I won this in a Goodreads giveaway a couple of months ago and it’s been sitting on my shelf every since. So it was perfect for my Bookshelf Blitz.
Title: Thad Damous and the Intergalactic Conspiracy
Series: Thad Damous; Book 1
Author: Luke Samson
Genre: Science Fiction
ROTS Setting: CU, Instantaneous Travel, Aliens?
Synopsis: Have you ever wanted to spend your summer on an exciting adventure? Well, Thad Damous has and when he gets to his grandparents’ home, he finds an adventure that one can only dream about. Thad meets up with a hermit who lives in one of the caves in Coal Mountain behind his grandparents’ home. The hermit offers an adventure of a lifetime in another world called, M-Core. Thad ends up getting more than he bargained for, and meets a young girl his age. Together they seek to clear the hermit’s name while finding out who really is behind a strange conspiracy that involves transport tubes, spaceships, and a greedy man. Find out if Thad and Tera are able to solve the mystery and help save a man from jail – or worse.
Recommendation: I wouldn’t recommend this book.
My experience with this book can be summed up as diving into a puddle. Even for a children’s novel this book was shallow. If I had read this as an introduction to Science Fiction, as others have lauded, then it would have been the last SciFi novel I would have read. The main reasons I read Science Fiction are missing from this book.
There were three major issues with the book.
First, the characters where very wooden. It felt like they were animatronics following their prescribed instructions. What depth they had was smothered completely. Every character lacked a unique voice with multiple characters speaking or acting in the same manner. Phrases, and word choice/usage being big contributors to this.
Second, the aliens weren’t alien and there was a distinct lack of science. How are they all speaking English? They have animals that are exact facsimiles of Earth animals. The aliens look, think and act like humans with little or no deviation in technology or culture, other than being “more advanced”. Even names and naming conventions were the same or too similar.
There are some indications that this could have been written as “creationist science fiction” so some of these things could be 100% intentional. However, even looking at it from that perspective there should be vast differences in language and culture which just aren’t present in this book.
Third, the plot felt far too convenient. Everything was handed to the characters. Literally.
When all these issues are combined it made for an extremely shallow experience. There is complexity but it’s only skin deep. Additionally there were some low level consistency and clarification issues that I noticed.
I would have to say that I’ve read far worse, but I’m left with the impression that the author didn’t have many beta readers. Things like the science is missing in your science fiction and the characters all talking the same way should have come up.
As a whole the book was a hot mess, but there was a tiny undercurrent that hinted of some real potential. However, as it sits, I will not be reading further in this series.