June 2004
© 2004 Ernest Lilley / SFRevu
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Lost and Found by Alan Dean Foster
Del Rey / Random House HCVR: ISBN 0345461258 PubDate: 06/01/04
Review by Jeffrey J. Lyons

256 pgs. List price $23.95
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Marcus Walker, a Chicago commodities market wheeler-dealer accepts a bet to go on a camping trip in Sierra, Nevada. While there he, his tent, and about 100 square feet of Cawley Lake are kidnapped and hurtled into deep space on a Vilenjji starship. He finds himself among a group of other oxygen breathing creatures awaiting the same fate, which is to be sold as slaves on other worlds.

He finds solace in George, a talking earth mutt with a sarcastic tongue and two other anti-social fellow captives. They devise a plan to escape, to where they donít know as long as it is anyplace but this starship. Their collaboration brings some interesting results.

I wondered about the age group the novel was specifically geared to. Del Rey is marketing Lost And Found as Young Adult (YA) Sci-Fi. Not that YA should be simplistic but there were more than enough large and sophisticated words, which sounded like something out of a college textbook. So with that in mind, Iíd call it straight Sci-Fi, or at least YA that doesn't need to apologize for talking down to anyone.

Overall the story is imaginative and the many species crammed into the ship are versatile in their look and mannerisms. The climax seemed a bit convenient. Thereís a satisfying conclusion thanks to a lucky break in deep space and that would seem to work well for YA, but not straight sci-fi.

On the other hand it can be both amusing and entertaining at times and the major characters have their own unique personalities that should clash but actually work great together. It is definitely a quick read coming in at about 250 pages, perfect for tossing in a backpack and taking off on a summer adventure maybe even a camping trip by a lake. Lost and Found is Book One of the Taken Trilogy and it is evident that the adventures of this curious quartet of protagonists are far from over - good news for readers..

© 2004 Ernest Lilley / SFRevu
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