Review: Ithaka Rising by LJ Cohen



Publisher: Interrobang Books

Publishing Date: June 2015

ISBN: 9781942851912

Genre: SciFi

Rating: 2.2/5

Publisher Description: When Jem disappears, Barre and Ro race to find him before he sells his future and risks his mind for a black market neural implant. But locating The Underworld along with its rogue planet Ithaka has political consequences far beyond what Halcyone’s crew imagine, pitting Jem’s life against deadly secrets from a war that should have ended forty years ago.

Review:  I missed reading the first in this series, “Derelict”. By all accounts it is very good and not really pivotal in understanding the world building that continues in “Ithaka Rising”. 

A generational, made for YA, SciFi novel set in deep space. The main characters are youngish and ruled by their emotions. There is much clenching / grinding of teeth, hurt looks and sour saliva mouth gulping. It is too bad that the novel verged on the patterned with regard to Jem. Jem is speshul. He’s a brilliant and caring kid that behaves better than his parents whom you just want to hug while ruffling his hair. Throughout the entire novel you have to wade through Jem’s roiling stomach, lurching gate, dizzy spells, throw up, darting eyes and snarky attitude. We get it. He has a brain injury. The characters of Ro and Barre are also brilliant and super speshul. They can hack any system, fix any ship and find a hidden planet that the Commonwealth with all their military might, have not found in 40 years,…. in a day. Riiiiiiight.

Most of the novel revolves around coffee. Where to get it, what it tastes like, why its bad, when to get it and where the good stuff is. Besides the frequent use of the phrase “pooling of sour tasting saliva” or derivatives on the theme, I liked the story-line. The characters just fell flat. Developing all the characters that wear their emotions on their sleeves does not create depth nor does it balance the character in opposition to their brilliant genius personas. It is a way to get around fully developing a complex character.

A note to the author, you can’t taste your own saliva.




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