Tuesday, April 2, 2019

Review: Surface Tension by Mike Mullin


After witnessing an act of domestic terrorism while training on his bike, Jake is found near death, with a serious head injury and unable to remember the plane crash or the aftermath that landed him in the hospital.
A terrorist leader’s teenage daughter, Betsy, is sent to kill Jake and eliminate him as a possible witness. When Jake’s mother blames his head injury for his tales of attempted murder, he has to rely on his girlfriend, Laurissa, to help him escape the killers and the law enforcement agents convinced that Jake himself had a role in the crash.

This was one of many ARC's I picked up at KidLitCon, and happened to be one of those I had to pull form my suitcase in order to make weight. That put it at the top of my backpack, so when I needed something to read on my Delta flight home, I pulled it out.

Chapter one begins with the crash of Delta Flight 117. By page 5, everyone aboard is dead. Fortunately, nobody asked me what I was reading.

Needless to say, even without a circumstantial connection, the book grabs your attention right away. Plenty of action, mystery, danger and plot twists keep the reader engrossed to the end - and just when you think everything is going to be okay...

Subplots of racial and economic disparity, Islamophobia, hate groups, 9/11 aftermath and more abound, but remain somewhat superficially addressed. The ending sets the book up for a sequel, so perhaps a bit more background and depth will come - or, perhaps not, since this is primarily an action story!

Parts of the plot stretch plausibility, but remain within the realm of possibility. Not something I would pick to read as a class and study, but one I would happily hand off to a teen who has little patience for slow-paced novels.

Hardcover is available now, paperback coming next month.


  1. Wait, you were at KidLitCon, too, and I didn't see you?? Also I came home with just one ARC, and still need to read it...

    1. lol yep - and I attended the panel you moderated!