I love classic science fiction. It may seem corny to some, but there’s a wonderful charm to those vintage pulp stories of science fiction’s Golden Age.
Scout’s Honor is a flawlessly-executed homage to that era. Conventional wisdom about judging books notwithstanding, this is one case where the cover tells you exactly what this is: a love-letter to the space-faring, swashbuckling adventures of yore.
The protagonist is Terran Scout David Rice, who crash lands on the planet Aashla, and soon finds himself fighting to protect the beautiful Princess Callan from raiders, kidnappers, and armies of rival kingdoms. The inhabitants of Aashla are primitive compared with the advanced technology Rice possesses, but even with his technological superiority, he finds himself needing all his strength and wits to survive.
Along with the princess and her guard, Rice sets out on a fast-paced adventure full of dangerous beasts, alien thugs, and court intrigue. There are airship battles and gladiatorial duels in sewer tunnels. And of course, despite the breakneck pace and the constant danger, Rice and Callan find themselves falling in love.
The story is told in bite-sized chapters, each of which ends with a cliffhanger. I loved this. Just when one threat seems eliminated, a new one appears. It’s relentless, but in a fun way. I was always eager to see how Rice and company would escape each unpleasant surprise.
Description is minimal, but there is enough suggested through the action that I could picture the scenes effectively. There are a whole host of supporting characters who were quite entertaining in their own right. Martin Bane was a particular favorite of mine; I enjoyed the way his character developed.
There are times when I just feel like escaping into a fun imaginary world, and Scout’s Honor is the perfect way to do that. It’s easy to read, hard to put down, and an all-around delightful way to spend a few hours for fans of sci-fi and fantasy alike.
This sounds fun! The cover and your review made me think of John Carter of Mars and Dejah Thoris (if I’m remembering correctly). “Easy to read, hard to put down…” – can’t think of a better recommendation than that 🙂
Yes! It is very much like that–definitely an homage to John Carter etc. Thanks for the comment. 🙂
Amongst the large number of albeit well written and carefully plotted SF/Fantasy books with tragedy, doom-laden worlds and flawed heroes, we need that smattering of works such as these. I’ve put this one on my ‘to read’ list
Thanks for another valuable review
My pleasure! I like “heavy” sci-fi as much as anyone, but there are also times when I just want to kick back and enjoy some fun escapism. This book is great for the latter.
‘Full Metal Jacket’ is a classic film on the brutalising War causes, one I watch often.
But I’ll be just as happy watching ‘life lessons’ in ‘We’re The Millers’ with Jennifer Aniston & Jason Sudeikis
I’ve also noticed that lately, with the pandemic etc., I’ve been leaning much more towards lighthearted films and books than ever before.
This is a fair and reasonable reaction
We can face up to the harsh facts of the pandemic and act like adults, but it doesn’t mean we can’t take time out with some light-hearted or escapist. entertainment to raise our spirits.
I imagine games like ‘Pandemic’ have taken a nose dive in popularity, along with books and films (far too many of both) along this theme.
In times of depression, people choose comedy and escape for relief. When life is sailing smoothly people turn to drama and tragedy.