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Baxter Moon Galactic Scout by John Zakour
Review by Paul Haggerty
Brown Barn Books Trade  ISBN/ITEM#: 9780976812692
Date: April 2008 / Show Official Info /

Baxter Moon is in his second year of training as a pilot in the space scouts. He's opinionated and too sure of his own brilliance for his own good. He's just lucky that he really is nearly as good as thinks he is. After winning an appointment to the prestigious Galactic Academy of Scouts, Baxter has experienced one surprise after another. His current surprise is being placed in charge of a team sent to investigate the loss of two consular ships. Earth and Aqua have been having diplomatic issues, and decided to meet in neutral space. Now both ships have gone missing and Aqua will not allow the military to send in soldiers. Only second class scouts have the training necessary to do the job but not the training to use deadly weapons. It's a sticking point with the Aquans that's going to get a lot of people in a lot of trouble.

Baxter Moon Galactic Scout reminds me of the science fiction stories I grew up with. The plucky teenager hero, the wacky sidekicks, the pseudo-babble science, and, of course, the all-destructive enemy that can be defeated handily within 200 pages.

Baxter's team is dispatched in a gigantic starship (with weapons disabled, of course) to search for the missing diplomatic teams. Once there, they find that things are not what they appear, and another enemy may be on the move, one that seeks the subjugation of both Earth and Aqua through the evil hypnotic effects of entertainment television. Complications arise when Earth's diplomatic ship is located with a beautiful Aquan princess still on board.

The plotline of Baxter Moon Galactic Scout is rather straightforward, but that is not to say that it isn't a lot of fun. The situations are always dangerous, and yet never so hopeless that a pack of brilliant teenagers can't think of a way out of them, even though the adults are clearly lacking in this area. There are puns galore, friendly banter, royalty with attitude, and good-old-fashioned shootouts to provide hours of amusement.

If you liked the young adult science fiction books of the '70s and '80s, give Baxter Moon Galactic Scout a try. I hope it gives you the same nostalgic feelings and laughter that it gave me.

Our Readers Respond

From: Nancy Hammerslough (Book Publisher):
    Really funny book, even for the two or three non-sci-fi lovers in the world.

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