Friday, September 14, 2007

Mars Hill Classified, Part 2

Title: The Proof

Series: Mars Hill Classified #2

Author: Austin Boyd

Genre: Adult Near-future Science-fiction

Excerpt from Chapter 1 of The Proof:

Monday, July 30, 2012: Cape Canaveral, Florida

Simon flinched as the roar and snap of igniting solid rocket boosters boomed across Cape Canaveral. Alone behind a line of tall bleachers, the nine-year-old glanced at the Space Shuttle as it soared skyward, momentarily diverted from the mysterious wave of swaying reeds in a nearby marsh.

“T plus thirty, passing ten thousand feet,” a voice boomed from big speakers in front of the people in the bleachers: his mother, uncle, and hundreds of strangers—important people, he’d been told. Simon watched for a moment, then jogged on toward the fascinating swamp.

Something large was moving in the marsh. As he ran closer, he could see a line of tall cattail stalks waving, probably pushed aside by some giant water creature swimming past.
Alligators! Simon dashed to the water’s edge, pulled off his shoes and socks, and stepped without hesitation into the black water. Sinking knee deep into muck, he crept between sharp blades of saw grass into the bog.

An astronaut flies to Mars to investigate the evidence of alien spiders.

The Writing: What shall I say? The Proof is even better than The Evidence. With the complex foundation now laid, the tension picks up where we left off in book one and never looks back. While some information from book one is reiterated near the beginning, Mr. Boyd does it so well that I barely notice it, even though I read the books back to back. I imagine it would be near invisible to someone who reads the books months apart.

The characters continue to be quite likeable, and flashes of humor endear them further. (Come on—who can’t appreciate the humor of golfing by Venus?)

In the style of The Evidence, the points of view remain a bit fragmented. But now the reader is acquainted with most of the characters and a rhythm has been established, making the shifts easier to track.

Overall, The Proof is near-impossible for me to pick apart at this stage of my writing training. And while I’m sure there are some flaws, this story works. In the end, that is all that really matters.

The Story: The spiritual thread weaves in and out of the story, just as before. Always there, but never intrusive. The character growth progresses at a steady rate and in a logical manner. There is even a conversion scene in the midst of everything, and for once I didn’t mind at all! The scene fits seamlessly and logically in the fabric of the story, just as it should.

My single problem with The Proof is that a couple of the graphic scenes are a bit over the top for me. However, those scenes are integral to the story, so I can’t think of any way to tone them down or to avoid it. It also helps these scenes are few and fairly far apart.

Summary: The Proof is another excellent read, even better than the first! The series remains more guy-oriented and great for those who favor suspense or thrillers. Highly recommended for readers fifteen years and up.

Rating: 4.6 out of 5 stars

Can't wait to get your hands on book 2? Order The Proof here.

(Click to see the reviews for Book 1 and Book 3.)

1 comment:

Becky said...

Well, I meant to post that comment that ended up under your review of The Evidence here. I haven't read that post and will go do that now.

The main point I wanted to say, and forgot, was that I really agree--I think The Proof is a better book than The Evidence.