Originally posted 06-23-10 on my meta/review blog.
The sequel to Boundary finds the Ares crew getting ready to do a little more exploration, looking for new “Bemmie” bases in the solar system. This may be a somewhat difficult project, since the US is still fuming about the steps taken by Madeline Fathom to ensure that “fair play” would win the day. Funding has definitely become an issue, as well as logistics. Another matter of concern is elements within the European Union, who would like to have access to the next base found (and those same elements may be willing to engage in a little foul play in order to get that access.)
There new faces, one of whom is probably the first openly Tuckerized anime character. (The character is Hohenheim from Fullmetal Alchemist. In the book, he plays a German General and is quite bad ass. His general appearance and personality are very similar to the character, which made me giggle in a slightly inappropriate way during the more serious moments of the story. Mr. Spoor, I love your fan fic, please write more!) There is also a central romantic relationship, featuring Jackie this time around, and a crewmember from the EU ship Odin. The romance is complicated by some espionage committed and an attack on the station that nearly gets Joe Buckley killed, and causes a lot of damage. This results in a very literal space race as Team Ares chases after the Odin in a 65 million year old Bemmie space craft.
There are some great moments in the book; from a scene where A.J. Baker gets to be surprisingly bad ass while rescuing Helen (and while also being kind of dorky) from the bad guys, to where team Ares is deciding whether or not to go after the Odin. There’s a good use of tension and suspense, as well as some comedic moments that keep things from being too grim or serious. I also liked the romantic interactions between the established couples, the romantic yearnings of the not yet paired up, and the overall atmosphere Despite the book’s good points, my general feeling about this book is that it was too short. This book is a very fast “read,” but the story leads to what is essentially a tease-cliffhanger for the next book, which I found to be very frustrating. (Would it have been too hard to add about a couple hundred pages resolve a few things in a way that didn’t leave so many things (and characters) hanging?) That said, I did enjoy the book, and will definitely be getting the sequel. (Which will hopefully be a lot longer; size does matter where books are concerned!)