spoiler free review(mostly)
rating: 2.5 stars
please excuse the excessive amount of time "annoying" was used
Just to give a little context, I started this book immediately after reading The Silence of Six, which is now one of my favorite books of all time as a stand-alone novel. After finishing SOS, I had some pretty big expectations for the sequel Against All Silence, and to be honest... I didn't love it. E.C. Myers is an incredible writer and one of my all time favorite authors but this book was very underwhelming. Let me explain why.
In SOS, we get to meet several characters including Max, Evan, Penny, Risse, etc. The characters were not developed enough to get to know them that well, which don't get me wrong, I actually enjoy the mystery of the characters in SOS. But I was hoping to get a little more character development in AAS, and to get to know the secondary characters a little more. Especially Enzo, I love the idea of him and Max having a brotherly connection etc., but he had little to no importance to the story itself which was a little annoying considering Max was staying with him for 6 months in France. Also Max's mother. Max went to France to search for her, so she should have had more importance to the story, I was definitely annoyed with her character. Penny also annoyed me a lot in the sequel. In SOS, she was this mysterious girl that briefly dated Evan, and was this part of Evan's life that Max knew nothing about. In the sequel I felt like she was just a shell, she was just kind of a forgotten character. To provide an example of how Max developed as a character, I really loved the scene where Max and his mother talk while Penny was in the bathroom, it was just a beautiful scene. What made it special is that, it was completely normal behavior between mother and son at least from my perspective, which is what made it so beautiful, because Max and his mother are far from normal having not seen each other for 5+ year(i forget exactly how many, sorry)! But scenes with Penny were more like a choice of physical intimacy or them fighting. And I also hated how much Penny was trying to force him to help Ada Kisler, and how it seemed that he agreed to help was just to appease her.
I still love this book and SOS and E.C. Meyers. But not enough. In my opinion, SOS is better left as a stand-alone novel. Although, I do feel that my feelings towards SOS have changed slightly because of AAS, I still recommend this series to anyone who loves a good thriller about government conspiracy and hacking.