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Book Review: Spooky Action at a Distance

Spooky Action

  • Title: Spooky Action at a Distance
  • Author:  Felicia Watson
  • Series: Lovelace Series, #2
  • Genre: Sci-Fi
  • Publishing Date: March 3rd, 2020
  • Publishing Co.: D.X. Varos, Ltd.
  • Length: 268 pages
  • Format: Kindle, Paperback
  • Acquired: Given free print copy in exchange for an honest review
  • Amazon Link: Spooky Action at a Distance

Lt. Naiche Decker has finally found a place to call home–complete with the father she never knew–on the ship he commands. Now her new home is going on a rescue mission to the farthest reaches of known space to look for a missing scientific expedition. Did the odd phenomena they were researching claim them or are they still lingering out there, just waiting for help to come?

This sequel to We Have Met the Enemy continues Lt. Decker’s story as well as those who also serve about the Lovelace.

First Chapter Challenge:

The novel starts off with Deck already up to no good as she illegally plays with some new technology, her best friend Con at her side. There’s some tension between Deck and the pilot who finds her, Jacoway, and I’m excited to see how this plays out between them! It’s also alluded to that Deck and Ricci have taken their father-daughter relationship so many steps further than where they ended in the first book, so I am ready to see what that looks like. Already off to a good start from this first chapter! Makes me want to keep reading. 

Final Judgment: 3.5 Stars out of 5

You can see my review of the first book in the series, We Have Met the Enemy, here!

Decker and Con are at it again on the Lovelace, piloted by Deck’s father Captain Ricci. This time, they’re on a rescue mission to go retrieve a couple of their ships from the Expanse, an area of the universe that defies normal science. And not only that, but the Expanse seems to be collapsing… And when it does, the 80 lives aboard those two ships will be gone. Forever. 

To start off with, the writing, as it was with the first book, is phenomenal. The characters are dynamic and authentic. They seem to lead real lives with real problems. And the specificity with which Watson is able to regale us with tales onboard a space ship and traveling to difference planets with different species… Well, I’m no science expert, but it all sounds highly plausible to me. Which is saying something considering it’s a sci-fi! To make it realistic is a deserved feat. 

However, there were a few things that were bothersome, forcing me to lower my rating. The first, along the lines of characterization, was that all of the characters sounded the same in their dialogue. They used the same slang, colloquialisms, and spoke with the same cadence. This almost negated their brilliant authenticity as mentioned above, as it brought me out of the story and reminded me that these are simply characters written on a 2D page. 

Another aspect involving characterization was that the development between and within characters was lacking in this book–which is the opposite from the first. In fact, even though there was potential for Jacoway and Deck to have a great character arc together, their two characters instead immediately made up within the first third of the book without any sort of conflict. Deck and her father, Con and Deck, Ricci and Lindstrom, etc. All the characters seemed to already have completed any growth prior to this novel. That was a large let down for me, as I tend to enjoy the character-driven stories the most. 

Additionally, the book lacked plot as well. Similar to the first novel, the ending was relatively anticlimactic. There were large stakes, but I never felt them as a reader. It was all just… meh. Either they did it or they didn’t. It also didn’t help that the Lovelace continually diverted their main mission to work on spontaneous side missions of little impact.

Lastly, we didn’t get to see much about the other species as I would have expected. Finding a completely new race of beings, so different from our own carbon-based lifeforms, I would expect to be a big deal. But the characters don’t seem to care much about learning about other races–or speaking with them to divert conflict before going into all-out war without knowing the other side. 

Overall, this story is a quick and fun read! Perfect for a low-stress escape into another world. 

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