The Second Ship walks on hallowed sci-fi ground and goes where many stories have gone before, the rumored alien ship crash in 1948 in Roswell, New Mexico; but Richard Phillips does bring a unique twist to his version of the tale. That twist is that a second ship also crashed at the same time but remained undiscovered by the US government. Of course since this is a young adult (YA) novel that second ship is eventually found by 3 high school students that live in the area. They make their discovery at about the same time that the US government comes clean about the first ship that they have kept secret for so many years. These kids decide keep the discovery to themselves and use their secret alien technology to uncover the true motivation behind the President's bold promise to freely share advanced alien technology with the rest of the world.
This fictional world created by Alexey Pehov is full of standard fantasy fare but it also has some interesting quirks mixed in along the way that give it some uniqueness. However, this being the first work of Pehov's to be translated from his native Russian into English you can tell that some of the charm has been lost in the translation. It all starts with the King making Shadow Harold (a thief) an offer he can't refuse - either Harold goes into an ancient tomb and retrieves a powerful artifact needed to save the kingdom or he gets thrown in prison for the rest of his life. Harold, being the practical sort, agrees to go on the quest because it at least offers him a small chance of survival, unlike the prison. A standard fantasy party of adventurers is put together and the quest begins...
A red burst in the sky known as Calamity suddenly knocks human society into a post-apocalyptic world ruled by evil super villains known as Epics. The series kicks off in the city of Newcago (formerly Chicago) where an Epic known as Steelheart has ruthlessly established his dominion over the inhabitants of the city, both humans and lesser Epics alike. Everyone knows that Steelheart is invincible and even the Reckoners, a group of humans rumored to hunt and kill Epics, won't mess with him. However, young David Charleston has a secret that he has kept hidden for the last 10 years. On that fateful day many years ago when Steelheart killed David's father he witnessed something that no other living person has ever seen - he saw Steelheart bleed!