I didn't care much for the Top-gun-esque and the Star-Trek-esque technical bits. They really felt unnatural, forced, and unconvincing (bogies, full thrusters ahead, etc). However, the main idea of encountering an alien fleet planning to invade earth drove me forward even though the book itself wasn't a page-turner. I never really cared about the Ryan and Amanda saga either, but it does do some character development which is needed in any book. But why the heck would they be worried about their feelings for each other with their families up fighting aliens and dying? I was also confused because I never realized until the end that the main characters were on a "cadet planet" and not on earth twiddling their thumbs without moving to any sort of action. I still really like the idea behind the book. It picked up at about 70%, but it lost me again when they got kidnapped. 5-star idea. 1-star follow-through = 2 stars.