Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Rock Killer Paperback – February 27, 2012
The Amazon Book Review
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
About the Author
S. Evan Townsend is a writer living in central Washington State. After spending four years in the U.S. Army in the Military Intelligence branch, he returned to civilian life and college to earn a B.S. in Forest Resources from the University of Washington. In his spare time he enjoys reading, driving (sometimes on a racetrack), meeting people, and talking with friends. He is in a 12-step program for Starbucks addiction. Evan lives with his wife and two teenage sons and has a son attending the University of Washington in biology. He enjoys science fiction, fantasy, history, politics, cars, and travel.
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
But I finished it. Because, well, the author writes a pretty good action scene. And his science is pretty good. When he sticks to writing action scenes in space, and keeping within the boundaries of hard physics he's pretty darned good. But when he wanders off into social structures and politics he beats you over the head with it.
Rock Killer is set in the latter half of this century. Several private companies, including Space Resources Inc. (SRI), are mining the asteroid belt by locating and moving asteroids into Earth orbit. Charlene Jones is a member of the security group for SRI, and when the book opens, her base on the moon is under attack by terrorists, presumably working with Gaia Alliance, a group opposed to all space mining. From that point on, the action continues briskly, ending up with a dramatic battle in space.
This novel is a SF thriller, and suffers from some of the problems inherent in the genre. Character development is secondary to plot, although in fairness to Townsend there is some development, mostly of the protagonists. The author falls down on characterization for his antagonists, making them either fools or one step away from mustachio-twirling cardboard cutouts.
I also found the author's politics both grating and gratuitous. Townsend postulates an America where "radical socialism" has run rampant, and defending oneself from a criminal attack has become a crime. These are not my politics, and so I found them grating.
I also felt that these political leanings were unnecessary to the plot. I have reviewed and enjoyed books like Charles Sheehan-Miles' Insurgent and Republic. Here the politics were strongly left-leaning, but in Sheehan-Miles' case, the story simply couldn't be told without the politics. Not so with Rock Killer. The plot point of the "illegal self-defense" was simply to blow somebody's cover, which could have been done in other ways, and the "radical socialism" was simply not needed.
Yet, despite these objections, I found myself quickly flipping electronic pages while reading Rock Killer. Simply put, it's an exciting read, with protagonists, at least, that are believable and that one can care about.
One caveat: The Narrator is a bit lacking and is at times confusing with the books extensive diversity of players.
I like that the book was dedicated to Heinlein, but Heinlein wasn't just a libertarian, individualist sci-if writer; he was also a good writer. This book needs more of that.