Tuesday, 25 September 2007

‘Deathstalker Honour’ – Simon R. Green (Gollancz Books)

One of the things that got me into this whole blogging business was the day I finished reading ‘Deathstalker War’. I realised that the only way I was going to be able to read the next instalment was to fork out ridiculous money for an ex-library copy from New York that a small child had probably been sick over. I wasn’t having any of that! I’m not going to bore you with the details but the upshot was that a guy going by the name of ‘Drinksinbars’ (over on the Malazan Forum) gave himself a hefty dose of karma, and my gratitude by grabbing the first copy he saw and sending it my way. I’ve just finished reading it. Did I like it? Read on…
Owen Deathstalker has pretty much torn down an evil galactic empire all by himself but there is still an awful lot to contend with. Sensing weakness in the aftermath of rebellion, the enemies of humanity gather and prepare to strike. Heroes are in great demand and Owen (along with his friends) must take a stand once again.
For my money, the ‘Deathstalker’ series is one of the finest examples of pulp sci-fi on the market right now. I even reckon a certain filmmaker wishes he’d done a little more to make his latest sci-fi trilogy like these books. They are larger than life and completely in your face with gallons of powerful heroes, sinister villains, powerful spacecraft and epic battles with giant laser guns. ‘Deathstalker Honour’ doesn’t stint on any of this, Green takes a tried and tested formula and gives fans what they want. In this respect it’s a great read, the mixture of action and suspense meant that I flew through this book in a matter of hours (being stuck in a caravan in the rain probably helped as well). If you’re a fan and you haven’t got a copy, don’t let a spare one slip through your grasp. You’re going to love it.
‘Deathstalker Honour’ does hit a pretty big obstacle though. A book about dealing with the aftermath of galactic war comes as a bit of an anti-climax if you’ve spent the preceding books in awe of said warfare. At times it feels like Green has had a great idea for his final book but doesn’t know what to do in the meantime so he turns his heroes into bounty hunters and sends them on a few odd jobs. The powers that Owen and his friends have developed also start to hobble proceedings, what was originally a neat twist in the tale is rapidly becoming deus ex machina. But just when I was starting to think ‘how much time did I waste looking for this?’ Green throws an almost forgotten enemy back into the mix and the scene is set for something potentially explosive in the final book. I was back in the game again and I’m looking forward to ‘Deathstalker Destiny’ (so much easier to get hold of!)
If you’re a big fan, or a ‘completist’, then you will have to have this book. You’ll enjoy it but you’ll likely come away feeling that something didn’t quite add up. Hopefully the final book will take care of this.

Six out of Ten

No comments: