August 23, 2015

Deathworld by Harry Harrison

Title:  Deathworld
Author:  Harry Harrison
Pages:  147
Genre:  Science Fiction
Publisher:  Nelson Doubleday, 1960

Synopsis:  Jason dinAlt finds excitement and intrigue as he investigates Pyrrus, a strange place where all the beasts, plants, and natural elements are out to destroy man. Well-known to fantasy and science fiction enthusiasts, this tale portrays exciting adventures filled with the elements of classic characters and plot twists.

Review:  This was a pretty good book.  Short, but good.  All three of the books are very short.  Since I'm curious to see what happens next, I'll continue with the series.

The world of Pyrrus certainly is deadly and deserves the 'Deathworld' nickname. I expected this story to feel dated since it was published in 1960.  It didn't.  It has a timeless quality to it and does not feel like it's 55 years old.

The main character, Jason, is does not seem very much like a hero at first, but he comes through in the end, mostly through sheer determination, common sense, and luck.  My favorite character is Meta, the female Pyrran who could crush Jason with one hand.  She's a good deal of fun.  I also like Nava, the man who can talk to animals.  He doesn't say much, but what he says made me laugh out loud at times.

The theme is pretty standard.  Man's own violent nature is destroying him.  The twist is that it has more to do with the human's thoughts than with their actions.  The story was fast-paced and had plenty of thrills for being so short.  Not the very best I've ever read, but certainly well above being the worst.

Rating:  6.5 / 10

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