- Series: Solar Queen
- Hardcover: 304 pages
- Publisher: Tor Books; 1st edition (April 1993)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0312853149
- ISBN-13: 978-0312853143
- Product Dimensions: 1 x 5.8 x 8.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 15 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,745,961 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Redline the Stars Hardcover – April, 1993
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From Publishers Weekly
Nebula Grand Master Norton and Griffin recreate the flavor of Norton's four Solar Queen books (published almost 40 years ago) while updating some concepts and quite a bit of technology. The crew of the Free Trader vessel Solar Queen , flying under Capt. Miceal Jellico, has mixed reactions to new crewmate Rael Cofort, who is plying the space lanes as a jack-of-all-trades despite her position as a physician and status as sister of the successful rival Free Trader, Teague Cofort. Upon arriving at Canuche of Halio, the most advanced planet of the sector, the Queen's crew is endangered when Rael picks up the odor of man-eating rodents used in a gruesome gem-stealing scheme. Rael earns her mates' further respect with her gem-trading skills, but her warning of another, major, disaster reveals her true worth, leading the crew to accept her and prompting her to revise her original plans. In their third collaboration (after Storms of Victory ), Norton and Griffin deliver a satisfactory read that, nevertheless, like the original series, lacks the sophistication and complexity of Norton's later works.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.
From Kirkus Reviews
Norton's four-book series about the trader spaceship Solar Queen ended in 1969 with Postmarked the Stars; this long-range continuation utilizes Norton's concepts and was written mostly by Griffin. This time, the Solar Queen (its personnel often recognizable from 1969) takes aboard a female crew member, the half-alien, empathic, multitalented medic Rael Cofort. Though problems crop up almost at once, and some of the men mutter about her being a jinx, Rael soon saves Sinbad, the ship's cat, after he gets torn up in a terrible battle with a giant rat. Later, on planet Canuche, Rael unmasks a nasty conspiracy among local bar owners, who rob and murder unsuspecting patrons and keep rats to dispose of the evidence. Next, Rael demonstrates her impressive trading abilities in earning the ship a fortune in rare textiles and gems. Finally, she warns the local ocean-shipping magnates of a potential disaster involving the handling of chemical cargoes-- and then, sure enough, a shipboard fire triggers a devastating explosion, after which Rael, heedless of her own injuries, shows off her miraculous doctoring skills. Agreeable, well-crafted adventures--the superman slant isn't as tiresome as it sounds in summary--though lacking the salty-dog realism of A. Bertram Chandler's Rim World yarns, and markedly less powerful than C.J. Cherryh's alien-trader Chanur tales. -- Copyright ©1993, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.
Top customer reviews
Rael butted her way onto the Queen, then stuck her giant nose into places it DID NOT BELONG!!!!! I wonder at her audacity sometimes. She thinks she rules everything! At one point she was petting Queex and actually GAVE THE CAPTAIN AN ORDER!!! At least he reprimanded her for it. She was TOTALLY "perfect", took over the whole book, and pushed Dane aside into the shadows.
Also, she reduced everyone to a pile of emotional mush! Even Ali! I was thinking, "Oh, good. Everyone else may be acting ridiculous, but at least Ali won't." But no! He acted TOTALLY different, like a stupid soap opera character. I really missed his rude, sarcastic self.
**SPOILER ALERT** Another thing is that Rael has this preposterous ESP talent where she can control animals. OHHHH!!! She makes Queex into a sniveling little pussycat. I wish he would have bit her in the face. I wish Sinbad would have scratched her when she tried to pet him. I even imagined 'witch doctor' Tau turning her into a toad! **END OF SPOILER ALERT**
The only part I liked is when Rael and the Captain were caught in the explosion of the ammonium nitrate. Rael finally got what she deserved-getting knocked cold. However, I really wish she would have perished instead.
It seems as if the other author put Rael in the story because she wanted to be there herself, and built a ridiculous fantasy around that idea. That's just what it is. A fantasy. The plot is totally centered around Rael and her absurd interactions with the members of the Queen.
I TOTALLY agree with the reviewer that wanted someone to throw Rael out the nearest airlock. Pure poetry!
Strangely, the characters kept saying "Aye." They inserted this word into nearly every sentence! Almost never did they say "Yes." What is with that? The book was written in the nineties, and set in the distant future. WHY in the WORLD would the characters use "Aye" in place of "Yes"??
1 - Bad Science .. yes I know 1950 era science that Griffin tried to update .. .so many jarring gotcha's won't bother to list
2 - I am assuming Griffin is female since it feels like she who must have loved the Solar Queen decided to write herself in some idealized form into it as the main character and have the Captain fall for her... save it for the fanzines . I actaully started to like Rael until she keep being the only star of the crew.. All the other characters seemed to fade to support her skills and spooky power. I think Griffin thought the other characters were being developed but I felt they were backdrops to Supergirl.
3- Norton was great about giving you a sense of mystery or wonder... None to be found one world centered that feels like Houston ship canal
4- One of the most grating coiners of words ARGH... The crew was constantly being referred to as "Space hounds" at least a dozen time each reference compounding the last. Griffin attempted to invent clumsy words for solar system, galaxy, universe, ultras and supra scattered about and don't forget the ever easy to exclaim "Lords of Light and Dark" wow
I'm sorry to go on and I pretty sure Griffin did this as some sort of homage or labor of love but feels like it was way too self centered and not with all the other fans in mind who crew up with the crew .
Hope someone can carry one of these days
Unfortunately, our library only carried the first two books in the series, but I finally located the two 'Solar Queen' novelettes and read them, too. They weren't quite as good - Norton was concentrating on fantasy by then, and somehow it didn't quite mix with the crew of the 'Solar Queen'. However, I never lost my original affection for the series.
Then, decades after the publication of the original novels, I found 'Redline: the Stars'. I couldn't wait. I bought it in hardback rather than holding out for a cheaper edition. The fact that it had a second author's name on it was worrisome, but I assumed I'd be reading mainly Norton.
I read the book from cover to cover, hoping to find at least a trace of Norton and a trace of the original 'Solar Queen', then hurled "Redline: the Stars" into the wastebasket.
I felt totally cheated. I usually give up my non-keepers to the library and loan my keepers to my friends, but I couldn't pass this one on to some other poor, unsuspecting Solar Queen fan.
I am pretty sure that all Norton wrote was the introduction to "Redline: the Stars". The original characters were passive, uninteresting shadows - even the Captain and the Cargo Master!. I felt like I was reading someone else's adolescent fantasy of the 'Solar Queen' and her crew that never should have been published under Norton's name. Nothing seemed 'true to life' (if I can use that phrase about something that was a novel to begin with). It was a horrible reading experience - the literary equivalent of visiting an old friend who has advanced Alzheimer's Disease. I don't recommend this book.
Most recent customer reviews
I like the Solar Queen books before this one. The ones after are readable. This one is not.Read more