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Saucer: Savage Planet by Stephen Coonts
Cover Artist: Saucer by Maspin / Alamy; Coulds & Copters by Shutterstock
Review by Linda Marie Schumacher
St. Martin's Griffin Paperback  ISBN/ITEM#: 9781250042002
Date: 01 April 2014 List Price $15.99 Amazon US / Amazon UK

Links: Author's Website / Show Official Info /

Saucer: Savage Planet has great suspense, ordinary Americans, pharmaceutical giants as bad guys, and aliens. What more does a reader want? I loved the story as ‘Big Pharma’ searches for a missing flying saucer trying to get drug secrets from the saucer's computers.

Saucer: Savage Planet begins at an ocean salvage operation off the coast of New York. A big pharmaceutical company is attempting to recover a flying saucer from the ocean floor to obtain the secrets to a life-extension drug that are in the saucer's computer system. They hire an IT consultant named Adam Solo to help with the recovery. They are successful and secure the saucer to the ship's deck and head back to port. Solo surprises everybody and enters the saucer and flies it away.

At this point, some background is required. In a previous novel, a young man named Rip Cantrell was on a college expedition and found a flying saucer in the Sahara desert. The world was able to obtain great technology from the saucer, including anti-gravity devices and computer upgrades. Cantrell quickly became an international superstar. At the same time, the US population finds out that a similar saucer has been hidden at Area 51 in Nevada since the Truman administration. Those in charge at the time figured the world was not ready for the new information and all the technology that the spaceship would bring.

Leaders from two pharmaceutical companies working together, also known as 'Big Pharma', want the anti-aging drug that they believe is hidden in the saucer's computers and take off in chase of Solo and the saucer he stole from the salvage operation. They don't care about the implications of overpopulating the world. All they want is the money they will gain by marketing the medicine.

The Cantrells and Charley, a test pilot hired by the Cantrells, become involved again in the search for Solo and the missing saucer. It turns out, fairly early in the novel so I am not spoiling anything, that the anti-aging drug really does exist and that Solo has been using it for the last 1000 years since he landed on the Earth. Solo is an alien. He shows up at the Cantrell farm and they immediately become friends. The Cantrells are back in the international spotlight, and they go into hiding with Solo to help him contact his home planet for rescue.

The Cantrells are very well intentioned and realize that the anti-aging drug that Solo has will change the Earth and it will most likely not be for the better. Meanwhile Big Pharma is chasing them and so is the US government. The Cantrells were already acquainted with the US President from their previous saucer escapades, and meet with him again.

It is a great suspense story. Solo turns out to have had a very interesting life over the last thousand years and the readers are able to relive some of his adventures through the novel. If I say any more I will spoil the story and it is a great one. I highly recommend it.

I have read other books by Stephen Coonts including his Jake Grafton series. I was surprised that Saucer: Savage Planet was completely different and I loved it. I had absolutely no trouble catching up on the events of the first two novels in the series. One bit of humor in the novel that I totally enjoyed involves the US President. He gets tired of all the "yes men" working for him and asks the opinion of a Navy Petty officer who happens to be on duty at the White House. The Petty Officer is a young kid from Oklahoma and gives the President a straight answer. The President loves this and befriends the Petty Officer. It is a nice humorous side story amid the chase to find Cantrell and Solo, stop the pharmaceutical giants and keep the anti-again drug from changing the world.

I highly recommend Saucer: Savage Planet. I can’t wait for the next one.

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