DARK PLANET

Charles W. Sasser, Author
Charles W. Sasser, Author . Medallion $6.99 (392p) ISBN 978-1-932815-13-9
Reviewed on: 02/28/2005
Release date: 04/01/2005
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Abundant action, a fast pace and an unusual ethical dilemma help redeem this otherwise mediocre and derivative first foray into military SF from prolific military author Sasser (Detachment Delta , etc.). The Republic of Galaxia sends an expedition to the Dark Planet Aldenia, which is crawling with monstrous insects and reptiles, to deal with a threat from the alien Blobs. The expedition includes Kadar San, a half-human, half-alien telepath, a type that will be quite familiar to Star Trek fans. Kadar San and company face many hazards on landing, including the lindal, a powerful device left behind by the Indowy, who once held Kadar San's race, the Zentadon, as slaves. And Zentadons become lethally dangerous when under stress—which promptly rises as the Galaxia soldiers fight temptation, the local wildlife and terrain, and one another. At the climax, as Kadar San and the team's sniper, "Blade" Kilmer, stalk each other through the jungle, Kadar San faces a terrible choice: if he kills Kilmer and goes berserk from his own raging hormones, he may endanger his surviving comrades; but if he sacrifice his own life, the sniper will kill everyone, including the female sergeant with whom Kadar San has fallen in love. Readers may find the resolution of this conflict a trifle facile. Agent, Bill Fawcett. (Apr.)

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