RATS, THE BATS & THE UGLY Mass Market Paperback – Aug 1 2006
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Another zany tale of the planet Harmony & Reason, which is somewhat short of both at the moment, thanks to its hierarchical society and the invasion of the alien Korozhet. The victorious, vat-cloned Corporal Chip Connelly and his love, the Shareholder heiress Virginia ("Ginny") Shaw, return to Bernard Shaw City and a welcome very different from what they expected. The authorities want to preserve the hierarchy by executing Chip and kidnapping Ginny. Fortunately, the uplifted (i.e., intelligent) bats and rats are on the job, complete with accents, and so are a good many lawyers. In fact, the book's complex legal scenario may occasionally come between readers and the fullest enjoyment of the book, which isn't as fast-paced as Rats, Bats & Vats (2000). Not that it will disappoint anyone, especially given an ending that leads one to suspect that Ginny will have to get out her chain saw for the battles of a third volume. Roland Green
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
About the Author
Eric Flint is a popular new star of SF and fantasy. His latest novel in his popular alternate history series, 1634: The Galileo Affair (with Andrew Dennis) was a New York Times best seller. His first novel for Baen, Mother of Demons, was picked by SF Chronicle as a best novel of the year. His 1632, which launched the major alternate history series, sold out in hardcover almost immediately, followed by multiple printings in paperback. He currently resides in northwest Indiana with his wife Lucille.
Dave Freer, author of The Forlorn and A Mankind Witch (both Baen) and of many articles in scientific journals, is an expert on sharks, an accomplished rock-climber, a wine-taster, and was an unwilling conscript in the "undeclared" South African-Angolan war. He lives in Natal, South Africa with his wife Barbara, two sons, and several Old English sheepdogs.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Summer read. I bought the paperback that recently came out (summer '06) for a summer read. To me, a summer book is one you just read, relax, and enjoy. No deep deep thoughts, no crazy violence, nor dark magic... just something to zone out with and enjoy.
It has a plot. I liked this book so much because it is light-hearted, but not light in plot. It has a well captured plot and the story follows it. The plot pulled me in for the ride such that I never found myself wanting to go into critic mode.
It is fun. It is an enjoyable comedy that has characters with enough depth to them to carry off the storyline. I looked forward to various characters coming back into the story just to see how they would react to the issues at hand. A fun adventure.
And lastly... I give this book great credit for subtly reminding the reader of what happened in the 1st book (as this is a sequel). While I have a horrid memory and forget books easily, I also hate books that spend pages upon pages trying to redo previous books in a series. This book does a wonderful job of alluding to past events in such a manner that does not draw you away from the story at hand. Great job!
Two books are just not enough! It was like eating your favorite candy!! And REALLY!; one of them should have been named Kate. Ok, hint, one was a misnamed rat named Ariel. Think Willie Wagglepole. I read Ugly first, and ran amuck in my home town and Houston looking for Vats, alas, to no avail. But Wait, there is always Amazon and sure enough they came through. I got it, read it, and gave both books to a friend of my son for a Christmas present. But of course, I will buy two more from Amazon for myself.
With luck, we might get more books out of this; surely there is more to wring out of the RBV series yet. I mean really two books are not really a series are they?
Naturally, the heroes do not care for this at all. The old gang of larcenous rats, revolutionary bats, drama queen primates, young hero and rich heiress come together again to not only save themselves but save their planet. They do so with a laugh on every page.
This is not faint praise; the book "Pyramid Scheme" (also written by Eric Flint and Dave Freer) was my "gold standard" before this, yet "The Rats, the Bats, and the Ugly" was even funnier.
The plot has been summarized quite a bit already; let's just say that Ginny, who was rescued at the end of "Rats, Bats and Vats," is still in trouble and Chip Connolly (a low-ranking enlisted soldier) still ends up going to her rescue.
However, this time, Ginny shows herself to be extremely resourceful, and her self-esteem problems from the first book are long gone. She knows Chip, and his love, and his friends (the rats and bats, who have cyber chips in their heads; they are people, not animals) are all extremely important -- and all of these extremely important people are necessary to their planet's survival.
The war footage makes sense, but that's not what this book is about, for the most part.
No. Instead, it's about the futility of a high command who has never really had to "command" anything, being stuck with a bad war that it doesn't know how to fight; it's about a media which has been controlled by the high command (and the aristocracy; in this book, it's more or less the same thing) finally figuring out they've been hoodwinked. And the conspiracies are just getting started . . . along with the fun.
As I said before -- this is one of the funniest books I've ever read, and I appreciated reading it very much. It is on my shelf for ease of re-reading, and I'm very glad I was able to purchase this book.
Five stars, highly recommended.
P.S. "The Rats, the Bats, and the Ugly" is a direct sequel to the also-hilarious "Rats, Bats and Vats" -- if you haven't read the first book, you will understand most of what's going on, but you'll miss several in-jokes.
Easy way around this is to get both of 'em at once; truly, hours of enjoyment await!