Title: Free Space (Evagardian #2)
Author : Sean Danker
Publisher : Ace Books
Release date : May 2nd, 2017
Rating : 2.5/5
Synopsis (from Goodreads) :
“I’d impersonated a prince, temporarily stopped a war, escaped a deadly planet, and survived more assassination attempts than I could conveniently count. After all that, there shouldn’t have been anything simpler than a nice weekend with a charming Evagardian girl.
However, some corners of the galaxy aren’t as genteel as the Empire, and Evagardians aren’t universally loved, which is how I ended up kidnapped to be traded as a commodity.
Their timing couldn’t have been worse. I’m not at my best, but these people have no idea whom they’re dealing with: a highly trained, genetically engineered soldier in the Imperial Service who happens to be my date.”
Despite the humour and the obviously well-developed Universe, Free Space didn’t live up to my expectations.
I really liked Admiral, the first book of the Evagardian series. Notwithstanding its flaws, it managed to get my heart pumping and my head spinning from all the suspense and excitement! The ending left me with a lot of questions, so I was totally in for the sequel because I just had to know more, you know? Hence, when I was offered Free Space, I couldn’t wait to dive in! And guess what? SAME QUESTIONS, NO ANSWERS. Ok maybe I exaggerate a little, but the questions I was the most looking forward to discovering the answers of, weren’t answered at all! Who is the Admiral? What did he do? What’s the mystery behind the Empress? Can I get more elaborate explanations on these ships you’re talking about? How do the intergalactic journeys work? So many words I still couldn’t understand, or just outright forgot, because who really expects me to remember a fictional word one year after reading Admiral?? Even at the BEGINNING, I was confused. And a confusing start is an issue Danker should fix, because it was the same as with his first novel.
As you can imagine, I was more than annoyed when I still couldn’t make sense of it. Sometimes the author would say too much information, sometimes not enough. Occasionally it worked, especially in conversations. Those had the flow of normal conversations between two people, where you don’t understand everything because you’re the third wheel and they have their own little insides.
But readers can’t really appreciate those little moments because the plot was rolling too quickly. And I guess a fast pace should have been perfect for an action-packed, sci-fi story, right? But personally, I just feel as if essence was sacrificed for speed. I have absolutely no idea what Danker was trying to convey with this novel. I don’t know how to explain it; it just felt so superficial. Consequently, it was downright forgettable. Nowhere near as intriguing and compelling as the first, nowhere near the suspense, and the newness, and the alien-ness of the first. It was just a clumsy and disorganized story of half-competent kidnappers and confused “heroes”.
The Admiral is definitely smart and resourceful, and those are traits I greatly admire. I couldn’t really remember Salmagard, at first, but then it hit me and her working with Diana was a fantastic idea. It’s always great and interesting to read about badass heroines fighting their way to save their friends. Although some sudden bursts of philosophical thinking came out of the blue and were awkward, there is a lot of respect to circumstances and bodies’ limitations that many other books disregard completely. Actually, the world and people seem very realistic, thanks to the way they are detailed. I’m sad to say it’s just the storytelling that leaves something to be desired.
I definitely feel bad for not liking the book. It’s not my fault, I know, and yet, the feeling’s still there. As a parting note, let me say that Free Space was entertaining, nonetheless.
**Thank you to Berkley Publishing Group for proving me with this book!