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Official Review: Adventures in space & fiction fa...

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Official Review: Adventures in space & fiction fa...

Post Number:#1 by H0LD0Nthere
» 01 Mar 2017, 21:44

[Following is an official review of "Adventures in space & fiction fantasy" by Robin G Howard.]

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2 out of 4 stars
Review by H0LD0Nthere
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This book consists of a collection of four short stories starring Jim Long, Space Agent, about whom the author has already written five books. Jim Long works for the Galactic Police Federation, and his specialty is out-of-body travel. Whenever a strange event occurs or a crime is committed that involves interdimensional travel (also called astral travel), Jim is on the case. He is never without his colleagues Gail “Frosty” Farmer and Norman “Nobby” Clarke.

As we might expect in such a book, the setting assumes that the universe has been colonized by man, and contains many habitable planets populated by intelligent and less-intelligent aliens. At its best, this book represents a fantastic tour through the many different environments in this fictional universe. We meet many interesting aliens, each with their own “national character” or personality.

But the author’s real interest is not in the physical environment of planets, but in other dimensions. Most of the travel and action takes place in other dimensions. Long and company have a bracelet that allows them to leave their bodies and search for villains through interdimensional space. Other characters travel through other dimensions through the use of such things as portals, a magic chair, or in one case a huge, mysterious, seemingly divine sphere.

The stories are strongest when they are basically interdimensional crime thrillers with many twists and turns. Imagine how difficult it would be to catch a crook who has access to interdimensional travel. Perhaps this is why, in none of these stories is Jim Long the one who actually brings the bad guy down. The bad guy is always brought down through his own rashness or hubris as he attempts astral travel. As Long cautions more than one villain, “Interdimensional travel is dangerous.” That is a major theme of this book.

The book is less effective, in my opinion, when it gets into metaphysics. This is especially true in the first of the four stories, which is less a crime story than an extended tour of what seems to be an inadequately researched, poorly thought-out “divine sphere” which is apparently God and communicates by causing strings of formulas and equations to swirl around the characters’ heads. The three space agents enter it and tour, as Jim puts it, “a celestial ultra-multi-dimensional reality.” They see some beautiful landscapes and control things with their thoughts. It seems at this point as if the author is mostly just making up things that he thinks would be cool, rather than trying to put together a coherent picture of what interdimensional reality might be like, or why.

The mechanics of the writing are painfully bad. This book desperately needs an editor. Almost every page features run-on sentences and misused participles. The dialogue tends to consist of obvious clichés.

For example, when reading the divine sphere story, I got the impression that the character Norman was a practical type who didn’t claim to know much about other dimensions. I found out in subsequent stories that he’s just dumb as a box of rocks, like when Gail has to explain to him that when she said “Nice guy” about the villain, she was being sarcastic. (I know Norman’s an engineer, but everyone understands that level of sarcasm!) Gail, meanwhile, is spunky and is constantly joking around with Jim, but the jokes tend to be plodding, and almost every time she makes even a mildly snappy comeback, Jim responds with, “Always the last word, Frosty.”

I give this book two out of four stars. My message to the author: More aliens, less metaphysics, and please get an editor!

Adventures in space & fiction fantasy
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Re: Official Review: Adventures in space & fiction fa...

Post Number:#2 by ijaz555
» 26 Apr 2017, 00:01

this will be interesting one because of searching new aliens.
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Re: Official Review: Adventures in space & fiction fa...

Post Number:#3 by Chrys Brobbey
» 26 Apr 2017, 01:10

I hope the author takes it in good faith to get an editor, as suggested. The output could achieve a higher rating then. A good review.
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Re: Official Review: Adventures in space & fiction fa...

Post Number:#4 by JAtoms
» 28 Apr 2017, 01:03

Author can get a good book editor to help clear little errors found in this book
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Re: Official Review: Adventures in space & fiction fa...

Post Number:#5 by Amagine
» 28 Apr 2017, 06:22

The book sounds like it has some potential. It's sad when a book is poorly edited and thus it becomes hard to read the story.

Great Review! 📰
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Re: Official Review: Adventures in space & fiction fa...

Post Number:#6 by kandscreeley
» 01 May 2017, 12:01

Well, it sounds like this is a good idea, but it isn't well executed. Thanks for the review, but I don't think I'll be picking this one up.
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Re: Official Review: Adventures in space & fiction fa...

Post Number:#7 by Miriam Molina
» 29 May 2017, 22:37

Thanks HOLDONthere for the honest review. I wonder how the author"s other four books (about the same hero) fared.

I hope the author does much better with his next adventures.
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