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Saucer Paperback – March 8, 2002

3.8 out of 5 stars 371 customer reviews
Book 1 of 3 in the Saucer Series

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Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

In a departure from his Jake Grafton series, Coonts (America, Hong Kong, Cuba) introduces Rip Cantrell, a 22-year-old seismic surveyor who finds a flying saucer that has been buried in the Sahara for 140,000 years. Everyone wants it, including nasty billionaires and bad governments, and Rip's job is to keep it out of their hands. With air force pilot Charlotte (Charley) Pine, he learns to fly the beast and keep it away from the bad guys. Coonts's many fans may be disappointed, as what could have been a great adventure novel fails badly. Is Saucers meant as a satire? A comedy? High adventure? All of the above? The result is, in fact, none of the above. Even considering the topic, the plot is implausible, and the book also suffers from cardboard characters and wooden dialog. Cartoonish fun but definitely "Coonts Light"; for larger collections. Robert Conroy, Warren, MI
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist

Rip Cantrell, doing seismic surveys in the Sahara, stumbles across a 140,000-year-old flying saucer in working condition. The air force sends beautiful ex-test pilot Charley Pine to investigate. Rip and Charley then have to fly for their lives, learning saucer-piloting as they go, from grabby, demonic Australian billionaire Hedrick, who wants to sell the saucer to the highest bidder. Eventually Rip and Charley get help from Rip's Missouri tinker uncle, Egg, and eventually the Air and Space Museum gets the saucer after, in the manner of thrillers, Hedrick and other would-be saucer-grabbers get theirs. Coonts doesn't always reach the highest level of logic here, but his knack for pacing and action is sound, and his sense of humor is ready for such developments as the effect of the saucer's antigravity on a pop-foul ball. He treats the romance of Rip and the eight-years-older Charley affectionately, and he shows a soaring passion for flying. The rather lighthearted thriller-cum-romance-cum-sf-novel could be called Rip and Charley's Excellent Adventure. Coonts stalwarts will find that reading this reminds them of his nonfiction book about flying an antique biplane, The Cannibal Queen (1992), rather than one of his Jake Grafton yarns. Roland Green
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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Product Details

  • Series: Saucer (Book 1)
  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin; 1st edition (March 8, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312283423
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312283421
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.8 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (371 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #614,011 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Rennie Petersen 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.
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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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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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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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