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Red Claw Paperback – October 15, 2009
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The story itself is a basic run-for-your-life-and-get-out tale. Take the characters from "Battle Royale," place them in an off-world version of Arthur Conan Doyle's "Lost World," have HAL-9000 direct a constant assault with Terminators and sentient flying scalpels, and you have a feel for the story line. A well-paced escape story is supported by a thorough imagining of alien taxonomy, future governance structures, and an underlying theme of revenge.
Although the story works well as a thriller, the occasional mix of existentialism, environmentalism (No Terraforming!), and rebellion against an autonomous government is a bit tedious. Other than that, it's a great little read. Enjoy.
The ending is awfully anticlimactic and doesn't seem to end in the right place, though, and a few characters seemed underdeveloped. There's also way too much graphic sex, comparable to Debatable Space, which got annoying. Still, I really enjoy Palmer's style of writing and storytelling. He seems to enjoy doing it, and I enjoy reading it. I look forward to his next novel, Version 43.
I have to say I just don't get the hate for Palmer's works. It's as if some people have a grudge against him for some reason. I see a of nitpicking on details I wasn't particularly bothered by, and almost no appreciation for the things Palmer does right, and there are many. Sure, his novels aren't perfect, but they're definitely an enjoyable and well-written read.
This book reminds me of something that I have a huge love for. I dig those old early to mid 20th century posters/random art work of scifi adventures. I could stare at those things for hours. They just open up my imagination like nothing else. Now don't misunderstand what I said earlier. When I said "hokey" I meant no disrespect. This book about a scientific expedition on a alien planet gone horribly wrong (love that!) has some amazing characters and a deep storyline going in a lot of different directions. I just don't think people need to make up an excuse for the fact something was just fun as hell. So many people think they need an excuse to enjoy something over the top and THEY DO NOT. If you love it, embrace it. Just because something has a lot of "pew pew" and run from the scary monster, doesn't mean it can't have a wonderful storyline with deep characters. Not every author with something meanginful to say has to write the same plots as Hemingway, and I'll be reading everything Palmer I can get my hands on in the future.
And the alien planet. Oh how I loved it. They even had creatures called Godzillas. And if that doesn't make your geek giddy then I don't know what will. Some cool "griffins" in there too. Theres a lot of story with those creatures and they were very interesting to me. Every aspect of this planet is foreign to ours so it made it really cool to read about. I loved how this book could go from scientific, turn the corner to absolutely hilarious and find itself in a very violent and very dark place. If you love a great sci-fi story that has wonderful characters in a "50's scifi setting" (atleast that's how my brain saw it) you'll dig this story a lot.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Starship troopers meets the lost world,,I couldnt stand the way this book was written,it is just as boring and tedious as any bad cheesy scifi movie,in the first few pages your... Read morePublished on February 28, 2014 by Jason
Although I usually read more serious sci-fi authors like Zindell, Sheffield, Asimov and Baxter, I happened to pick Red Claw up at Half-Price Books because of the hilarious opener... Read morePublished on December 15, 2012 by Sci-Fi Addict
I love old-school classic sci-fi and I loved every page of this book.
I originally picked up Red Claw while waiting in a book shop for a friend I was about to go camping... Read more
Boy, am I sorry I spent time reading this disastrous follow-up to Debatable Space (which, incidentally, was terrific!). Read morePublished on February 27, 2012 by M. Vogel
What a complex and interesting journey. Red Claw was at times very impressive, while also at times boring--more than once I considered if the book was worth finishing. Read morePublished on April 1, 2011 by J-Man
The first paragraph of Johannes Stauffer's review sums up Red Claw, with the kid describing a video game. Read morePublished on December 18, 2010 by Gregory O'brien
Reading /REDCLAW/ (evidently a tenuous reference to Tennyson's 'In Memoriam') is like listening to an eight-year-old boy with severe ADHD describing his favorite video game: you... Read morePublished on April 23, 2010 by Amazon Customer
I found this book refreshing and enjoyable to read despite the casual sociopathy the author displays in parts. Read morePublished on March 8, 2010 by Jim Molnar