Originally posted on my blog:
To be honest, when I read the first few pages I was thinking "WTF". This mostly came about by the way that we already see how Jabin is already too grown up at only a young age of 13. I would not expect any 13 year old that I know, to talk like that. At that point from reading that I thought about if I wanted to stop this novel and mark it as "DNF," but I kept on to see what else the book had in store to bring this book back up.
Quickly we learn about Jabin and his past, as well as become fully aware of what happens to him. Both in his present life with his aunt and uncle, as well as his life with the little he remembers about his mother. Jabin's failure to understand much of her addiction, yet he knows and remembers so much from that very young age.
We start to become a bit confused when we switch P.O.V. We wonder who this second person is really as well as how he relates to the story.
The story moves quickly, yet we don't learn about this new place, only about Jabin and the issues that have, in some ways, arisen from in our world's past (2012 Earth). Not enough information on their world, no matter how much Jabin is in the dark. Other bits and pieces of key information that were lacking include the resources that they use and the weapons, especially in giving us any detail or explanation of new developments to the world. We do realize that it is a sci-fi novel as they are on another planet.
From this, we get zero focus on the sci-fi elements of this book, yes, we know they are on another planet, but the main focus of the novel is the child soldiers, mainly in the spotlight of what Jabin faces. His hardships are put into focus, which then also releases knowledge about the Crown and the Colonel.
One of the main reasons why Jabin doesn't seem his age is by the way he goes on about women. Seeing them and thinking about them make him seem like those who "own" the women in this novel, as one of the Space Pirates.