03 October 2012

Emperor Mollusk Versus The Sinister Brain

Welcome to my first of many book review. My hope with these is to improve my own writing by seeing with a critical eye what other authors do. And also to introduce those that read this blog to great books or steer them away form bad books. So, on with the review.


The first thing that drew me to this book was the title. It intrigued me enough to open the cover and read the summary. From there I was hooked. Here is the summary from the cover:

Emperor Mollusk.

Intergalactic Menace. Destroyer of Worlds. Conqueror of Other Worlds. Mad Genius. Ex-Warlord of Earth.

Not bad for a guy without a spine.

But what's a villain to do after he's done . . . everything. With no new ambitions, he's happy to pitch in and solve the energy crisis or repel alien invaders should the need arise, but if he had his way, he'd prefer to be left alone to explore the boundaries of dangerous science. Just as a hobby, of course.

Retirement isn't easy though. If the boredom doesn't get him, there's always the Venusians. Or the Saturnites. Or the Mercurials. Or . . . well, you get the idea. If that wasn't bad enough, there's also the assassins of a legendary death cult and an up-and-coming megalomaniac (as brilliant as he is bodiless) who have marked Emperor for their own nefarious purposes. But Mollusk isn't about to let the Earth slip out of his own tentacles and into the less capable clutches of another. So it's time to dust off the old death ray and come out of retirement. Except this time, he's not out to rule the world. He's out to save it from the peril of THE SINISTER BRAIN!

Now, who doesn't want to read this book. I mean, its got villains and...well, more villains. Death Rays. Sinister Brains. Robots. Aliens. And more. And it is all in the style of those old pulp fiction stories. Well, that is the impression I got from the covers of pulp fiction magazines. I never really read any before.

The story starts out with Emperor Mollusk saving Earth from himself. Or a clone of himself to be more precise. I was going to say evil clone, but since Mollusk is evil, self admittedly even, that would be kind of redundant. From there, he heads back to his home on Earth and is confronted by an agent from Venus named Zala who wants to arrest him because he killed the queen of Venus. Though that isn't why she is there. She is there to protect him because the Venusians have learned that someone wants to kill Mollusk (gasp). So, Zala follows him around attempting to protect Emperor Mollusk from the assassins although it is usually the other way around. And of course, since he is an evil conqueror of worlds, Mollusk doesn't just sit there and wait for the assassins to come to him, he goes out and looks for the one behind the attacks, much to the chagrin of Zala. So, it goes through the rest of the book as they fight off assassins and follow clues until they finally confront the one behind it all. And you will never guess who it was. It was...yeah, like I am going to ruin the ending for you. Just go get the book and read it.

The book was very good though there are a few things that I didn't quite like about it. First off, and this is just a personal beef, every planet (and several of the moons) in the solar system had an alien civilization living there. But that's not all, they are all way more advanced than humans. Plus Earth wasn't inhabited by just humans, there were at least three or four other civilizations secreted into the corners of the world (also more advanced than humans). This is one of the major reasons I got the pulp feel from it.

The other thing was the way he conquered Earth. (This is another spoiler that I am not going to reveal here. Again, read the book.) I mean, it was a very smart way of doing it. But, being a human myself, I just don't like the fact that we were conquered so easily. This is really a minor annoyance rather then anything bad about the book.

Otherwise, I don't have any complaints with it. For those of you who know me, I did read this book in four days. Yes, just four. That tells you I really enjoyed it. For those of you who don't know me well, a book this size (293 pages) usually takes me about a month. I don't like to read very fast so I don't miss much in the story.

And now for the rating. I am going to give it...4 out of 5 stars.

The next book I am reading is 'The Sorcerers' Plague' by David B. Coe.

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