Oh, Earth Star. What to do with you?
First, let me say this: I loved Earth Girl. It was an astounding book despite a few flaws here and there and I enjoyed it immensely. World-building was pretty good, the romance was boring but it was pretty fulfilling, main character was awesome but perhaps just a bit too awesome, but hey! In the end, I was satisfied, and that's what mattered right? Earth Girl pretty much set up and introduced to us the foundation of the series, so for a sequel, of course I was expecting a bit more plot, a bit more action and suspense, a bit more thrill and enough of the OMG-JARRA-YOU-ARE-RAMBO-PERSONIFIED-IS-THERE-ANYTHING-YOU-CAN'T-DO?
Unfortunately, Earth Star didn't impress me. Actually, it disappointdoed me so much that it hurt.
I wanted to like Jarra, but she annoyed me to no end. I wanted to really believe in her capabilities, but of course the book just had to make her the most impressive person ever and that we should all bow down and kiss her toes. If she was portrayed as awesome-in-everything in Earth Girl, it gets worse here. She was illustrated as too-perfect-to-be-true that every time something happened that showed how speshul she was, I'd get this urge to go ape-shit, because... damn, everything was just fucking ridiculous, really. It's like she achieved Saiyan mode in the first book, and she achieved SUPER SAIYAN mode here... effortlessly. I don't know about you, folks, but there's a fine line between acceptable and comically absurd when it comes to being "awesome".
So we know that she's super talented, well-versed, and knowledgable in a lot of things, and I accept that. She's got guts, she's courageous, and she earned her Artemis medal, the highest accolade ever in the Military. OK, cool. Then in this instalment, the military decides to get her for the Alien Contact Programme, and she is awarded Commander, and we later find out that OF COURSE she was a descendant of Tellon Blaze, that super legendary hero back in the good old days. It was at this point my eyebrows were twitching because sweetheart, do you really have to be THAT fucking special? I was shaking my head because it was becoming borderline unbelievable. And of course, she's the one that thinks of the solution to why the aliens came... besting many others who had a lot more knowledge and experience than her, which led her to leading an excavation. Riiiiiight.
I know the sky's the limit, but seriously? SERIOUSLY?
Not to mention the dialogue and narration were just... bizarre. I don't know but it felt like Jarra was a completely different person from the Jarra I knew in Earth Girl. A lot of the lines were cheesy as hell to me. She kept on giggling at everything ("I giggled."), and every time she kept on mentioning about Fian looking like Arrack San Domex, I wanted to punch a wall and make my fist bleed. It was absolutely horrid. Imagine being in a dire situation and she just had to ruin all the sense of suspense and urgency because Fian looked like Arrack San Domex and she couldn't stop fantasizing about it. GAAAH. I WANTED TO CHOKE HER.
Speaking of Fian, if he was boring in Earth Girl, he sure as hell is even more bland here. Goodness, I get that he's nice, but come on, dude! Have a bit of personality here! Their romance was mind-numbingly boring, and as another reviewer has pointed out, they acted more like an old married couple than anything else. I just wanted to roll my eyes every time they'd throw cheesy mushy lines to each other. Here you have a boring character, and another boring character.... who dared think this would have worked out? I didn't see any chemistry at all in their romance and for the first time ever I was PLEADING to the high heavens for a love triangle to happen JUST SO THEY COULD SPICE IT UP. This Fian/Jarra relationship can easily get the MOST BORING COUPLE award. Congratulations.
The secondary characters were boring as hell, too, and their dialogues weren't memorable at all. Ugh, I wish I took samples, but they were easily forgettable after a page. I wish they had better lines but theirs were just as bad as Jarra's and Fian's. So sad. :(
I don't think I'll be continuing the series. Maybe I will, but I am not going to eagerly anticipate it anymore. If Jarra is going to become more awesome without showing any significant flaws, then I'm jetting out of here.