The desperate battle on far-flung Geronimo may have ended in a qualified victory for the elite MOTH soldiers in their devastating, atomic-powered ATLAS mechs... but the cost was a massive one, paid in blood. Rade Galaal, graduate of the toughest military training in the universe, barely survived the terrifying mission in deep space that claimed the lives of the two people he couldn't afford to lose: a comrade who was more than a brother, and someone who was his whole world. Lost, broken, and questioning his place as a MOTH and as a man, Rade faces a new crisis when an enemy force - a terrifyingly familiar one - threatens the future of humanity itself. Entering human territory from the depths of uncharted space where Rade lost everything, this massive alien vessel wears the face of death. Once the nightmarish invader begins threatening total annihilation, can Rade and his team hope to prevail... or even survive?
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I expected book Two to get much better as the author got a little seasoning behind him, since I enjoyed Book 1 (BOTH book 1's).. Especially since I LOVE the "Mech Suit" genre,and there's not a lot of it around... But 'the good stuff' in the book seemed to me to be greatly off-set by a LOT more... I dunno.. "Whining, Crying, Over-Rousing Motivation Gut Speeches"? Usually followed by 'utter crying despair', 'giving up', more 'Over-Rousing Self-Motivating Speeches', 'deciding to soldier on'... "Wash, Rinse, Repeat"... Also a LOT of doing A LOT without "accomplishing" anything at all, after all is said and done, except constantly 'vowing vengeance' and 'vowing lots of payback and rivers of blood', but always "at some future time".
I (like many others it seems) got tired FAST of being beat over the head by "Brotherhood".. WAY too much 'Brother', 'you're my brother', 'where are my brothers', 'because we're brothers', 'brother this', 'brother that', 'my brothers', etc. etc. etc. I joined the Army as an Infantry Soldier "Back in the day" (I Retired from the Army, and THEN became an Electrical Engineer and Computer Programmer), I understand the close camaraderie of units (ESPECIALLY 'Small Specialized Units')... I've noticed authors who really know about it, always find a way to SHOW IT in their books, without ever ONCE having to resort to 'saying it' (especially not every 5 minutes!). *I* wouldn't write a whole paragraph about THAT issue alone, had it not been THAT massively over-used in the book.
I also feel like there was "a lot of action and disjointed moving around, for no apparent reason, and NOTHING accomplished by all of the action and movement"... A LOT of effort seemed to be expended again and again, for NO apparent gain, and the plot for the Series didn't seem to be "moved along" AT ALL by anything that was done... It SEEMED like that fact TRIED to be hidden by what (I assume) were supposed to be stirring motivational "Hard Corp and GRIT Speeches" to explain why it was OK that nothing got accomplished, and to QUICKLY change the subject! None of the 'Gritty Motivational Speeches' raised my heart rate any.
I GUESS all of this Action and Movement MAY BE meant to set up the next book??? Trouble being, I dunno if I'll put a credit on the next book, because I wasn't left with the solid feeling that there IS an overall plot (or at least not one worth caring about).
In fact (and I hate to say this), But I'm getting a distinct feeling from the available evidence that there IS NO "Overall Plot"... The First Book "Atlas: Atlas Series", got released... and then THE SAME BOOK was released AGAIN, titled "ATLAS: ATLAS Series, Book 1", Just with a Different Narrator (WITHOUT Telling Us BEFOREHAND, "This is the SAME BOOK, it just has a different Narrator")... So you end up buying the same 'Book 1' TWICE... BUT at least the first book(s) SEEMED to be heading toward SOME KIND of plot... The original plot (of 'BookS 1') seems to have been abandoned, like, "The plot in (both) 'Book 1(s)' is that The Hero gets through tough, Mech-Warrior, elite training.. so... uhhh... now what for Book 2.. Uhhh I mean 'Book 3, labeled as Book 2'???"
THIS book, "ATLAS: ATLAS Series, Book 2", seemed to just kinda wander around LOOKING for a plot...
Cut To 'Female Hero Character', who Sighs and whines a lot about "things WE are supposed to be emotionally attached to, but aren't.. in the slightest". We're supposed to be reduced to emotional tears because we're SUPPOSED to be emotionally attached to her Killer-Pet "Hy-Bear" (Which was supposed to be "Near Sentient", but at best seems to be more like Lassie, except without the smarts) and so SHE cries and whines and reminisces A LOT about SEVERAL of theses type of Characters (None of which ended up having ANY real purpose!)... which got on my nerves so fast that I had to STOP THE BOOK, and set up a "15 Second Advance" Icon on my Audible App on my iPhone... and THEN stop the book AGAIN to change the "15 Second Advance" to "30 Second Advance" (Which I used LIBERALLY)
Now cut back to our Dashing Male Hero, who WILL be busy swinging from 'utter despair' and 'about to give up', but instead, making his obligatory 'rousing gritty pep talk to himself' so he doesn't give up, in situations where "Giving up" wasn't an option anyway... AND "I can't save my brother who has a sucking chest wound (ALL Chest wounds SUCK, trust me) because I don't have a piece of plastic in my Med kit that is used for stopping sucking chest wounds, all I have is this OTHER piece of plastic of the exact same size and shape"... wait 20-30 minutes, and it hits him, "Wait a Second!! I could use this OTHER piece of plastic!!!" (I've seen it done with a Plastic MRE Bag, it ain't Brain Surgery!)
If All of the above sounds confusing, it's because *I* was left confused... THREE books (REALLY only 'TWO Books', and 'a repeat'), and AFTER I'm over 27+ hours into this series, I still have NO IDEA what the plot is, or if there is now a NEW plot, or if there even IS A PLOT now. I SHOULD have stopped at Book 1 (either Book 1's), and treated Book 2 (3) as a different book entirely...
Look, I LOVE the "Mech Warrior" genre, and LOVED the parts where the Mechs ACTUALLY FINALLY GET USED A LITTLE... even if the technicalities and Physics are... well, let's say, "Creative", to be kind... I can overlook THAT (Hey' it's 'SCI-FI', I understand).. But book two (Or is it 3?) was just a confusing jumble of inconsistencies, like 'One Mech Is SUPPOSED To Be Nearly Invincible", except that ANY of the Mechs can EASILY be taken out of action by ANYONE attacking it from behind with a POCKET KNIFE, by simply cutting an EXPOSED fuel-feed-line, that NO ONE thought to ARMOR/HIDE/PROTECT in ANY way, from 'Model One", right up through "Model SIX", and there's NO WAY for the Mech to stop someone from cutting the line from behind!? Sometimes the 'Invincible 3-Ton Mech' can carry a TON of weight all by itself, then 10 minutes later TWO Mechs working TOGETHER, STRUGGLE to carry 'A HALF-TON Container, between them', and THEN FOUR MECHS STRAIN to carry that same Half Ton Container, and the action builds and fighting and hardships and "I'll NEVER QUIT!", etc... and suddenly ALL of that WHOLE story line just gets dropped, and the 'container containing the secret capture weapon' is NEVER EVEN USED, or mentioned again! Why did I just listen to 45 minutes of Story about a CONTAINER that is suddenly dropped from the story line????
An "8 Hour Air Canister" is used as a "Suspense Plot'... until it gets inconvenient... then it's revealed that the "8 Hour Air Canister" is REALLY some 'LONG Indeterminate Time Period Canister' due to "scrubbers and re-breathers".. and therefore could handle a two week journey on foot (which somehow becomes only a 6 hour journey on foot... I guess they found a shortcut), but we again have to worry about the '8 hour canister' running out of air again if they can't find air at the destination 6 hours away.
Starting to get the picture?
I rated it 'three stars' mainly just so my rating would keep the current ratings of everyone else the same when the ratings are "Averaged", AND so that MAYBE someone will start a GOOD "Mech" or "POWERED SUIT" Series....
Sorry folks, I REALLY don't mean to bash the Author or book, I'm just pointing out what you're in for... I'm sure *YOU* work as hard for YOUR money as *I* do, and I appreciate people telling me the TRUTH before I decide to buy a book, rather than worrying about if I'm going to get "Likes" or not... "It is, what it is".
For some reason, this book just didn't make my Bunny Hop.
If you could sum up ATLAS 2 in three words, what would they be?
Thrilling Military SciFi: that’s ATLAS 2 in 3 words.
What other book might you compare ATLAS 2 to and why?
It’s no wonder so many real life military love this series, from Captains to Commanders: the book is reminiscent of John Scalzi's Old Man's War, or Heinlein’s Starship Troopers. A group of elite special operations commandos, called the MOTHs, pilot ATLAS mechs, and go through extraordinary trials and adventures on other worlds. The tech is awe inspiring and realistically described (as much as SciFi tech can be), both manmade and alien.
What about Peter Berkrot’s performance did you like?
Peter Berkrot added another layer to the story, and brought it brilliantly to life. It’s amazing what he can do with his voice, how he can switch from a British accent, to a African American slang, to Indian, and back again in a couple of breaths. Berkrot definitely brought the tension up a notch, as well as bringing charm: he even enhanced the humorous scenes.
Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?
I was mesmerized by the combat scenes, both in space with the ATLAS 6’s in an asteroid belt, as well as the great combat scene on the surface of the Tau Ceti moon, and the ATLAS 5 vs. 6 fight. I cringed during the torture scenes and losses, and I cheered during the triumphs. I definitely laughed out loud several times during more humorous scenes, even though this is a serious military Sci Fi.
Any additional comments?
Clearly, Isaac Hooke has a promising, long literary career ahead of him, and Peter Berkrot is an incredible voice actor. Looking forward to listening to ATLAS 3!