SPECIFIC IMPULSE by Charles Justiz [Review]

Specific Impulse by Charles Justiz

Specific Impulse features Carin Gonzales and Jake Sabio, who are brought together by chance at the base of a crater in Arizona, where a mysterious explosion kills everyone else in the crater but them. Carin and Jake begin to deal with the consequences of the blast, and it turns out that they are not all good. Soon the duo (who meet up with an unexpected traveling companion) find themselves on a journey to a critical meeting while being chased by both a mafia hitman and federal agents. As their time starts to run out, Jake and Carin find themselves facing a life or death decision with far reaching effects.

To be honest, I’ve never had such mixed feelings about a book before, hence why I gave it two out of five stars. Specific Impulse has some great things going for it as a science fiction novel. The concepts and ideas presented in the book are rooted in good solid science that is both believable and realistic in the context of the book, which is not usually the case in sci-fi novels. For the most part, the action scenes in the book are entertaining to read and well paced. The biggest surprise for me though were the secondary characters in the book, which I found enjoyable and engaging, even the bad guys.

On the other hand, the biggest issue I had with the book was the two main characters, Carin and Jake. Individually, they would each make a good leading character in the mold of Dirk Pitt from the Clive Cussler books. Together, though, they start to wear on me. The characters are too perfect, one’s a NASA scientist who flew in the Air Force, the other a former Navy commander who also flew in the Air Force, and they are both apparently very intelligent about their diverse fields. While this doesn’t seem like an issue on the surface, it just grated on me because it felt like the characters were taking turns lecturing in a condescending manner and it only frustrated me more when they start to speculate about how the explosion in the crater affected them. While the action is a little slow at first, it picks up about a third of the way through the book, but the ending left me wanting more. Also, one of the big reveals in the story doesn’t seem to be addressed enough in the body of the book.

Specific Impulse is age appropriate for teenagers and older, especially fans of science fiction books. The rating of two out of five stars translates as an average book and I wouldn’t personally recommend it, but fans of the Dirk Pitt books or stories with realistic, detailed science may find it interesting. If you want to learn more about the author of Specific Impulse, you can check out his Twitter, Facebook, and personal pages.

Follow me on Twitter @josedaemons

Rating: 2 out of 5 Stars | Publisher: iUniverse (Self-Published) | Pages: 332 | Source: Author | Buy on Amazon

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