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“Shackleton’s Folly”


5 Small Stars
Shackletons Folly

I just finished a very good space adventure book. Yeah, it’s one of those kinds that has a hero, a heroine, a sidekick, and fast than lightening space ship. I don’t think anything could go wrong with a story containing all that good stuff? And, it sure didn’t with this one.

I wasn’t sure about reading this book because for some reason, I was put-off by the title. I kept thinking this book was about something going on in the 18th century, some contraption that somebody built that didn’t work. But, I guarantee that is about as far from this book as you can get.

Alec Shackleton is a human from Earth. His trusty sidekick is Dancer, a cobalt-blue alien-android-centaur. I can’t imagine a four footed alien trying to move around in a small space yacht which is what he and Alec own and it’s called the Quest. The name of Alec Shackleton’s space ship is appropriate since he definitely is on a quest. See, Earth has long been destroyed. We finally heard back from all those silly little satellites we sent out into space and the message wasn’t good. Earth found that it couldn’t defend itself and therefore was shortly destroyed. The only humans in the Galaxy just happen to be those not on the planet at the time of it’s destruction.

But, Alec Shackleton’s father, Jack, was around when the Earth was destroyed. Obviously, he was off-planet and one of the several thousand humans to remain alive. Now several thousand people are not going to be able to grow a new civilization unless they have a place to do so protected from an unfriendly galaxy. But, they did try and Alec was one of the first humans born without ever having set foot on his home planet. His Dad believed that Earth had sent out a colony a long time ago when it first discovered interstellar space travel. This colony was the abruptly lost, never to heard from again. Jack Shackleton believed that this lost colony had found a new Earth and that it could become the new home of the human race if they could only find it. His quest for that home was called “Shackleton’s Folly” because no one else believed humans were smart enough to have created such a place. Humans were now hunted down for sport. Unless you were pretty good at taking care of yourself, you didn’t live long wandering around the galaxy.

Now enter Alec Shackleton. He’s taken up his father’s quest. He has some clues that he has found along the way that give him a glimmer of hope that there really might be a new Earth somewhere in this vast space. Then he meets Electra. A stunningly beautiful slave girl. She is human also! And she has secrets. Now a third member of the Quest start again to try and prove that Shackleton’s Folly isn’t one after all.

I really like the story. It has some rough and tumble fighting, both on the ground and in space, it has some comedy, a little anyway, and then there’s the love story. All fit together pretty good except I found that some parts of the book just felt like they were definitely written at different times. It seems like the author stopped writing at a paragraph and then started later almost repeating what just already happened. I kept asking myself at times, “Didn’t they already do that?”.

Still, this is a very good book and I might have to track down some more adventures of Alec Shackleton.

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