Tom Holt. Orbit, $13.99 (393pp) ISBN 978-0-316-08699-8
Driven mad by the “lethally insidious... toxic aural garbage” that is Terran music, the canine inhabitants of the planet Ostar send Mark Two, a bomb so smart it composes violin sonatas, to blow up Earth. Insatiably curious, Mark Two delays its mission, takes human form, and explores Earth to find out why the Mark One bomb vanished. After encountering software revolutionary Lucy Pavlov, a unicorn, two men who probably aren’t werewolves, and drunken corporate stooge George Stetchkin, Mark decides not to complete his mission, precipitating confrontations with a third bomb (named Bob) and the entire Ostar war fleet. Holt, well-known in the U.K. for historical flights of fancy, is set to make a splash in the U.S. with this wickedly funny, take-no-prisoners mashup of love, Armageddon, activists, and one of the universe’s most valuable commodities: octopi.
Reviewed on: 04/12/2010