Book Review: Mercury Rises by Robert Kroese

Jean-Paul’s Rating: 3/5 Stars

“Mercury Rises” is book two of the Mercury trilogy by Robert Kroese.  The first book, “Mercury Falls”, was a fun book that kept me smiling and chuckling to myself from start to finish.  Unfortunately, the second book fell pretty flat.  It is still an enjoyable read, but it is lacking the pacing and comedic timing of the first.  This may be an expectations thing since I had none going into the first and was pleasantly surprised and so had higher expectations for the second as a result, but the wit just didn’t seem nearly as witty.

I think the biggest problem may be pacing.  The first two-thirds of the book spends time bouncing back and forth between 2,000 BC and present day.  While the 2,000 BC events are amusing and debatably necessary, I think it would have been a better idea for Kroese to just go in chronological order.  Things would likely have flowed much better than they do with the time tripping.

The last third of the book does have some of the magic that the first book had.  The climatic scene had me guffawing in delight.  It’s just a shame that it took so long to get there.  As Kroese is wrapping up the book, there are hints that he is somewhat aware of the lack of awesomeness that occurred in the first book. Kroese, through one of the characters, gives a little exposition about being asked to write a trilogy when the first book which was supposed to be a stand-alone takes off.  It’s much appreciated self-deprecating humor.

Book three is next for me and I hope Kroese finds his voice again.  If “Mercury Rises” were the first book in the series, I don’t think I’d have gone on to book two, but the power of book one gives me all the impetus I need to give Kroese a mulligan.