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I am not a fan of science fiction or Western genres. The only reason I chose to read this particular book is because I am a fan of Bruce Boxleitner. And I must admit that I am pleasantly surprised and suitably impressed. I found I just could not put the book down. From the beginning, we are experiencing life in the old west right along with the amnesiac hero Macklin. Dubbed a "greenhorn" by the locals, he doesn't know how to survive in 1881 Arizona any more than we do. This makes his stumblings and confusion for local customs and lingo all the more personal because he makes many of the same mistakes and assumptions that we likely would. Through his innocence and ignorance, we learn to care for Macklin and his quest for the safety of the humans on earth as well as his quest for his own identity.
I found the writing style both easy to read and well paced. Sprinkled throughout the action were historic facts, sometimes described from the hero's uninformed point of view, hinting to the reader what Macklin was looking at. The fluid descriptions of landscape and people brought vivid and colorful images to my mind. I felt very often that I could see exactly what Mr. Boxleitner was seeing when he wrote the passages.
All in all, I am very glad I gave this book a chance and I thank Mr. Boxleitner for many hours of dusty and historic enjoyment on the plains of Tombstone Arizona. I purchased the sequel at the same time that I purchased this book and am already halfway through it. These books do not disappoint.
Posted September 6, 2002
And the second question that "Frontier Earth" raises is: Did Bruce Boxleitner actually write this book? If he did, as the publishers claim, consider me impressed. "Frontier Earth" explores a wonderful blend of Western and Science Fiction. The "secret" of Macklin, although fairly predictable early on, is nonetheless an interesting character study in a man's quest for identity - a great metaphor for the misfits and trailblazers that actually settled in the American West. The aliens are downright twisted and rather fun to follow at times. Boxleitner's attention to detail in Tombstone, it's characters and how they all weave together in a climactic showdown at the OK Corral is meticulous, but not overly so. The only problem I had with the story is how the events seem to shift too quickly from one person to another. If the story is broken down chronologically, very little plot actually happens. Characters in different places are going somewhere and thinking something and then in the next chapter, a different character is thinking a different thing at the same time but in a different place. The book seemed heavy on character and low on plot. Not necessarily a bad thing, though a better balance would have been helpful. All in all, an impressive debut from Boxleitner and Co. I look forward to reading another installment of the series.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.