Intelligent Design II: Apocalypse left me more confused than interested from the beginning. Whether or not a reader has read the first book in the series, the storyline and scenes in this second book are chaotic and confounding. Without sharing clear descriptions of the characters and the scenes, there is little to entice a reader to continue. On top of that, the author has a tendency to jump ahead of himself, often leaving the reader to wonder what is really going on or how to connect the dots. Sometimes, Erickson will eventually make it more evident, but there were times that I never felt as though I could make sense of what was truly happening to the characters, the planets or within the plot overall.
Other times, I felt like I needed a spreadsheet or flowchart to keep track of who the characters even were. One example occurred fairly early on when Erickson wrote of a battle that Andrea Perez's father was to enter into. During this section, Erickson would talk about him as Perez the Elder or Anthony while he would write of Andrea as Perez the Younger, Andrea or simply Perez. The shifts between these descriptions of the two wasn't graceful, and it often made it challenging to know exactly who was talking or being spoken of. Giving a variety of names for individuals exacerbates the confusing way the story is written.
Furthermore, writing of keepers or master computers and then hinting that they are gods or creative sources leaves the mind boggled. Clarity and intriguing descriptions that lead a reader down a path of discovering a fantastic mystery is far more likely to hold a reader's interest.
The basic premise of the book is interesting and has potential. A hidden planet and beings moving back and forth between planets is easily a plot that will draw in fans. Even more readers and fans could be interested in such a story when Earth is facing apocalyptic devastation. Yet, Intelligent Design II needs work. The story needs to flow more and leave readers hanging onto the edge of their seats versus having to go back repeatedly to understand what is actually happening in the story.
On a final note, I love the quotes of The Buddha. However, I don't see how they really fit into this book. They simply seem out of place. – (3 stars) Janelle Alex, Readers’ Favorite
JM Erickson pens a thrilling science fiction novella in Intelligent Design II: Apocalypse. The action continues for the Sol System’s Architects.
Everything is about to change drastically. There is no doubt that Jupiter will explode. The result will be a second sun. What will happen to the existing planets? The Martian, Architect Janus, with the help of his master computer, calculates and simulates the outcome. Mars and Venus will be bombarded with asteroids, and the new-found planet Terra will remain intact, but Earth will experience an extinction level event. As the senior species, Janus warns Terra and Earth of this unexpected event. Andrea Perez stays on Terra and leads an expedition drill team into Terra’s crust, discovering a new subterranean habitat. Andrea’s father, Anthony Perez, returns to Earth. After his return, Anthony joins forces with his close friend, Christine Reich. Together they warn the powers that be, and then prepare for the worst. As the time draws near, Architect Janus discerns that Jupiter’s ignition is no random act; could it be a prearranged plan of superior beings? Will answers be found in the great beyond, in the void of time and space? Or will these events create more questions. Only time will tell.
Intelligent Design II: Apocalypse is the sequel to JM Erickson’s Intelligent Design: Revelations. By including a list of characters, Erickson introduces, or reminds the reader, of the events and roles of the characters in the previous book. (This was a great help, as I had not read the first book.) As in any good science fiction book, the alien species have their own unique descriptions, abilities and culture, setting them apart from humans or “Earthies.” The prologue contains a mysterious narrative hook which draws the reader immediately into the story.
Intelligent Design II: Apocalypse takes you deep into the solar system, changing settings often, from the hidden voices in the dark, to the underground domains of Terra and Mars, to the floating cities of Venus.
On Earth, the good guys battle not only time, but those who want to stake their claim to or stifle the knowledge of life on other planets. The impending cataclysmic event is the propellant behind the action; the story accelerates as “time” is running out. As a reader you anxiously await the climax, yet uncertainty remains as the story unravels towards its end. The prevalent theme is depicted in the quotes of Buddha at the beginning of each chapter: to live each day as your last day in harmony with one other. Erickson concludes this action-packed science fiction saga by planting philosophical ideas and truth-seeking questions; what is really out there, and who are the voices in the darkness? – (5 stars) Cheryl E. Rodriguez, Readers’ Favorite
Intelligent Design II by JM Erickson is a great read for those who like science fiction. Andrea Perez, also known as Perez the Younger, was born on Earth, but now lives on Terra, a planet on the opposite side of the sun, and a planet which Earth cannot see. Living on Terra, she is part of the engineer-warrior caste system. Her job is to keep the planet's holographic emitters running, so Terra remains hidden from Earth. But a bigger problem is arising. Jupiter is igniting into a sun, and the Terrans are about to discover an experiment deep under the Terran crust. On Mars, Master Architect Janus and his Master Computer can't find an explanation for this weird event. Although Earth and Terra aren't far from disaster, there is new change for Venus and Mars. Throughout this story, watch as the apocalypse arrives, changing the universe and bringing alive the world of Hades.
I loved Intelligent Design II by JM Erickson. It was evident that he did a lot of research on astronomy and earth science, and did a great job writing about it. There aren't many mature scenes, although the wording can be complicated for young adults. I noticed that this book did use some big words in it, and I recommend it for adults who like to read science fiction stories. This book is also good for older teens who are interested in astronomy and earth science. – (5 stars) Micaela Alpert, Readers’ Favorite