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More Promise Than Punch,
This review is from: Planet Janitor: Custodian of the Stars (Illustrated) (Engage SF) (Hardcover)Chris Stevenson's Planet Janitor is an intriguing mix of space opera and environmentalism. The writing is very good. Stevenson can bump one word against another with the best of them.
For me the problem with this story is, frankly, the story. Beginning with a very interesting premise: space junk cleaning janitors sent to a planet out on the fringe -- soon deteriorates in to a barely disguised rehash of classic sci-fi cliches. A little Aliens, a little Predator, heck a smattering of 300 is tossed in for good measure. Once the clean up job becomes the overdone fight-for-survival-against-an-alien-horde-that-is-stronger-faster-tougher than the human crew, the story gets tired in a hurry. Throw in some incredibly stupid characters (takes ten years to get to the planet thus help is a decade away and the crew doesn't bring weapons? Duh!) who often act and react like fifteen-year-olds and what started out as a great read quickly soured. Having the female crew opt to walk around naked on the humid planet? Yeah, that would happen.
There's far too much fighting with furry aliens, the twists at the end are predictable and unoriginal.
From what I've written above you might expect me to encourage folks to avoid this book like the plague. Not so. As I also mentioned above, Stevenson's writing style is very good and I expect big things from this author. He may have dropped the ball with this outing, but the talent is there. I'll certainly keep my eyes open for anything else he has to offer.