I am not necessarily a fan of Brandon Sanderson’s approach to storytelling, but Green would have done well to take a leaf out of his book here: Sanderson believes that a writer’s ability to solve a character’s problem through magic (or here, the aliens’ ‘science’) is directly proportional to a reader’s understanding of that magic. In this book, however, it is never made clear what the aliens can or can’t do, and as a result the actions required of the main characters feel completely random. In that, the A Beautifully Foolish Endeavour just feels a lot more poorly thought out than An Absolutely Remarkable Thing, which, though weird, was coherent in its plot and message.

The story continues asking questions on internet influence, and the second book adds questions on the influence of social media companies and the failure of governments to rein them in. These are relevant questions and if Green manages to gain an audience for them through his books, then all the more power to him. As works of fiction, though, I think they do not cut the mustard, and unless you are very interested in a book on social media, I would recommend you leave these alone.

Share this post: