“Fifty years later we’re still debating this? An obsolete military desperate to justify itself fabricated that war.”
-President John Moore two weeks before the destruction of Europa Base
“Those veterans suffer only from memory implants. They’re a senseless burden.”
-Excerpt from Vice President Samantha Creswell’s California campaign debate
“Please forgive us for what we’ve allowed to happen.”
-Note found in the rubble of the Oval Office
“We won’t make the same mistake they did… They left some of us alive.”
-Fleet Admiral Jeffrey Holt
It was quite some time since I read the first Hammerhead book by Jason Andrew Bond and I have to admit that I have forgotten quite a lot of the finer details. Regardless of this though I would say that this is a rather different book than its predecessor. The original Hammerhead book was quite earthbound and more of a conspiracy thriller with some science fiction elements. This one is a fairly pure alien invasion story and even though it is rather earthbound as well it at least starts off in space.
I have to admit that I was somewhat hesitant and had to convince myself to actually start reading this book after having read the book blurb. Most of the citations in the blurb seems to indicate the involvement of way too many dumbass politicians for my taste and true enough that was also the case. A good part of the beginning of the book is filled with the same type of ignorant and arrogant assholes with egos overinflated by their own bullshit that we have way too many of in real life. Needless to say said dumbasses play a key part in things going from bad to worse rather rapidly at the beginning of the book.
I felt I had a bit of difficulty getting into the book. Maybe it was just because I remembered less than I usually do of the previous installment but I did get the feeling that the book was jumping around a lot before it started to get any clear direction. Once past the first couple of chapters it got better though. Unfortunately a good chunk of the book was still rather frustrating since it was fairly clear to everyone except previously mentioned dumbass politicians, a few equally stupid scientists and overconfident military officers that it was clobbertime and Earth was not on the side doing the clobbering.
Unfortunately, even though the book starts out nice enough with all the action taking place in space, the way the story plays out our heroes are soon finding themselves knocked back to Earth and the rest of the book is more of a traditional Earth bound survive-the-alien-invasion type of story. At this point I do indeed have some issues with the story. I already thought the way the Alien fleet behaved during the retreat back to Earth was somewhat illogical but once down on Earth their behavior just makes no sense to me. Our heroes are basically allowed to fly around back and forth gathering the necessary material, including scores of military aircrafts, without the aliens paying any attention to them. I found that implausible to say the least. Sure they suffer one or two setbacks when the aliens more or less stumble over them but there appears to be no coordinated effort from the aliens to maintain any real control and security.
There are really not that many surprises in the book. Apart from an incredibly frustrating attempt by a intellectually handicapped military officer to screw things up everything plays out more or less as expected. I assume that the author wanted to create some additional chock value with the apparent reason for the invasion but for me it felt like it had just been slapped in like a cool, oh-let’s-do-that thing rather than being thought through. Again, the way the aliens went about things did not feel very logical.
In general I felt that the book was technically well written with good characters and a well told story but the story itself was less than stellar and lacking quite a bit in the logic department. Altogether I felt this was a fairly average book. Not bad but nothing to write home about either.