Lucky Starr and the Oceans of Venus (Lucky Starr #3) ★★★☆½

oceansofvenus (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: Lucky Starr and the Oceans of Venus
Series: Lucky Starr #3
Author: Isaac Asimov
Rating: 3.5 of 5 Stars
Genre: SF
Pages: 174
Format: Digital Edition

 

Synopsis:

The Science Council has had a call for help from the domed Cities of Venus. They sent in a top operative but they received a letter of recall from the Head of the Science Council on Venus accusing the man of corruption. Lucky knows this man and doesn’t believe a word of it. He heads to Venus but receives a radio communique from said operative warning him away.

Lucky and Bigman barely make it to Venues, as their pilots mysteriously black out and almost crash their craft. Lucky begins his investigation and is shown a whole slew of incidents where rational people have performed very irrational acts and then had no memory of it. The Head of the Local Council is convinced it is a Syrian trick so as to steal the rare Venus yeast formulas.

Lucky thinks otherwise and after some hair raising adventures in the oceans, finds out that telepathic frogs are the culprit! But the mystery doesn’t stop there. It turns out one of the engineers on Venus has learned how to control the v-frogs (venus frogs. Get it? Pretty clever right?) and has been planning to become dictator of Venus.

Thanks to Lucky and Bigman, said Engineer is brought to Justice and the benevolent rule of the Science Council continues apace. Heil Scyenze! * salutes *

 

My Thoughts:

Maddalena pointed out in the comments of the previous book that this was written for middle graders. So when I went into this, I deliberately kept that in mind and you know what? It worked wonders for my expectations and how I read the book itself. I had a lot more fun this time around. I could see myself as a 5th grader eating this up with a spoon. I wish I had known about these way back then but oh well.

A good rousing adventure tale. It also shows unabashedly, or perhaps unknowingly(?), just how strong a belief in science as a force for good permeated the society of the 50’s. Science was going to solve every problem, only the best of men would be scientists and they would all get along because obviously, once you know something you have to act rationally and logically to that knowledge. Phraaaaack, what a naive outlook. Makes me wonder what Asimov was thinking at the end of his life, as he was a humanist and from what I understand didn’t believe in God or any sort of afterlife.

Anyway, with that aside out of the way, this book gave me some hope that I was sorely lacking from the previous. I am now looking forward to the next couple of volumes instead of dreading them. Ha!

★★★☆½

 

bookstooge (Custom)

 

 

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Lucky Starr and the Pirates of the Asteroids (Lucky Starr #2) ★★★☆☆

piratesoftheasteroids (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: Lucky Starr and the Pirates of the Asteroids
Series: Lucky Starr #2
Author: Isaac Asimov
Rating: 3 of 5 Stars
Genre: SF
Pages: 144
Format: Digital Scan

 

Synopsis:

Something funny is going on with the Pirates who inhabit the asteroids. While they seem to be growing in number and strength, their attacks have become more focused, tighter and a lot more strategic. Lucky and others from the Science Council build a spaceship meant to be captured and then exploded in a Pirate base. It’s all a double, triple, never ending ruse though, as Lucky sneaks on board after alerting the Syrian Embassy anonymously of the “real” mission of the ship. The Syrians are in league with the Pirates and when everything in place, Earth will face a two fronted war.

Lucky uncovers just how far along the plans actually are and sets in motion events to prevent the war from ever starting. He comes across the man who had his parents killed 25 years ago who is the mastermind of the Pirates. While the Military is looking at dealing with the Syrians, the Science Council goes in secretly to the asteroid belt and using the information from the mastermind, clean out all the pirate nests. This collapses one front of the potential war, so the Syrians withdraw without a fight.

 

My Thoughts:

Yeah….this was rather boring. Also, Lucky wasn’t much of a Space Ranger at all. He only used the mask the aliens gave him, in the first book, as protection so he could fly closer to the sun and catch up with some bad guys. No cool fight scene with it.

There were a couple of “fights” but they took place mainly in space and were as slow and clunky as you would imagine. No space ninjas here! It really boiled down to Lucky figuring things out last minute but not willing to tell his mentors because he didn’t have all the “facts” to back them up. Then he’d race off to get facts.

I must have glossed over it in the first book, but apparently there is another Galactic Empire of the Syrians, from Sirius. I felt like I was stumbling over them without knowing who or what they were. Are they humans or aliens? What is their beef with Earth? This should have been dealt with a little more clearly.

If the series stays tonally the same as this book instead of the first, it is going to be real easy to understand why this series never became very famous. Even Andre Norton wrote more exciting stuff.

★★★☆☆

 

bookstooge (Custom)

 

 

David Starr, Space Ranger (Lucky Starr #1) ★★★☆½

spaceranger (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: David Starr, Space Ranger
Series: Lucky Starr #1
Author: Isaac Asimov
Rating: 3.5 of 5 Stars
Genre: SF
Pages: 144
Format: Digital Scan

 

Synopsis:

David Starr, youngest member of the Galactic Science Council, has been sent to Mars to find out why people on Earth are being poisoned with Martian food. Going undercover as a farmboy, Starr meets various characters and comes across the idea that Mars might have native Martians living in caves underground.

Starr investigates, meets the Martians, who have moved beyond the physical and into the purely mental plane of existence and gets a special mask from them that disguises him, gives him a personal force field and allows him to create the personna, The Space Ranger.

Starr solves the mystery and the legend of the Space Ranger is born. The book ends with him picking up a sidekick and waiting for another adventure.

 

My Thoughts:

Oh my goodness. This was so much fun. Short and zippy and chockful of that 1950’s American Attitude. In Space!

These Lucky Starr books were originally written in the 50’s or 60’s and then re-released in the 70’s. Asimov wrote a new intro for the re-release where he apologizes for scientific inaccuracies since a lot more knowledge had been discovered between releases. One, it was funny to read about the advances made in 20 years from almost 50 years later and two, it did credit to Asimov that he was willing to admit his stories weren’t accurate. If more authors would be that humble, that would be good for all of us.

This was a mix of science fiction, mystery and western all rolled into one. It reminded me of the radio dramas that I’ve heard before. If this had been written today, I’d say this would fall into caricature or even satirization, but Asimov was fully serious. It works. It is written to entertain and it does that admirably.

I think the rest of the series I’ll be better able to judge if this is decent quality or not. This one has that “new but nostalgia” factor for sure.

★★★☆½

 

bookstooge (Custom)