Saturday, February 4, 2017

Book Review: The Galactic Invaders

Book Review: 'The Galactic Invaders' by James R. Berry

2 / 5 Stars

'The Galactic Invaders' is Laser Book No. 31, published in June 1976. The cover artwork is by Frank Kelly Freas.

In 2375 AD, thanks to warp drive, Earth has seeded the farther reaches of the galaxy with colonies. But this effort has not gone unchallenged: in the past, a mysterious enemy known only as the 'Invaders' has mounted random attacks on spaceships and colonies, inflicting suffering and death before vanishing back into the depths of deep space.

As memories of these fatal encounters with the Invaders have faded, and the Federation's ability to communicate with its ever-distant outposts becomes more strained, a complacency has crept in.

As the novel opens, square-jawed spaceship captain Keith Cranston is taking a hovertaxi from the New York Citiplex spaceport to the office of Starfleet Commander Guy Ulmstead. En route, a carefully prepared ambush is unleashed on Cranston's vehicle in the lower streets of the Citiplex. 

Although bruised and battered, Cranston emerges victorious from the vicious, life-or-death struggle. Upon meeting with a worried Commander Ulmstead, Cranston learns the ominous truth that is being withheld from the Federation's citizens: a wide-ranging conspiracy to overthrow the Federation is being mounted by an enemy, or enemies, unknown.

Cranston's new mission: pilot his spaceship the Draco II to a remote outpost where a scientific project of utmost importance to the survival of the Federation is underway. A week has passed without any word from the outpost, a length of time that Commander Ulmstead finds alarming. For if the Federation's mysterious adversary has taken control of the project, then the Earth and all its colonies are in grave danger........

'The Galactic Invaders', although written in 1976, is very much a pulp sci-fi novel, one that could have appeared in any magazine or digest of the 50s and 60s.

The prose style is nothing fancy; characters bark, grit, bay, wrinkle, pucker, pant, and grunt. 

While some of the entries in the Laser Books catalog represent under-appreciated gems, 'The Galactic Invaders' is not one of them. But in the book's favor, it's a quick and effortless read if you're looking for something steeped in old school Space Opera flavor.

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