Reprieve: Cool idea dragged down by nonsense science.

Reprieve (Phoenix Wars, #1) by C.R. Daems.
My rating: ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ (barely) out of 5 stars.

You have glioblastoma, an incurable brain cancer, and have less than a month to live. What price would you be willing to pay for a cure? Any price? Are you sure?

Would it be worth agreeing to join an alien nation offering a cure but without any of the messy details?
* who and what are the aliens,
* proof they can cure you,
* why they want people from Earth,
* the alien’s specific needs,
* what they expect from those they cure,
* but knowing they will never see Earth again.
Kayla, a seventeen-year-old teenager, and others with an assortment of lethal medical conditions are about to find out the price of life.

I really liked the story idea for this book and I have to admit that I did enjoy reading it but the book is really dragged down by amateurish implementation and total lack of scientific knowledge by the author.

The idea of aliens picking up humans to fight for them because of our mentality being more suited for warfare than the rather pacifistic aliens is not really new. Them picking terminally ill people and curing them, if they are willing to enlist that is, is perhaps a more novel take on that idea though.

I like the idea and in general I like the story. The main protagonist is quite likable although she is quite young. The story and its progression is rather simplistic and I would say that the book is borderline young adult.

I got a bit scared when one of the “abducted” humans started harping about transgenders early on in the book but luckily it was dealt with in a good way rather quickly.

What drags the book down though is the rubbish science. The fact that the story is simplistic and takes a few shortcuts so to say, that I can live with. However it is quite clear that the author lacks basic knowledge when it comes to science and that he has not been bothered to read up even on basic facts.

For instance, percent of the speed of light is not a measure of acceleration. In a science fiction book such basic errors are quite disturbing. Also, this K-box concept to calculate fairly simple numbers? The author actually expect the pilots to input these numbers in the middle of a combat situation. Seriously? This should just be done more or less automatically. Especially since most of the input should be known by the flight computer anyway.

Overall it could have been a really cool story if it would have been written with some more scientific skill and, I dare say, with a bit more dept and adult attitude towards the implementation of the story. Now it falls a bit short of the mark.

I will probably have a go at the next book in the series as well just to see how the story develops. The books was fairly enjoyable to read after all but it is still very barely getting a 3 out of 5 star rating from me.

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