- Thoroughly enjoyable story with a fun and easygoing protagonist
- Exciting adventure with plenty of action and aliens
- Engaging plot with good pacing with regards to obstacles
- Pacing feels a little off at times especially with the toddlers
- Conclusion to the original problem feels a bit rushed
Earth’s First StarFighter Volume 2 by Han Yang and Michael Angel
Earth’s First StarFighter Volume 2 by Han Yang and Michael Angel continues the epic adventure of Darius Rutledge and his quest to save humanity while carving out a niche for himself in very crowded galaxy of aliens.
One of the appeals of this series is that readers, like Darius, are thrust into a galaxy filled with all types of aliens. And while there are some expository moments where Darius is explaining alien anatomy and some extraneous details, the story invites readers to just accept that these aliens are all different and that for the most part, they coexist and adapt.
This kind of acceptance of the diversity of life in this story universe gives the story a sense of wonder a child has when walking into a nothing-but-candy store or a giant toy store. Once that wonder and awe fades, then there’s the getting down to action: going straight to the toys that appeal. Or in the case of the protagonist, noticing only the details that directly impact the protagonist—or the protagonist’s friends in the case of alien intercourse.
Like the first novel in the series, this one continues the fun and engaging quest that Darius undertakes on behalf of a humanity ignored by the greater galactic police force and exploited by more opportunistic Iglax that partnered with humans in the first book.
However, this time, the relationship between the antagonists of this book and humanity isn’t quite so balanced. The theft of one of Sol’s major planets upsets the natural and stable order in the system.
Darius’ decision to leave Sol system is based in part on the need for credits, but the main catalyst that pushes him back out into the galaxy seems more of an afterthought for the story—an abandoned point almost until the conclusion of the book. Instead, Darius’ goal remains the same from the first story: bring humanity to the stars in order to diversify and reduce the risk of extinction.
This desire to bring humanity to the stars and colonize other planets is the sole focus of the story until the last part of the book when the original catastrophe is concluded in a satisfactory, if not almost rushed, manner. For instance, how does Darius convince his allies to help him given that they’d be risking so much for so little in return? The answer to this question is a bit weak. Friendship seems also like a weak response considering the narrative is so focused on credits.
While the pacing of the story itself is fine, it does feel a little awkward with regards to the infants. That’s the thing with adults—years can pass with few changes when it comes to older protagonists, but younger ones have to grow up. So to have the children be newborns in one chapter and then toddlers and standing up in the next few chapters can a little jarring.
But otherwise, fans of the first book will find much to love in this second book as Darius adds even capital ships to his slowly expanding force, and one can’t help but wonder if Darius will become an admiral with his own fleet taking on missions with billion-dollar payouts.
Earth’s First StarFighter by Han Yang and Michael Angel is a fantastic space adventure story that wraps up nicely, leaving no major loose ends that will annoy readers at the conclusion of the book while at the same time keeping readers looking forward to the what adventures Darius of Tennessee will undertake in the future.
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