About This Blog

This blog was started as a place to post book reviews. The books reviewed here will be mixed. Science Fiction, Fantasy, Romance, General Fiction, NonFiction and more. Both positve and negative reviews will be posted, as well as reviews for books written for all ages and all reading levels.

Many of the books reviewed here are ones that I have purchased for my own reading pleasure. Some, I receive free in exchange for reviews. Beginning in December, 2009 you will know which are the free ones if you read the final paragraph of my reviews.

Also of note: I choose what I will read, attempting to avoid the books on which I would end up writing a negative review... but I have been known to make mistakes. Thus you see some one and two star reviews here. Since I don't enjoy writing negative reviews, I only write them if the review was promised, or if the book was so exceedingly bad, I just had to say so. Regardless of the percentage of positive to negative reviews on this blog, I give my honest opinion each and every time, and have never received financial compensation for posting my reviews.

Note that, except for fair use portions quoted from some of the books reviewed, all copyright in the content of the reviews belongs to Lady Dragoness.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Adventure and Violence

by Harry Harrison
Hardcover: 456 pages
Publisher: Benbella Books
Rated: 4 stars of 5 possible

The classic science fiction trilogy is reprinted together with a short story from the same universe. Deathworld 1 (1960), Deathworld 2 (1964), and Deathworld 3 (1968) represent formulaic science fiction in which the set of main characters battle for their lives on three separate but quite deadly worlds. The object of their adventures is always survival. The obstacles that Jason dinAlt (a gambler and scoundrel) and his friends overcome are different in each story, yet the components of each feel very much the same, only employed in different settings.

My first reading of these novels, when I was a teen, happened at a time when I had only recently discovered science fiction. I read them then because my school library had them all. I found them to be worthwhile entertainment. I chose to read these stories again many years later to see if, as sometimes happens, my opinion of the entertainment value had changed over the years. Now, I find that the first novel is a little better written than the sequels, though if you like this sort of story, you should at least read the sequels once. They're a fun and interesting way to spend an evening or two.

A Deathworld short story, "The Mothballed Spaceship" is included in my copy of this classic Science Fiction omnibus, and I was excited, at first, to discover that there was something new to me. My excitement quickly evaporated as I read through the first page or two of the story; dull and forgettable are the kindest things I can say about the short story, which should never have been published. It feels unfinished, as if "The Mothballed Spaceship" were the seed of a fourth Deathworld novel that was never fully developed - but for good reason. There's really not much about the story that's interesting enough to develop further.

I couldn't help but care for Jason, scoundrel though he may be...he's lovable in his own way, and his girlfriend, Meta, is just awesome...in fact, I'm just a little bit jealous of her capabilities. That said, Deathworld isn't for everyone. There's major violence involved and the fights get bloody at times. Recommended for ages 16 and up if you don't mind some violence in your entertainment, and of course if you like Science Fiction.

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