The classic science-fiction space adventure continues in Second Skin, Too, with interplanetary war, alien visitations and a couple of people just trying to keep a lid on everything!
I was freaking thrilled when Peter Darrach contacted me to review Second Skin, Too, the sequel to Second Skin. Despite my initial hesitations with the first book, I ended up loving the characters and story, and while Second Skin, Too slipped up a bit at the end, it was still a very enjoyable sequel. I’m very hopeful about the next book, though. I want more of the aliens! Why weren’t there more aliens?! Also, a warning, there may be some spoilers for the first book, so just go read the first review if you haven’t read the book ;-).
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Title: Second Skin, Too
Author: Peter Darrach
Pages: 316 (paperback)
Genre-ish: Classic Space Sci-fi
Rating: ★★★★☆ - Great characters, lagged a little
Setting: Second Skin, Too is set in the future when Mars and the Moon have been colonized and asteroid mining has become a major industry. In the previous book, we had our first encounter with an alien species, showing that we aren’t alone in the universe, though most of the human population doesn’t know that. Tensions have steadily risen between Mars and Earth as Mars pushes for more and more independence from Earth, leading, some think, to an inevitable war.
Premise: Tensions with Earth have reached the point that Mars needs to send a peacekeeping mission for talks to Earth, and Max Cody and his fiance Elaine are headed to Earth. Previously Max was damaged and repaired by an alien creature, and now has super-human capabilities, which will come in use when he and Elaine go up against a warmongering company bent on war between Earth and Mars, including a CEO who will go to literally any extremes to get what he wants.
- Once again, Darrach is very good at making a realistic sci-fi setting. I believe his details about the ships and mining operations, and even about Max’s super powers. Everything in Second Skin, Too is backed up with thoughtful and plausible semi-science ;-).
- Max and Elaine (and Marion and Daniel, other secondary characters) are freaking awesome. I’m not usually a romance person, but Darrach does a wonderful job with happy and healthy adult romances where both parties are able to lead successful lives in addition to their personal involvements. It’s awesome and a model for romances everywhere.
- More aliens! Towards the end of Second Skin, Too we get a few more hints and then some big reveals about the aliens involved in Max’s accident earlier. Learning more about Max’s second skin was definitely my favorite part!
- I’m really not sure what is going on with these covers…. This one and the first one, they just turn me off majorly. How do you feel about Second Skin, Too’s cover? Also the title is just awkward to type…. I am just always disappointed to see awesome stories wrapped in less than awesome packaging, since it keeps people from discovering their amazingness!
- Politics do not interest me…. It’s a problem. The main plot of Second Skin, Too is the war and trying to prevent the war and the peace talks and blah blah blah. I didn’t honestly care that much, which made it hard for me to pick up the book sometimes. For a book with such an awesome setting and freaking fantastic characters, there really should have been some adventure!
Let me just say, I’m really hopeful about the third book, Tavern at the End of the Universe. First of all, that’s a great name. Second, it alludes to a lot more adventuring going on. These books have so much potential, but so far the plots just don’t seem to have taken advantage of it! In any case, if you like character driven books, Second Skin and Second Skin, Too are right up your alley. Max and Elaine are characters that I honestly feel like I’m friends with. Elaine feels like a big sister to me. I really enjoyed Second Skin, Too both for the interesting setting, technology and the comfort of characters that felt like friends. It’s just nice to read books like that ya know? Now if we could work on these covers…. I’m feeling something with a spaceship…. Thoughts?