REVIEW by Alicia: Unstable Prototypes by Joseph Lallo (@jrlallo , @mamaxsix)
Following his last adventure, Trevor “Lex” Alexander’s life has managed to return to normal. He’s back to splitting his time between delivering packages and transporting passengers, along with the occasional foray into testing highly experimental equipment. He’s even gotten back together with his girlfriend Michella Modane, who has been launched to stardom by her coverage of the Bypass Gemini incident. Yes, things are going quite well for Lex. But in his life, luck like this never lasts long.
Sure enough, while he is preparing for a rare visit from Michella, he receives word that the reclusive inventor Karter Dee has been kidnapped. The eccentric and slightly deranged inventor’s checkered past has made getting the authorities involved out of the question. That has left “Ma”, the AI in charge of cooking his meals and reining in his insanity, with few options. She has reached out to Lex as one of the few people she can trust, and needs him to help assemble a team of Karter’s former allies to take him back before his latest contraptions can be put to work terrorizing the populace at the hands of his captors.
I’ve been giddy about writing this review from the first chapter. I was bit worried that some of my fav characters would be a no show, and that the book wouldn’t be as good as the first. I was wrong on both accounts! Not only did my fav characters return, I was introduced to more! And, it’d be a tough debate, but I dare say this one was better than the first!
We start off with Lex…who has returned to his “normal” life, his girlfriend, (who I’m still not a fan of. I think I would have liked it much better if he ended up with the AI as weird as that sounds…) and for the first time in many years no need to worry about rent. All is hunky dory. Then a bizarre kidnapping takes place and we’re off!
This is where your five point seat harness is in need, a few sticks of chewing gum and NO distractions!
Action! There is SO much action, it’s fantastic. Spaceships blowing up, hand to hand combat in zero gravity, it’s all there. I really liked the fact that yes, people did die in gruesome ways, BUT it is left up to your own imagination on how you see it. Then there’s the interaction between the characters. Many times I was laughing out loud, and slapping my knee. I’m not sure if Mr. Lallo intended this to be a Sci-fi/comedy book, but it is. The sci-fi techy talk is there (naturally) but again it wasn’t so in depth that I did any skimming. Much of it is actually fascinating and I’d catch myself thinking about it long after I put the book down. Lex really isn’t our main man in this story- he’s there all right but the story isn’t centered around him. Enter Karter. A complete MAD scientist/engineer doesn’t care if you get parts of your body blown off testing his inventions as long as you can give him good feed back. He is a complete whack job and I love him. Would trust him with my life. He’s more interested in self preservation and at one point Garotte said it perfectly : ” you make doing all the right things for the wrong reasons an art form”…or something along those lines. He is by far my fav character. Then there’s Ma. The AI who is learning to become more human like every day- she was great. And now I really want a Squee Really all the characters are wonderful. Even the big bad was great. Details were not left out, you could actually kinda sorta understand the bad guy’s reasoning, and then common sense set in.
This is not a short read, but you don’t get lost in the length or become bored at all. At least I didn’t. If you’ve never read sci-fi because you’re too worried about all the sci-finess I’d give this a read. Now I’m looking for other sci-fi books to get my nose in!
And as far as the “mom” rating… I’d give it a strong PG leaning towards PG-13, but only because it does have a few instances of naughty language, but not super naughty language. My 11 yr doesn’t get to read it just yet….
5 Stars for sure!
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