So I was rattling along through this book at a pretty good clip, thinking about the Heinlein parallels, which extend all the way through to the Kipling influence--the hero's name is Kim, for the love of Pete, this is not a coincidence--and with the exception of a couple of failures of tone, it was going pretty well. The present tense in descriptions of the "bugs" in contrast to the past tense of the rest of the book didn't work for me, but that wasn't very often; the more series tone failure was in stuff like, "Kimble shrugged and watched her walk. She was wearing tight pants and he'd reached an age where watching the opposite sex fascinated him." (Seriously, way to condescend to your audience. No young reader ever has to have "he liked looking at her ass" explained to them. Ever. I mean, really.) But the self-sufficient young narrator was working all right and the episodic plot seemed to be accumulating to the larger thing, and in fact it eventually did.
All right, kids. What one thing does a Heinlein-esque Juvenile need to be updated for the 21st century's view of SF?
If you said "the internet!" or "cell phones!" or "the Singularity!," alas, you are having too much fun here.
Apparently the correct answer is rape. Gratuitous rape. Rape for the purpose of demonstrating that Our Young Hero is a good guy; rape for the purpose of teaching him lessons. Sexual assault that upsets him more than it upsets, oh, I don't know, the actual victim. Who is a victim and requires Our Young Hero to Save Her and does not at any point do anything with agency. At all. We can't do anything without it, apparently. Not one. Damn. Thing.
I have said it before,, and I will probably have to say it again. I am so tired of this. Stop. Please, please, just stop. This is the wrong trend for us to have.