"Deathworld" centers on Jason dinAlt, a professional gambler who uses his somewhat erratic psionic abilities to tip the odds in his favor. [...] In a fit of ennui, he decides to accompany planetary ambassador Kerk to his home, despite being warned that it is the deadliest world ever colonized by humans...DEATHWORLD!

I idly opened this the other night. Next thing I knew, it was several hours later and I had finished it. I'm not saying this is the best book ever, but it has quite a lot of readability. Especially if you at all enjoy pulp fiction.

The world of DOOM, where everything is attacking you at all times, is a great invention, and the first third, in which it gets talked up and then introduced, is the best part. The rest of the book, while satisfactorily adventurous and producing a reasonably clever explanation for why its so doomful, is a bit of a come-down. It's a slick, fast, breezy tale, but with the concept of a world in which absolutely everything is deadly, I wanted more atmosphere.

I don't expect writers other than C. L. Moore to be C. L. Moore (one of the best at evoking creepy deadly places where the very grass will suck your blood), but I did hope for more description of exactly how everything is deadly and what it looks like. Instead, it's mostly "A thing just leaped at me! Whew, I shot it. It moved too fast for me to get a good look at it but now I can -- uh-oh, another thing! Whew, shot that one. Now another thing! No time to look at any of them because here comes a BIGGER THING! And a thing with tentacles! Fangs! Yikes! More things with tentacles! Get the explosives!"

Fun but doesn't really live up to the delicious premise.

Deathworld (99 cents on Kindle, including sequels.)


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