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Scout's Honor: A Planetary Romance (Volume 1) Paperback – August 20, 2014
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Scout's Honor is exactly what I wanted: short chapters detonating like bombs, relentless pacing, far future action on alien worlds. Scout's Honor is a distillation of all the reasons why I started reading science fiction to begin with.
L. Joseph Shosty, author and freelance editor
From the Author
There are no deep truths to be found within the pages of this book (and any who claim to have found such truths should consider a psychiatric evaluation). Instead, you will find adventure, romance, and problems which can be solved with a quick wit, a quick blade, or both. If that's what you're looking for in a story, I believe you'll enjoy my first novel.
To those who read this novel, please take a few minutes and leave an honest review (even if it's negative). Writers love feedback!
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However, the story succeeded despite the strange plotting. The characters while not super deep are engaging and interesting. The writing is very smooth, and the story comes to a rather satisfying conclusion.
I can't quite give it 5 stars due to the way the plot never presents a break in the action. It makes sense in the end, but the lack of any real pauses between the multiple crises that populate the story brought it down just a bit.
But that's ok...that brings us back to Rice Burroughs and classic sci-fi. The point is the action, adventure, and the characters. The action is intense, the adventure plot actually pretty convoluted, and tne characters as complex as you can get when they never have the chance to stop and take a breath. That's obviously, as the author confirms in a comment on a review below, a stylistic choice.
As it was, I very much enjoyed this non-stop roller coaster ride, but would have liked a little more of a pause to explore the characters. The action was vividly described, but I don't have a clear picture of any of the characters except the Desert Doctor. Even the black-haired, green-eyed princess isn't described more eloquently than "beautifuul." I would have appreciated that extra edge Mr. Vogel gave to the action scenes applied a tad more to the characterization. But Mr. Vogel achieved his goal of a fun, entertaining read, it IS very reminiscent of books like A Princess of Mars, and I will happily read more. Though I look forward to reading his next series, which he states will have more downtime to balance the action.
BTW, the author could easily made the book twice as long by using the obscure and circuitous language popular with writers today, and by adding useless padding. But the author is, as he says, a story-teller, and this is in the classical style of story-tellers from time immemorial.
Waiting eagerly for Scout's Oath.
Actually wanted to mark it down a half star because I couldn't find the beautiful princess on the cover, but we'll let that pass. De gustibus and all that.
I don't know how I missed the Barsoom books when I was a kid; I got all the Tarzan I could, but maybe the library didn't have any John Carter adventures. Since I've been an adult, of course, I've remedied that deficit, and I've also enjoyed the many variants, like the red headed biker chick on Mars. Some of the comments on this post don't seem to appreciate the fact that one story can be told in many different ways, and that is exactly what Henry has done here. He's good at it; he ought to be, because he is, after all, a story teller. This is a wonderful example of books that can be read around the fireplace instead of having the kids watch the Disney Channel. There is also an immediate tie-in with the Cub Scouts; I can see the faces around the campfire, listening intently to David's adventures, and screeching for more, when each chapter ends with a cliff hanger
This is an unqualified success. Note: I read this out of order, having gotten the second book from KU first, but the nature of the story is in no way harmed by that. This is a good old story of the type where you just know the hero and princess are meant for each other, and that's way col. Remember how disappointed you were when Wesley died in The Princess Bride? None of that foolishness here.
But he does say, 'As you wish...'