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3.8 out of 5 stars
Saucer
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35 of 37 people found the following review helpful
on April 15, 2004
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I'm sure I would have loved this book if I were 16 years old. I'd have given it 4 or 5 stars and thought that the 22-year-old hero, Rip Cantrell, was "too cool for school", as Rip himself puts it.
Unfortunately (?), my age is such that I review books based on how I think most adults will see them, and I'm afraid that results in me labeling this book as being "juvenile" and giving it only 3 stars.
Rip Cantrell finds a real genuine flying saucer buried in the sands of Northern Africa. Together with a couple of other guys he digs it up. The flying saucer is 140,000 years old! And it still works!! All it needs is some fuel, which happens to be plain water!!!
A pretty woman turns up and Rip demonstrates his savoir-faire by insulting her. "Do you really like him or just need sex?" he asks her when she admits that she has had something going with the guy she's together with. We can rest assured that this love-at-first-sight relationship will blossom and become a major driving force in the story.
Everyone wants the flying saucer, especially the American military and an Australian media mogul (very loosely based on Rupert Murdoch), and both are willing to use serious force to get what they want. Soon Rip and the pretty girl are on the run, flying the saucer on a fantastic journey across continents and oceans. And then things start to get really exciting.
After the public becomes aware of the existence of the saucer there is widespread panic. The military and the politicians are all up in arms, and are depicted as being a bunch of idiots. So it's not just exciting but also rather humorous at times.
Actually, the book presents a fairly good story, and I liked it. But the tone is definitely juvenile. And what is one to make of a statement like this: "This thing is so damn up-to-date that it hasn't been invented yet."
Not a book that makes you think very hard, but a good fun read, especially if you haven't had your 20th birthday yet.
Incidentally, on Stephen Coonts' web site he says that he's working on a sequel.
Rennie Petersen
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26 of 28 people found the following review helpful
on March 28, 2002
Format: Paperback
I have been a fan of Stephen Coonts's writing since I picked up "Flight of the Intruder". His excellent character development, thought provoking plots, and fast pacing is exactly what I like in a novel.

"Saucer" opens with a mystery and it ends in a mystery. In between it takes the reader and characters through a whirlwind of greed, deception, discovery, murder, government conspircy, politics, love, loyality, and ethics. Mr. Coonts does an excelent job placing his characters in very difficult situations, then giving readers enough time to ask themselves what they would do before moving foward with the story. While slowing down the pace, the anticipation and reflection on the characters' situation added tremendously to the story.

While this story of fantastic technology and flying sacuers pushes into science fiction, Mr. Coonts firm grasp on the ethics and challanges of possessing this technology brings the novel back into the realm realistic fiction.

I really liked this book, but I did have trouble connecting with the characters. To me, the characterizations seemed a bit more shallow, more static than the dynamic shades of grey found in Mr. Coonts other works.

Overall, this is a very thought provoking diversion that takes the reader on a wild ride of a story.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on November 7, 2009
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Being unfamiliar with Stephen Coonts' other works (aside from Saucer: The Conquest), I cannot give a review based on past experiences with the author and this may not be one of his best works. So, before beginning this review, I wanted to let it be known that I am unfamiliar with his other works and writing style and am reviewing this based purely on the work itself.

That being out of the way, I loved reading this book. To be fair, this is by far not the best book I've ever read (not even close), but it was an enjoyably fun read that was literally tough for me to put down, and this is how I based my 5 star rating. It's a cooky, thrilling adventure. Is it goofy at times? Of course! That's what makes it fun.

Personally, I read so many academic books at this point of my life that it's nice to curl up to a more light-hearted book and allow yourself to relax.

I definitely recommend reading this book, as well as the sequel. If you're interested in saucer like novels, I would also recommend Steve Vance's The Asgard Run. Cheers!
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on June 4, 2002
Format: Paperback
Coonts' latest offering is the kind of novel you buy for that long plane journey, train ride or simply sitting outside one afternoon. Lacking depth in its plot, characterisation, it more than makes up for it with its sheer 'hold on for the ride' exhilaration.
Rip Cantrell, who is working in the Sahara for a seismic surveying company during a summer vacation, spots a glint of metal and unearths a flying saucer in under two days - which in itself is no mean feat - then promptly, under the misguided notion that 'finders keepers' steals it from under the arguing governmental types with an ex-army pilot, Charley.
What follows is a nonsensical speed ride across Missouri, earth orbit, Australia (bad guys come from here for a change), Eygpt, and an American stadium. A joy ride, par excellence, a literal rollercoaster, Coonts eventually takes his hands off the throttle to briefly explain the origins of this hundred, forty thousand year old craft, throws in a navigation system born of virtual reality and your ever-reliable anti-grav system to create an adventure where a scheming corporate magnate steals the saucer for huge financial and territorial gain in a lottery.
Our erstwhile hero saves the day and then neatly ends giving all this wonderful technology to the people of planet Earth whilst the governments of the world look on.
So, an enjoyable ride. Coonts finally does what other sci-fi authors haven't yet done - produces a flying saucer, removes the mystique and says: let's take it for a ride. All in all, it's hardly a thought-provoking novel, but it is a good fun read on that transatlantic flight.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Format: Audio Cassette
Gosh, you people are all so SERIOUS!! This book was pure fun, and I can't imagine it was intended to assault the pedestal on the Booker Prize. But who cares? With any novel these days, you have to decide how much you're willing to suspend disbelief. The fun of it is seeing how far humor, pseudo-science fiction and whimsy can carry you along and keep you entertained. In this case, pretty far. The combination kept me away from my work on several boring plane rides. I also liked the fact that there is enough ambiguity to the underlying story that you're forced to at least think for five seconds (okay, maybe one or two seconds) about the theory of human evolution and whether Coonts has an interesting twist. So, take a break from the deadly serious world of being Jake Grafton wannabees and pick up this mind candy. Besides, I'm sure this is the type of book that Jake Grafton himself reads when no one's looking, and when the Secret Service men have all turned in for the night.
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16 of 20 people found the following review helpful
on September 16, 2006
Format: Paperback
I admit it. I didn't read the reviews of this book before picking up Saucer. If I had, I would've been clued in to the obvious flaws in this book. Namely, the most irritating mary-sue character I've read this year: Rip Cantrell. Rip Cantrell is a young man with a genius IQ, the ability to outhink experts, fly saucers and, punch out Australian terrorists. Not only that but he's a complete smug jerk. My eyeballs began to roll when he pulled the Airforce officer off his feet, breaking his hip. When asked later, Rip replies smugly: "He got mouthy."

I could only get to the part where Rip kisses the lady air force officer before my ability to suspend my own disbelief disappated entirely. The only reason I might read another Coonts book is if it featured Rip Cantrell getting mauled by a pack of wild pigs.

This is a classic case of an author making one character so perfect, so superior, so annoying that he actually alienates readers. That and the science fiction elements were really really the most cliche I've ever read.

1 star. Lame in every way that counts.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on February 28, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
This was absolutely atrocious. There aren't many books that I stop reading and never finish...... but this was one of those. I read sci-fi, action-thrillers, and horror, so I figured I'd like this.
Poorly written, inane dialogue, horribly plotted, badly executed.
How did this ever get published? It's astonishing that anyone would say they actually liked this garbage. They MUST be friends and employees of the publisher.

Read the back of a cereal box instead.
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10 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on March 26, 2003
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I bought this book at the supermarket checkout counter and completely regret purchasing it. The premise sounded interesting, but after closer inspection, I wanted to burn the book. Rip, the main character, is thoroughly annoying. He is a wet-behind-the-ears college student, yet he is portrayed as an over-the-top genius. In the first 50 or so pages, he uncovers a 140,000 year old alien spacecraft, learns how to open and operate it in a matter of minutes, kicks the ... of a military commander for looking at him wrong, beats the ... out of an armed mercenary and teaches a former Air Force pilot how to fly the alien craft. Oh, and he can eat a lot. The remainder of the book just added more drivel. This book absolutely stunk!
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on March 20, 2003
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I've read (and enjoyed) some real stinkers in my time, but this is by far the worst thing I've ever read. The characters are two dimensional, the plot completely unbelievable, and the science totally baked. This had the potential to be a very good book, but comes off as some ten year old's flying saucer and women fantasy
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on April 22, 2002
Format: Paperback
I was most disappointed in this book. The plot was easily discernable from the beginning. And to top it off, his characterizations and descriptions were very poorly drawn. I ended up not caring about what happened to any of them. I find books on UFO's fascinating so it certainly wasn't the premise that turned me off.
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