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REVIEW: Street Lethal

AUTHOR: Steven Barnes

REVIEW SUMMARY: Surprisingly poor effort by Barnes


BRIEF SYNOPSIS: Aubry Knight is a rising star in the sport of nullboxing (zero-G fighting) when his world collapses when he’s arrested for killing a man (it was in self-defense but you know those coppers) and sent to a maximum security prison buried in the desert of New Mexico. Aurby escapes and runs into a plot involving a drugs, the mob, and a girl.

PROS: The story depicts California years into the future that finally suffers the ‘big one’ (I’m coming ‘Ouisy!) in a very realistic way (people scavenging through the buried portions of LA, for example.) I also liked the underground prison and key aspects of the drugs affect on the main characters.
CONS: This book is largely about characters and for some reason Steven blows it in this one. I wasn’t sympathetic towards any of them, they didn’t behave in a way I could understand (well, except for the villians) and at the end I didn’t care what they did.
BOTTOM LINE: I’m disappointed – I like Barnes other works a lot and he’s much more adept at character development in his other works. Dream Park is one of my favorite books (along with the sequels) and so I was really hoping for a good one here. For whatever reason this one just doesn’t deliver – maybe he needs Larry Niven to help him out?

FYI, this is the first of a trilogy (the Aubry Knight trilogy.) The other two books are Gorgon Child and Firedance.

2 Comments on REVIEW: Street Lethal

  1. Man, very, very good work. Inspired me from day one. I walked into a book store when i was fifteen or so, saw it on the shelf and had to have it. That book nevere left my side, carried it everywhere i went. Found all three copies of the series Streetlethal, Gorgon Child, Firedance, over the following years. I hoped for more. Though one question i alway wondered was if there was an original draft or not. Id love to see it if so. Keep up the good work i look forward to plenty more. Maybe if im successful enough i’ll be fortunate to have a book of my own someday. Thank you for the inspiration and excellent, exceptional work.

  2. totoy_bibo // December 5, 2006 at 9:37 am //

    Its a nice book but it is hard for me to summarize it:O

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