This is the second E-force book. I reviewed the first one when that first came out, as it looked like good fun, and I believe I said something along the lines of it's a series with great potential but was slightly let down by mediocre writing, and that I had high hopes for a sequel or three.
Well, this is the sequel, and it was definitely better written than the first. Bits still felt a little awkward (especially at the start), and the characters still weren't fantastically developed in terms of the members of E-force (I still get a few of them mixed up), but the supporting characters who were trying to survive the disaster were pretty well evoked, though there were rather a lot of them involved!
The action was great. Plenty of it, and once it really got started, say from about the third chapter or so, it really was quite well written and engaging. Took no small effort to tear myself away from it for tea.
I think this is a series that (please!) might turn out to be something like the Dirk Pitt books--a long-running series with a core of central characters and then supporting cast brought in as needed. But the closest thing to compare it to would have to be Thunderbirds. In fact, it practically is Thunderbirds, brought into the 21st Century and in adult book form (there is some swearing--though less than many thrillers--and not everyone makes it). So I was amused by the Stingray reference--I imagine that like the character who had watched every episode of Stingray obsessively, the author Sam Fisher has probably watched every episode of Thunderbirds, maybe several times over. Like my brother really. And by extension, myself. I think I've seen most/all of the original Thunderbirds, the new one two or three times, and then a handful of Stingrays and Captain Scarlets.
Whilst being a Thunderbirds fan, or vague appreciator as in my case, is probably not necessary, I imagine it's a bonus. The craft used are effectively Thunderbirds craft, with a few added extras, and rather than a philanthropic family there's instead a group of dedicated rescue personelle with little/no ties to the outside world and thus forming a tight-knit team within E-force.
I thoroughly enjoyed it. Could have been better than it was if the main characters had perhaps been developed a little more--though by the end they were becoming more distinct entities than the Tracy brothers in the original Thunderbirds ever really were--and I think there was a definite improvement in writing style/quality as the book progressed. So I have high hopes for the future of this series.