Science fiction and everything it holds brings us so many possibilities. When books or movies in the past mentioned an invention that wasn’t present at the time but would be around in the future, it is called an accurate prediction. But is it mere coincidence? Or a mere Nostradamus-like prediction? Or is it that the inventors took inspiration from these mentions and brought it to fruition? I wouldn’t be surprised if it was that last option because art IS inspiring. Yashesh Rathod’s Steven Johnson and the Mission series is one such that made me wonder: will this all be available to us in the future? In a futuristic, a dark Jetsons-like setting, this series follows Steven Johnson on his many adventures, the first of which I’ve already read and reviewed here: Steven Johnson and the Mission 1.
This book starts off with Steven Johnson and his partner walking through the streets of Hong Kong, wearing gas masks because of a bio-attack that has happened just 48 hours prior. A scientist called Dr. Serizawa, who had been secretly working on a bioweapon, has now disappeared. But word is that he might have sold this weapon. Who has he sold this to and what do these people want? They are prepared to attack more cities with the weapon and flatten them to the ground. Steven Johnson and his partner must eliminate these terrorists before they can take the lives of more innocent civilians.
How money affects rational thinking and how it causes greed to burgeon while having no concern for the lives of fellow human beings, a bleak picture of how the world will look like during the aftermath of a bio-attack, and the lives of people who are trying to get by in this rather apocalyptic future – all of these are details that you will pick up as you read the book.
With a pace that has you panting to keep up, Steven Johnson and the Mission 2 matches up to its predecessor. It is action-packed, the descriptions giving you vivid mental images to transport you to wherever it is taking place. Be it fighting on rooftops, swinging across them, or busting into a facility to retrieve people and important information, this book has it all. The best part is that it won’t take you long to read. Perhaps 3 hours at the max. I finished it in one sitting, and that’s saying something because I’m usually way too twitchy to do that.
However, that’s not to say that the book doesn’t have its own shortcomings. As I’ve mentioned in previous reviews of the author’s books, the writing leaves much to be desired. It is packed with details that make the reading fun, but it is these very details that overwhelm you because of how many there are and how unnecessary they become in context. ‘Show, not tell’ isn’t a forte of this book, for there are so many places where the author is spoon-feeding the reader instead of letting the context and the actions speak for themselves.
The premise is fabulous, as for the previous book, but it falls short when it comes to its execution. Which is a shame because it has so much potential.
It’s still a fun read, if you’re willing to put aside all the negatives that I just mentioned and just follow the journey for the story. It’s my personal opinion that a little more work would elevate it to better heights.
Here’s where you can buy the book: Steven Johnson and the Mission 2.
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