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Asgard's Conquerors
Brian Stableford
Five Star, 275 pages

Asgard's Conquerors
Brian Stableford
Brian Stableford was born in 1948 at Shipley, Yorkshire. He graduated with a B.A. in Biology from the University of York, going on to do postgraduate research, first in Biology then in Sociology. In 1979 he received a D. Phil. Until 1998 he worked as a Lecturer in the Sociology Department of the University of Reading. Since then he has been a full-time writer and a part-time Lecturer at several universities.

Brian Stableford Website
ISFDB Bibliography
SF Site Review: Asgard's Secret
SF Site Review: Year Zero
SF Site Review: Swan Songs
SF Site Review: The Fountains of Youth
SF Site Review: The Dictionary of Science Fiction Places
SF Site Review: Inherit the Earth

Past Feature Reviews
A review by Susan Dunman

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Mike Rousseau is a stalwart explorer, renowned archeologist, or shameless charlatan, depending on who is giving the description. Having survived a series of life-threatening mishaps on the mysterious, multi-level alien habitat known as Asgard, Rousseau decides to give up a life of adventure before he gets killed. This second installment of The Asgard Trilogy begins with Rousseau's plans to return home to Earth, but fate interferes with his ambitions for a leisurely retirement.

It seems that the Star Force thinks he is a deserter and sends the irresistible Star-Captain Susarma Lear to apprehend the supposedly AWOL trooper. Rousseau reluctantly agrees to return to Asgard when he learns that the inhabitants of Asgard have emerged from the lower levels which he helped excavate -- and they are not happy.

Not only are they not happy, but the human-looking invaders have captured or destroyed everything that the super-efficient Tetron race built to encourage exploration of the planet-sized artifact. With the capitulation of Skychain City, there is no way to know the fate of the Tetrons, Humans, or other assorted races left behind during the attack. Although Rousseau feels slightly responsible for accidentally unleashing the alien horde to the top levels of Asgard, he is not too excited about going back down to the surface on a reconnaissance mission.

Of course, in no time at all, Rousseau finds himself leading a small Star Force contingent to contact the captives and uncover secrets of the enemy. As in the first novel, anything that can go wrong does, resulting in a series of misadventures with enough clever twists to keep any galactic sleuth gratified while trying to solve the mystery of Asgard.

Brian Stableford delivers a thoroughly entertaining look at first contact and the unintended consequences resulting from such encounters. The main character, Mike Rousseau, is an endearing curmudgeon who doesn't take himself too seriously, yet is world-weary and wise in the ways of human (and alien) nature. For some reason, Rousseau's personality caused flashbacks of TV's Detective Columbo to randomly appear during different episodes within this adventure.

Those who enjoyed Asgard's Secret will be pleased to see that the author continues in the same vein as the initial installment. There's plenty of action and the plot moves along at a brisk pace. The characters are fun, too, and they have plenty of personality. While they may not be all that deep, they do manage to make readers care about them and root for their success.

Those unfamiliar with the first installment of this story will appreciate a brief synopsis that is written into the beginning of Asgard's Conquerors. But no matter where you begin this story, it's a sure bet that readers will be looking forward to the final installment when (hopefully) all will be revealed.

Copyright © 2005 Susan Dunman

Susan became a librarian many light years ago and has been reviewing books ever since. Audiobooks and graphic novels have expanded her quest to find the best science fiction in Libraryland.


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