Thursday, October 1, 2009

Book Review: Escape on Venus

Reviewer's Note: This review has been changed.

In this adventure, Carson Napier and his love Duare are attempting to find safe haven after being booted out of Vepaja over their illicit love affair. The two are heading for the friendly country of Korva when their are captured first by Myposians-fish like creatures and then a horde of following tribes, including Japalans and Vooyargans, who freeze them from the neck down and show them off in a zoo. At the end both end up stuck in the middle of a war between Falsans and Pangans...who honestly I couldn't even tell apart.

If my description sounds vague and flat...well the "novel" is that way as well. It probably has to do with the way Burroughs wrote it. Written just as World War II broke out, Burroughs wrote 12 short novellas for publication-four that would make up this book, another set that would make up Savage Pellucidar (the final entry in that series) and the final set that would result in Llana of Gathol (the 10th in the John Carter of Mars series and the last one published in book form during Burroughs' life.) While this might have spiced up his writing, it leaves the reader somewhat worn out by the end. Indeed all four novellas have the same setup-Carson and Duare escaping one death trap only to land in another. The villains introduced aren't memorable and by the end you even get the feeling Burroughs had run out of things for his hero to do. That may explain why this was the last Venus novel (even though a novella, The Wizard of Venus would be published after Burroughs' death.)

So it gets a ** out of 4.

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