Random Sh*t Flying Through The Air by Jackson Ford

July 9, 2020

Please note, this is a direct sequel to The Girl Who Could Move Sh*t With Her Mind. It is entirely possible that if you have not read book one in The Frost Files series then this review will contain something akin to minor spoilers. Don’t say I didn’t warn ya!

Teagan Frost’s life is finally back on track. Her role working for the government as a psychokinetic operative is going well and she might even be on course for convincing her crush to go out with her. But, little does she know, that sh*t is about to hit the fan . . .

A young boy with the ability to cause earthquakes has come to Los Angeles – home to the San Andreas, one of the most lethal fault lines in the world. If Teagan can’t stop him, the entire city – and the rest of California – could be wiped off the map.

For reference, before we begin, I’m going to refer to this book henceforth as Random Sh*t. I can’t be bothered typing Random Sh*t Flying Through the Air all the time. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a brilliant title for a brilliant book, but it’s wearing me out. The prospect alone of having to repeatedly type it out is giving me the fear.

I waffle on a lot about character evolution in my reviews. It is one of the things that fascinates me about the writing process. This novel, and its predecessor, are a particularly good case in point. Teagan Frost’s powers are changing, and this is affecting every element of her life. This is evolution in every sense of the word. There is a battle raging between the physical extroverted side of Teagan, exhibited by her growing psychokinesis, and the introverted Teagan who wants nothing more than a normal life. Her powers still frighten her, and this uncertainty adds an additional layer to the narrative. I think the thing I like most about this series is how, superpowers aside, how grounded this all feels. Actions have consequences. Teagan and friends don’t always make the right decisions and you see the evidence of this. People suffer emotionally as well as physically. It’s a ballsy move on the author’s part and I love him for it. Heroes shouldn’t be indestructible; they should be flawed and human.

The other members of China Shop, Los Angeles premier discount furniture movers and clandestine operatives, continue to be thoroughly entertaining. Teagan has been alone for a long time and she craves stability and to be part of something. China Shop gives her exactly that. Reggie and Paul are her surrogate parents providing a sense of direction, offering wisdom and advice, but its Africa and Annie who are my favourites. Africa, the larger than life driver, treats Teagan like a long-lost sibling, protective of her to a fault. They might fall out from time to time, but they always have one another’s back. It is evident that the author knows his characters inside and out. This is best illustrated by the relationship between Teagan and Annie. There is a growing sense of respect between the two women, but at times there are still remnants of the brittle antagonism that existed before. This depth of characterisation elevates the plot, making the author’s creations feel fleshed out and real.

Ford does a grand job with the action sequences in the novel. He perfectly captures the frenetic pace of events. There is a chaotic element to Teagan’s ability and when the sh*t starts to hit the fan, all hell tends to break loose. Los Angeles gets the stuffing kicked out of it in epic fashion in this novel. We are in proper disaster movie territory here, spectacle doesn’t seem a grand enough word to describe it. The final climactic battle of the novel is as gleefully bonkers as I hoped it would be.

Random Sh*t does exactly what you would hope for in book two of a series. It has a nice, self-contained story that allows the characters to grow, but also lays more groundwork for the larger story arc that is beginning to unfold. There are still deliberate gaps in Teagan’s history, but a tantalising little epilogue offers the reader the tiniest glimpse into what’s in store. I cannot wait for all to be revealed. Hmm, I wonder what the third book will be called? Answers on a postcard. My personal choice – Then Sh*t Got Weird.

Teagan Frost’s life could never be called boring and getting to be a fly on the wall of her adventures is a rare treat. If you haven’t discovered these novels yet you really need to check them out. Read book one first though, you can thank me later.

My musical recommendation to listen to while reading Random Sh*t Flying Through the Air is the soundtrack to season one of Alias by composer extraordinaire, Michael Giacchino. It’s a perfect fit – secret agents, non-stop action and a kick-ass heroine. Oh yeah, this music and Ford’s words were made for one another.

Random Sh*t Flying Through the Air is published by Orbit and is available now. Highly recommended.

For the curious amongst you Jackson Ford is a pseudonym of author Rob Boffard. How about that, you came here looking for a book review, but you got an extra bit of information for your time. I spoil you lot, I really do.

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