Review Detail4.3 1
What I loved:
Jeth's internal struggles and his fights with the Axis implant. These aren't quite the same thing - Jeth is constantly fighting to keep control of himself, but in different ways. He's a hothead, a spitfire, always ready to pick a fight and ask questions later. He'll do anything to keep the people he loves alive, even if it's betraying members of his crew or throwing acquaintances under a bus. That can be a little scary. You're never quite sure if Jeth is going to be able to keep it together long enough to complete a mission. On the other hand, once he gets the super-scary-creepy-gross implant from Dax, Jeth isn't the only one fighting for control of himself. Dax, the Axis, and members of Dax's Brethren mafia are also literally in his head. The mind games are complicated and intense, and I bet they're something a lot of teen boys can relate to.
The ending. I'm not going to spoil it for anyone, trust me, but I seriously wasn't expecting things to get wrapped up so nicely! There is so much action and suspense and betrayal in the last hundred pages of this sci-fi blockbuster that I had no idea how all the deals would be kept, who would still be alive, whether Jeth would meet his goals or what. For a duology, there is a lot of story going on, and completely all the story arcs and finalizing all the plot points was a serious challenge. It was very well done.
What I wanted more of: Side character backstories and relationships. This is the same exact complaint I had about the first book, and it's my only issue with the series. I wanted more depth in the side characters, particularly Jeth's crew. We do get a lot of depth with Aileen, who ends up playing a far larger role in the action than you would expect. However, we're still missing a lot of feeling from Jeth's crew, especially his girlfriend Sierra. Despite that, the whole book is very plot-driven and full of action, so character-focused development doesn't really make sense.
The verdict: POLARIS is a satisfying conclusion to an exciting sci-fi adventure. If you're looking for a heart-racing journey across space with a hot-tempered pilot and his crew, pick up the AVALON series.