This is definitely a second book, but I think it mostly stands alone. There's backstory enough to make the world interesting, but understanding everything isn't necessary to enjoying the book as it is. Although I'm definitely going back and hunting down the first book while waiting for the next installment.
Kayla and Joel together are a lot of fun. I love how they flirt with each other and how they're almost always portrayed as equals. Almost always because Joel does start off as her superior. But that gets rectified quickly. They're good people, which means a lot in today's political climate. I especially liked the nod to allowing them to turn down missions that they found abhorrent to their morality. Phaze is a mostly light-hearted story that doesn't shy away from the darker aspects of what's possible.
Mostly though, I enjoy the writer's writing style. There's a lot of wink wink nudge nudge for the geek crowd, with some in-jokes and acronym fun, but it never gets to the obnoxious stage. How could I not love a character that comes straight out and criticizes certain events as "pointless stuff to pump up the drama and and angst"? I can't wait for Wylde's story; it will be a lot of fun to see how a character who routinely breaks the fourth wall deals with having a romance of his own.
The one thing that was a sort-of problem was that Wylde really stole the show a bit for me, but that's hardly a true problem. I can't wait for the next installment. Wylde, shall we we see if a story about you would sell or not?
When Kayla Armstrong is attacked in her lab, she falls into a chemical stew. Now she’s walking through walls and falling through floors.
As the leader of Xi Force, Joel Weisberg is always looking for new superheroes for his team. What he wasn’t looking for was sexy Kayla Armstrong falling through the ceiling of his apartment right into his bed. Still he isn’t complaining when the event finds him a new Xi Force member and a new love. Now she just needs some training and some time.
But when an old enemy comes back with new powers and captures Joel, it’s up to Kayla to lead the Xi Force against her. But can they rescue Joel before he’s murdered . . . again?