Saturday, June 25, 2005

Science Fiction Book Review: The Tenth Planet (Trilogy)

I’ll review all three books here since I think they most likely should have been one large book instead of chopped into three anyhow. Marketing ploy, and a good one. Co-written by Dean Wesley Smith and Kristine Kathryn Rusch (What’s with the three name author titles?) The Tenth Planet trilogy is a science fiction action thriller and does quite well to follow the genre.

The premise of the books is that a tenth planet, in a highly elliptical orbit, sustains and alien race which harvests the Earth of organic materials every 2006 years, the time it takes the tenth planet to do one orbit around the sun. A pretty good what if scenario.

My only qualm with it is this. The planet is covered with photon absorbers (solar panels if you will) and is virtually invisible to telescopes. But, if there really was a large planet sized object orbiting our solar system we would know about it long before it was found with a telescope. Minor, and I mean minor (like milii-arc-seconds) of displacement of other planets would have, by the time these books take place, have proven another large planet sized object shares our solar system. You may be able to mask the planet visually, but it would have considerable mass.

For the sake of these books, that method of detection was completely not explored. So, we are left with an archeologist finding proof (every 2006 years) that something is devastating the Earth, but not the entire Earth, and it is set to come again. So book one then deals with the alien’s first pass by Earth and their sending down harvester ships. A battle ensues, but Earth gets its resources sucked and the Tenth Planet moves on.

But the Tenth Planet will pass the Earth again on its return to deep space. Book two then deals with Earth building defenses and making strategies to deal with the alien’s second pass. Throw in some nukes and nanotech and you have the end of book two.

Book three is the showdown between Earth and the aliens. Big battles, twists and turns and I won’t spoil the ending since you might want to read them. They are not long books so you don’t need to invest a lot of time in reading them. And, overall, they are fun. If you like science fiction action films, you will most likely enjoy these novels.

So here they are in case you want to hunt them down:

The Tenth Planet
The Tenth Planet (Oblivion)
The Tenth Planet (Final Assault)

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