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Cynically Sweet (Booklikes)

I'm not the most active user here on Booklikes. In fact, sometimes I forget that it even exists. However, I endeavor to come back and post more stuff that I enjoy.

My reviews aren't guaranteed to be something you agree with and my perspective on books isn't something most people generally want. However, I still hope that there's something you can gain from them and you don't feel as if you've wasted your time reading them.


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Aegis Incursion

Aegis Incursion - S.S. Segran Aegis Incursion is the second book in The Aegis League series by S.S. Segran. In the first book, Aegis Rising, we follow the adventures of a group of five teenagers whose plane has crash landed in Dema-Ki, the hidden valley. With the help of villagers, they learn new powers. However, in Aegis Incursion, it's months after they've returned to their homes. Yet, they've lost their memories of what has happened. Crops are dying all over the world and, on a road trip, the five find that they might be of some use to help their fellow citizens.

In the prologue, we travel to Lake Mead in Nevada. I really found it to be an interest beginning with the plane crash and Elwood seemed like a really interesting character. I loved how he felt he needed to impress Rosemary. However, we saw very little of him afterward, which was such a disappointment. To go on with the main book, the plot from the very beginning of the book, seemed like a repeat of the first; both feature the poisoning or destruction of areas due to the scientific work of a group. To go along with that, both times, the five must find their powers and it seems like they're the only ones who are able to save the day by the end of the book. Yet again, we get mention of some sort of accident which Jag was involved with, even meeting the victim, Roderick who is wheelchair bound. Yet, we have no real explanation of it. Both books have made mention to it, but in neither have we received a proper explanation to it. The bullying of the five was really unnecessary. Firstly, I don't see why anyone would bother bullying them. It seems like it's because of their amnesia, but it's not an interesting enough thing to bully them about. It's just poor writing and I can't figure out what the author's intention was with the scenes in school. They didn't introduce any decent information and nor did they properly explain the events of the first book, so it was essentially a completely unnecessary portion to the book. Furthermore, so many children experience bullying these days. Yet, the moral that the author is trying to portray is to run away from it. None of these five try to deal with it properly. On that note, there's a lot of bullying between the five. Aari is mocked for simply getting his laptop out of his bag, the others referring to him as "Captain Geek". Throughout the novel, they bully him because he takes an interest in science and generally knows more than they do in some topics. In the last book, Kody was bullied very often for eating a lot, which continues in this book also. Consistently, through both novels, he gets mocked that he's always thinking with his stomach. To add "humour" and to lighten the mood, the author often has Kody suggesting that they have something to eat when times get tough. It's just not funny or amusing at all, but it's something the author does so often and I don't think they realise how nasty they have other characters acting towards him. For all the ways they think they need a holiday, none of them really seems interested in enjoying the experience. Every single place they go and everything they do, there's just one complaint after another. It just makes them look like really miserable people, trying to make each other miserable as well.

The road trip is really hyped up by everyone in the book, but it just seems really lame to me. They're not on the trip long, admittedly, but all they seem to do in the car is listen to music and chat. They can do that at home. Yet, the five keep on making comments "we need this". You need it for what? Their lives really aren't so difficult. Sure, they went through some incredible stuff in the first book, but ultimately they can't remember it anyway. The incident with the smoke canister only really seems like it's just to make us feel sorry for them and provide further reason to sight see; "we really needed this after what happened yesterday." In fact, I think that the five all experiencing amnesia was just a tacky portion of the plot. It didn't serve a proper purpose and, in the end, it still wasn't properly explained. The explanation that is later given is that it was so the five's powers would be "undisclosed" to the world. Why bother? They regained their memories and powers within the year. It would have been more practical to simply ask them not to brag and get the five to understand that they should remain quiet on the matter. The thing with the nightmares was badly done as well; it just seemed like an awkward way to use the final battle of the last book as some sort of major portion of this one, when it just had no real place.

I am beginning to think that the five are seriously kind of... stupid. They often seem to lack basic common sense. My first point on this is when they're relearning their powers after the amnesia. They've saved the surfer and they all begin talking about their powers. In public! Later on, they've practiced their powers and they continue to try and show them off in public, with further discussion on them. The whole idea of their memory wipes were so that they wouldn't disclose it to the world. Ironically, that's the first thing they do when recovering from them. They talk and actively practice their powers in public places, even brag about them to Tony. Not to mention, why the heck would they tell Tony? They've only known him a few days, he's obviously suspicious and there was no reason to talk to him about it. The author just makes some of them ignorant about fighting as well. Obviously I'm not an expert, in such things, but some of the characters completely disregard reasonable ways to fight just because they hadn't thought of it. At one point, the girls (while they were being held prisoner) had been fed a sandwich on a paper plate. Tegan ridicules the paper plate that it would not be of any use in a fight. Yet, she (and the author) is completely disregarding the use it can be as a weapon. It could easily damage a person's eyes if they manage to hit the captor in the right place. Also, since paper plates are generally cardboard and not paper, it could be formed to make a version of brass knuckles, which would also provide a hand with a little bit of protection in a punch, as well as doing the damage to the victim. Another consideration I have about this is that, at no point in time did they bother calling the police. The first time they ought to have done it is when the gas canister was used against them. Firstly, they ought to have pressed charges. Secondly, they should have had some sort of medical technician look them over; they had no idea what was really in the canister and, for all they knew, it could have been something really dangerous. It just seems absurd that none of them even considered going to get checked out by a doctor after such an event, which was obviously not a practical joke. Later on, multiple times, several of them are kidnapped. Several times they're shot at and even one of the party does get shot. Yet, none of them make reports with the police. Even the one of them who had been shot refuses medical attention, believing that his own medicine is much more practical than a doctor could provide... Furthermore, after being kidnapped and escaping, once getting to a phone, the character decides to phone another of the five rather than calling the police. When they find what's been destroying the crops, no-one bothers reporting what they saw to the authorities and what they know about it. After their kidnappings, they do have a reasonable amount of knowledge about the organisation perpetrating the events, but they don't bother disclosing that information to the authorities. I just can't understand these characters. Throughout the novel, their intelligence just seems to be dropping and I've pretty much lost any respect for them. They have no common sense and make utterly stupid decisions.

None of the new characters are very interesting. They essentially seem like carbon copies of old characters. Anthony/ Tony is just completely absurd. I just don't understand why the five are so quick to trust him. He's obviously suspicious; the fact that he's pretty much following them everywhere. His storyline is essentially the same as Hutar's in the first book; he pretended to be their friend for the purpose of getting close to them and gaining information, then he betrayed them. One character mentions something along the lines of, "he played us so well. Nobody saw it coming." Of course we did 'cause it was so *beeping* obvious! He follows you around a bunch, just *happening* to appear at all sorts of restaurants and places you visit... How could they not realise? I mean, it's just so painfully obvious!! Also, why the heck would he use his real name with the teenagers? The author doesn't really have unique descriptions of people either. Marshall is originally referred to as a blond Hugh Jackman. Another guy, Liam, later is referred to as an Australian Elvis Presley. The relatives of the five are pretty dull as well. They are all exactly alike; they're nice, respectful and all care deeply for the five. It's just so unbelievable and just seems really fake. Yet, all these parents clamour together and pity the five at great length because "they've been through so much(!)" and "they really need this road trip(!)", yet it's really repetitive. Like I said in my review for the first book, the author doesn't really bother writing original characters; even in this book as well, we only have the "good" characters and the "bad" characters. Even with the "unique" touches the author tries to add, we just end up with characters that are just really stereotypical.

Overall, the book was just a mess. The author writes well. However, in both books, they've had completely dull characters with a cliché plot. The characters make terrible decisions, lack basic common sense and the overall book is just so overly dramatic when the situations aren't as bad as the author makes it out to be. I'm pretty unimpressed with this book. I will not likely read the next one in the series. If I were to read it, I certainly wouldn't want to pay for it. To be honest, I'm pretty glad that I didn't have to pay for these first two novels as I obtained them both for free on Amazon.com.au. I rated the last book three stars, though was considering a two. I definitely don't think this is worth anymore than two; I admit that I like the author's writing style, but none of the characters are even remotely interesting (and the two I have enjoyed out of both books are pretty much both thrown away after the prologues) and the plot of both (they're the same, there's no denying it) is just so generic.