Review: Achilles | Teens That Run around in Space & Die

Achilles by Greg Boose is a sci-fi adventure story with a lot of adventure and action but lacks character depth. That title was not a joke, almost all the characters die in this book and I’m sorry if I spoiled you.

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The year is 2221, and humans have colonized an earthlike planet called Thetis in the 34713811Silver Foot Galaxy. After a tragic accident kills off dozens of teenage colonists, Thetis’s leaders are desperate to repopulate. So the Mayflower 2, a state-of-the-art spaceship, sets off across the universe to bring 177 new recruits to the colony.
For Jonah Lincoln, an orphaned teen who’s bounced between foster homes and spent time on the streets of Cleveland, the voyage is a chance to reinvent himself, to be strong and independent and brave the way he could never be on Earth. But his dreams go up in smoke when their ship crash-lands, killing half the passengers and leaving the rest stranded–not on Thetis, but on its cruel and unpeopled moon, Achilles.
Between its bloodthirsty alien life forms and its distance from their intended location, Achilles is far from an ideal resting place. The situation is already dire, but when all of the adults suddenly disappear, leaving the teenage passengers to fend for themselves, Jonah doubts they’ll survive at all, much less reach Thetis. Especially when it appears Achilles isn’t as uninhabited as they were led to believe.

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Let me just say from the start, this book could have been really good. It had the potential to be so much more than it ended up being. This is because the author made one vital flaw: the characters. The book starts off with Jonah’s ship crashing, and on the ship, there are a lot of people. You don’t get to know many of those because the majority is death after the crash. However, you do get to know A LOT of characters, and most of them aren’t even important. In the beginning, I thought a few characters were important to the story but ended up dying really soon after you even get to know them. This made me question why I should bother remembering names and characters if the author’s gonna kill them off anyway.

So throughout this story of killing characters (because that’s basically what happens), none of them really made an impression on me. The only character I remember by name is Jonah and that’s only because he was the main character. Jonah has an interesting background, he’s an orphan, struggles with his past, etc, but that is barely explored at all! I would have loved to get more insight in Jonah’s life and how it has affected him, instead of this weak backstory that seems only to be there to give him some interesting characteristics. Because basically, Jonah doesn’t have much of a character. Not that the other characters had much of one either.

The story goes on as these kids (whose names I can’t remember) run around on a moon, bickering, fighting and overall never seem to agree on A N Y T H I N G. It gave me strong The 100 vibes, which is not a good thing. The immaturity of the characters started to annoy me so much.

The antagonist of this story did not seem to have any more depth than being a psychopath and enjoying killing people, which is pretty much the same amount of depth the characters had tbh. I can go on and on about these characters… but I think I made my point.

The writing style didn’t have anything special to it if you ask me and even was cringy at times. With sentences like “it’s as if he’s been blown to pieces, and he falls over like a tower of toy blocks.” it didn’t impress me much. Seriously, what kind of simile is that?

 

Let’s end this on a bright note, the story had a lot of adventure and action. There was something going on at all times and I liked that! I found a quote that really represents the story if you ask me:

He almost died. Again.

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To conclude, I am giving this book 2 stars because I honestly struggled with finding good points for this review. It had a lot of adventure but with a serious lack of character depth and constant bickering, I found it very hard to keep reading this book. I have skimmed entire chapters because I just didn’t feel like it was worth my time. But perhaps, if you liked The 100th, you might enjoy this one. I don’t remember much about The 100 (the book), but I watched part of the tv-series and I felt like the character dynamics and story elements were quite similar. I will not say I recommend this book but if you wanna read it, don’t let me stop you!

Some more positive reviews that might change your mind: 4-stars, 4-stars, 3-stars.

I would like to thank Diversion Publicity and Netgalley for this e-galley, this has not affected my opinion in any way.

9 thoughts on “Review: Achilles | Teens That Run around in Space & Die

      1. That’s the thing, it doesn’t say a thing about teens in space 😀 Scott Kelly is a real astronaut, and his memoir tells of actual life in the orbit (he lived there for a year) and astronauts’ life in general. Turns out, nobody really goes to space before they’re way into their 30s at least. Most people go in their 40s. It takes years and years of training (and not just skill, but problem solving and subordination). There are many reasons why teens in space wouldn’t be plausible, and it’s emotional challenges and hormones for starters. It’s just a period in life when we don’t tend to be very level headed (at least from what I remember about me and my friends?), and space situations are literally live or die. It’s not a place for emotions. Also, flight training takes decades… But I guess fiction will be fiction, and it has to be, well, fictional 😀 however, after reading an actual memoir about space… You just start looking at things differently, not to speak about the respect you suddenly develop for all those people who actually work for decades to go into space. Which is why it’s kind of sad to think that we don’t write fiction to show characters to have worked for it. They are just young, healthy and beautiful and they don’t need to bust their guts for it. They win because they’re young. What of the hard work? Most people don’t even know how much real astronauts work and risk. I feel like maybe we should give something back to that generation as well, not only go on about how young = everything. That’s how I feel 😀 sorry about the rant!

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      2. I see! However, the characters in 27 Hours are not flying around in a spaceship, they were born on a planet in outer space, where like their ancestors or whatever created a colony, so it’s a little different. But I can definitely see why that would change your views on having teens in space! I mean, I read a book in which this 19-20-ish year old was flying a spaceship by himself, that was a little crazy.

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