Release Date: October 30, 2014
Chorkle and its human friends, Hollins, Becky, Nicki, and Little Gus have been warped to a strange new galaxy far away from the human's parents and too close to their enemy. With their security shield on the fritz, the decision is made to go to the planet below, which they have identified as Kyral with supposed allies, to seek help. However, when Chorkle's originator doesn't return, Gelo is thrown into political turmoil from a power-hungry Xotonian named Sheln. It is up to Chorkle and its human friends to mount a rescue. Things quickly get out of hand though as an enemy fighter stows aboard and nearly gets them all killed. Their ancient allies after being conquered by the enemy are almost incapable of helping. Kalac is still missing. Chorkle isn't sure if they will ever find what they need to get off planet, let alone to reunite the humans with their parents.
I have made it no secret that Space Rocks!, the first book in this series, is one of my favorite books to come out this year. Full of action, an interesting (dare I say, unique) narrator, and some great sci-fi elements, it felt like the sci-fi books that made me fall in love with reading. For the Love of Gelo is a worthy sequel.
Although these are all the same characters from the first, a couple of new and interesting characters emerge who both frustrate and complicate the situations they are put in. O'Donnell has done such a good job with the world building that it was easy to get upset, frustrated, and despondent just like the characters do. The planet of Kyral is so sad, a conquered place where all their technological advancements were utterly destroyed, leaving the bird-like creatures there to live in relative squalor, fighting one another over traps and food. We are also given a bit of insight into their enemy the Vorem, a warlike race where the word peace doesn't exist. I also cannot express how much I love Little Gus. The youngest of the human group, he is funny, mostly confident, and an all-around cool guy. Also, bonus points for a red-headed boy being in the story. There aren't very many male red heads running around in fiction.
I don't have a whole lot of criticism. There were one or two preachy moments about everyone getting along, peace, and people being multi-faceted, but they were relatively short and weren't out of sync with what was happening in the context of the story. You will have to read the first book to know what is going on, but I promise this will not be a chore. All in all a very solid sequel. A definite go-to series for the reluctant reader.
My only question is, where is book 3?