Once again, Sam B. Miller II and John Pirhalla take us on a wonderful storytelling science fiction ride in their continuation of “The Origin of F.O.R.C.E series”, “Dawn of Chrysalis” the second book in this series. Like my review of the first, I give this book an overall five-star rating for its unique and powerful storytelling capabilities along with delightfully developed characters and excellent narration. Whatsit is one of those characters that just seem to make you happy no matter your mood. If you are one who enjoys light-hearted action-packed science fiction stories balancing action and excitement with characters you will actually care about, then the “Dawn of Chrysalis” is a book I would highly recommend you pick up. Be aware, this is the second book in a serial series, so you will want to make sure to read the first one before diving in to the second. Also, this book ends with a cliffhanger, so if you are not one who likes waiting for the next book to be released, I recommend you wait a bit. I’m unsure of the total number of books planned for the series, but I will be listening to the next one when it is released!
I was happy the author included a small prologue before jumping into the story to help remind me of the highlights that took place in the first book. It allowed me to quickly enter into the story and not wonder what occurred or how it fit together while listening to new details. I was pleased to see the author kept the same main characters along with all the banter and fun they had between one another in the previous book. I felt right at home diving into this book. The book contained the same humor and light-heartedness I remembered from the first, however this one also had a more serious or heavy feel to it. Not only do we have many of the same characters, we are introduced to a number of new characters. Relationships grow, and for others they are destroyed in an instant. The book included additional romantic elements I do not remember from the first, but these do not overshadow the main goals of the team and their struggle to endure.
The characters not only face the same enemies they had in the first book, but in this book, they face ones that are even more powerful and ruthless. They have to devise a new plan to see if they can defeat this new enemy or they will become forced servants. This book included bigger ships, bigger battles, bigger teams, along with much improved technology required to survive in an ever-hostile universe. I smiled to hear that Whatsit continues to wear his tan colored sombrero, a green overcoat, and his black boots. Not something one would expect an erect lizard creature to wear, but it seems to fit his personality. I also laughed out loud when I found out one of his favorite earth delicacies, you will have to read the book for find the answer to this one. I want to give credit to the book’s cover art as it really fits the look and feel portrayed in the story itself.
The book contains some light use of language that could be considered vulgar to some, but nothing that would be offensive or considered four-letter words. There is some high-level implied sexual content, but as with language this is not something that would be considered obscene or over-the-top. A few scenes also contain graphic violence that may not be appropriate for very young readers; yet nothing excessive.
I was happy to hear John Pirhalla narrate this book, as he narrated the first book in the series. It helps keep the same feeling within the series and I thought he did an exceptional job with the first book. His narration of this book was of the same quality as the previous one, and I would have expected nothing less. I did notice during times of silence a slight compression or noise resembling cassette tape hiss, I believe this is more related to the method of audio compression either by Audible or when recorded. Nothing preventing someone from listening and enjoying the book. I did not notice any other audio artifacts or issues while listening. The voices were distinguishable, accents done well, and volume consistent.
If you enjoyed the first book, this is one you will want to pick up and continue the journey. If you have not picked up the first book and you like well-written science fiction stories, I recommend you grab and read the first one before moving on to this book. You really need to have a good understanding of the events from book one to enjoy book two. I myself look forward to book three and will be listening to it when released in audiobook format.
Disclaimer: The reviewer received this book at no charge by the author, narrator, and/or publisher in exchange for posting a non-bias review.