Return to Oz (Falken Chronicles #3) ★★★☆☆

returntooz (Custom)This review is written with a GPL 4.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at WordPress, Blogspot & Librarything by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission
Title: Return to Oz
Series: Falken Chronicles #3
Author: Piers Platt
Rating: 3 of 5 Stars
Genre: SF
Pages: 270
Format: Digital Edition

 

Synopsis:

Having survived Olympus and meeting Sef Weaver’s daughter, Syrio needs to know what has happened to Sef. He gets back on board the ship that houses the virtual world and makes his case to the Committee to allow him to go back into Oz and to convince Sef to take responsibility for the murder he committed. Syrio is denied his request but the commander of the ship allows him to go back anyway.

At the same time Sef’s daughter begins digging around the cold case back on Earth to see if she can find anything to help exonerate her father. The more she digs, the more things don’t make sense. Eventually it is revealed that her grandfather was the mastermind behind the kidnapping and the murder that was pinned on Sef.

While the investigation is going on, Syrio finds Sef but Sef won’t admit he committed the murder and Oz won’t let Sef go until he shows remorse for the murder he was convicted for. Syrio reveals the secret of Oz to Sef which shuts the program down. Both men are then sentenced to the real prison planet. With the revelations by Sef’s daughter their sentences are reversed. Sef is returned to his family and Syrio becomes the new head of Oz.

 

My Thoughts:

This was a return to the first book. No dinosaurs, no people getting eaten, nothing exciting. The whole “mystery” solving aspect was very different from the previous 2 books but it wasn’t very interesting. When a rookie like Sef’s daughter can figure things out and the police are made to look like incompetents, well, that tells me more about the author than anything. Plus the whole “reform prisoners through hardwork and education” is just so much bullshit. When someone commits premeditated murder, the State needs to kill them for the safety of the rest of the citizens. Now, Platt confuses things even more by making Syrio having committed a crime of passion and Sef being innocent. It was just a very muddled message and that made it even more unpalatableto me than it already was.

Glad to get the end of the story and not a waste of time. I do have another couple of books by Platt that I’m still willing to try. However, if the Rath books are as pathetically “messaged” as this one, I’ll be done. Oh, they also need to ramp up the action. If you’re going to write a Science Fiction series, then having your characters be on spaceships around Earth isn’t enough. The 2nd book was exactly what this series SHOULD have been like. Considering that Platt has failed to truly catch my attention with 2 books, I’m not really hopeful about the Rath ones. Bummer.

★★★☆☆

 

bookstooge (Custom)

 

 

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Escape from Olympus (Falken Chronicles #2) ★★★☆½

escapefromolympus (custom)This review is written with a GPL 4.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at WordPress, Blogspot & Librarything by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission
Title: Escape from Olympus
Series: Falken Chronicles #2
Author: Piers Platt
Rating: 3.5 of 5 Stars
Genre: SF
Pages: 278
Format: Digital Edition

 

Synopsis:

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.

 

My Thoughts:

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.

★★★☆½

 

bookstooge (Custom)

 

Escape from Oz (Falken Chronicles #1) ★★★☆☆

escapefromoz (Custom)This review is written with a GPL 4.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at WordPress, Blogspot & Librarything by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission
Title: Escape from Oz
Series: Falken Chronicles #1
Author: Piers Platt
Rating: 3 of 5 Stars
Genre: SF
Pages: 253
Format: Digital Edition

 

Synopsis: SPOILER

Sirio Falken, a mixed martial arts fighter, has fallen on hard times when the World Council banned MMA. He has taken to giving lessons and participating in underground fights. When he finds out that his girlfriend has cheated on him, he beats the other man to death. He is sentenced to a prison planet where he can be rehabilitated.

Unfortunately, Falken finds out that almost everything about the presentation of the prison world was a lie. The space elevator lies in ruins, there is no prison facility, there are no guards and there is no way to contact his lawyer. Prisoners are parachuted down to the planet in wooden crates, which the survivors salvage as best they can.

Falken falls in with a former prison guard, Archos, who rules the small island through a series of fights. Archos regularly raids a non-violent set of prisoners who are just trying to live. Falken escapes Archos and joins up with the Community. There he comes under the care of a former biologist and learns lots of things. Everyone’s dream is to contact Earth and let the right people know what is going on. Falken also meets Weaver, a man falsely convicted of murdering his wife and children.

Falken and Weaver end up finding a buried spaceship from the original space surveyors and it has one pod capable of making it back to Earth. They just need to excavate it and get enough electronics working to push the pod into space.

Oz, the name of the planet, holds a secret though. With 6 moons, there are no tides. Except for every 40 or so year when they all line up perfectly. This is such a time. The island is in danger of being inundated and there are monsters in the water, eating everything. Archos also discovers what they are up and wants to return to Earth himself. So Falken must fight nature and man to survive. Falken ends up knocking Weaver out and putting him in the pod and blasting it off since he’s an innocent and not a prisoner.

Then Falken is woken up and finds out everything was a computer simulation. His choices prove that he has been rehabilitated and he now has a chance at becoming a space surveyor.

 

My Thoughts:

Oh for fracks sake.

That cover is so misleading. I was expecting spaceship fights and wicked cool stuff. Nope, what I got was some Mass-hole’s idea that all prisoners are really just misunderstood poor blighters who really, really, really actually do want to be good little boys but just can’t “quite” make it. Even if they murder people by punching them to death. Poor little misunderstood MMA character. Look at me cry.

Prisons are meant as punishment. First Degree Murderers should be killed by the State. Rehabilitation is a pipe dream. If anyone think otherwise, they are as much part of the problem as Charles Manson and Ted Bundy and at the Final Judgement they will be held just as culpable.

Ahem.

The story was pretty good. I was really enjoying everything right up until the reveal about it all being a rehab computer sim. I liked just about everything up to that point and this was bordering between 3.5 and 4, as a prison break from a dangerous world is just plain awesome as a storyline. A MMA character made for some good fights and the voracious eel monsters were cool. Archos was a great villain too.

Definitely going to be reading the next book. I just hope Platt doesn’t pull that kind of ridiculous plot twist stunt again. I felt like it ruined the whole book that I had been enjoying so much.

★★★☆☆

 

bookstooge (Custom)