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Title: Escape from Olympus
Series: Falken Chronicles #2
Author: Piers Platt
Rating: 3.5 of 5 Stars
Format: Digital Edition
Syrio Falken is now working as a tourguide. But not just a humdrum, run of the mill tourguide. He’s a tourguide to the planet Olympus. Only 2 companies have the rights to such a thing, for you see, Olympus is home to dragons. These dragons hunt by sound and are apparently immortal. They have been studied for years by scientists and the only facilities on the planet are the science facilities. Olympus is classified as a “off limits” world and has an array of orbital weapons to keep interlopers out.
The tour companies use “proxies” to give their clients a thrill of a lifetime. The clients climb into incubation wombs on the spaceship and wake up in a proxy body in a shuttle that is on its way to the surface. Falken guides his clients and basically lets them see how long they can survive on the surface.
During the current trip, something goes disastrously wrong. A bomb goes off on the actual spaceship and it crashes to the surface. With only one set of proxies available, and the other tour company out of action, and oxygen running low, Falken has to get his charges from the crashed ship to the science station. In their real bodies! Whooooo!
At the same time, the ships that should be rescuing them are either sabotaged or taken over by “pirates”. It is all at the behest of one speculating investor who wants to get his hands on a pair of dragons and all the research on them, so as to market an immortality drug which he can sell for trillions.
Falken and Co make it back to the science station, and Falken’s boss sacrifices himself right at the end so they all can make it. Of course, once at the station, they come under the control of the badguys and they are forced to go capture some dragons. All the proxies have been eaten, so it is For Real now. Lots of the badguys get eaten and the goodguys fix their ship and make a surprise rescue.
Falken takes care of all the badguys on Olympus and rescues a girl. Said girl turns out to be the daughter of the man who was falsely sent to Oz in the previous book and she reveals that he has never been released.
Thankfully, there was no “Fake out! It was all a simulation” like in the first book. If there had been, you would have heard some serious words coming out of my mouth.
Basically, Jurassic Planet. I loved it. Loads of people get eaten and torn apart and there is mayhem to fulfill all your needs. Between the proxies and real people, there was more than enough carnage to satisfy my need for violence. Not quite on the Neal Asher level, but way better than the first book.
The Investor Guy was written a bit over the top in being “Evil” but anyone with Money is now the Nobility of our Culture and as such has a target painted on their back. Felt kind of cheap but since I’d qualify this series as Pulp-SF, not unexpected or truly detrimental, just annoying. Kind of like those evil sorcerers from the Conan stories who did despicable things “just because”.
I’m not sure how I feel about the end where it is revealed that Weaver is real and still in prison. Considering that the next book is titled Return to Oz it’s pretty obvious what it will be about.
Overall, I had fun reading this book and enjoyed it more than the first one. Won’t ever re-read this though, as it doesn’t have that level of staying power.