The Randoms series rides plot contrivances along to its conclusion.
Back on Earth, Zeke and his friends are confident they’ll be able to save it from an alien invasion, but pretty quickly things get complicated. In the earlier volumes in this series, Liss gave the characters superhuman abilities that made them nearly invulnerable, but this third book is filled with pages and pages of technobabble to take those abilities away and put the characters convincingly back in danger. Many of the plot twists are clever. In the most ironic scene, Zeke needs to help his friends escape an enemy, but he can’t because he himself is trapped in an escape pod. And the alien species are always very alien; some of them literally play dice with the universe. The author clearly loves the Vulcan philosophy of “Infinite Diversity in Infinite Combinations” (and he clearly loves Star Trek, Marvel comics, and other nerd icons). Even the characters from Earth come from every country and every race. The team’s final battle, to save Earth from its enemies, is very satisfying. Unfortunately, before the battle, for large sections of the novel, Zeke and his friends keep important secrets from one another because—well, as they say on the internet, reasons.
Every plot contrivance is a reason to put the book down, but there are just as many reasons to keep reading late into the night. (Science fiction. 10-16)