It isn’t a Sahara mirage. The glint that Rip Cantrell sees in the distance in the sand is metallic, but the seismic survey worker has never seen a metal quite like it. What Cantrell has uncovered is a bona fide flying saucer. Before the sand has settled, a cast of characters including a greedy billionaire, a horde of territorial Libyans, and our hero on high alert, Jake Grafton. A five-star military thriller.
In this humorous UFO thriller, the sequel to bestseller Coonts's Saucer (2003), pilot Charlotte "Charley" Pine is hired to fly a French spaceplane to the moon, where millionaire Pierre Artois is building a base. Once there, she discovers that Artois has equipped the base with an antigravity beam projector and plans to make himself and his malevolent wife, Julie, rulers of the world. Charley promptly returns to Earth to warn everybody. Meanwhile, Newton Chadwick, a mad scientist in the pay of the French, kidnaps saucer-expert Egg Cantrell and forces him to fly to the moon in the original Roswell saucer that landed in 1947. Egg's nephew Rip Cantrell and Charley steal another flying saucer from the Smithsonian, and soon saucers and other borrowed alien high-tech are in pitched battle over the moon. Later, French pilot Jean-Paul Lalouette (perhaps the book's most engaging character) is determined to go down fighting and nearly turns the tables in a gripping aerial duel of saucers up and down the East Coast. Cartoonish characters with names like Senator Blohardt and Joe Bob Hooker add to the fun. Agent, Robert Gottlieb. (Sept. 7) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
This work, which is hard to pigeonhole, will elicit various reactions. Some researchers find an ancient flying saucer in the Sahara desert, the U.S. air force becomes involved, then an Australian multibillionaire takes the craft. Anyway, there is excitement, romance, some technical details, rather flat characters, and more than a little satire thrown in. Definitely not Coonts's greatest work, it is still rather intriguing. Dick Hill, who is a well-respected narrator, does a superb job; he takes what is at best a mediocre piece of literature and makes it exciting. His voice characterizations for all the cast are consistent and quite expressive. Hill's commendable performance illustrates well the saying that it often is not what one says but how one says it. Public libraries may wish to consider.-Michael T. Fein, Central Virginia Community Coll., Lynchburg Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
The premier purveyor of flyboy thrillers (Combat, 2001, etc.) varies his formula with a comic, feel-good SF adventure that reads like a Disney made-for-TV movie. The metallic glint that Rip Cantrell spies on the desert horizon is no mirage. Camped out in the Sahara with geological survey team along the border between Libya and Chad, the resourceful Cantrell finds a chunk of metal appearing in a mass of sandstone, and, after many hours of chipping away, exposes a saucer about 70 feet in diameter with a bubble cockpit on top and a hatch designed to be opened by a human hand. Even more remarkable: the interior contains futuristic technology that isn't so far advanced that Rip and members of the team can't puzzle it out. Though it's been buried in the sands for at least 140,000 years, the ship uses water as a fuel, has computer screens, anti-gravity capability and a headset that provides telepathic links to the ship's memory. Word of the discovery leaks out to greedy Australian billionaire Roger Hedrick, who sends his thugs to steal the craft so Hedrick can profit on the technology; and the US Air Force also hears, and dispatches its UFO team to dismiss the saucer as a hoax. Among those on the team is beautiful, spunky former female test-pilot Charlotte "Charley" Pine, who lets Cantrell talk her into flying the saucer, with him navigating, just as the Libyan army shows up. The two fly back to America, scare and bedazzle some homespun types, and then, with Cantrell's uncles-Arthur "Egg" and lawyer Ollie Cantrell-helping out, avert a series of increasingly comic and violent crises at home and in Australia, while delivering optimistic messages about humanity's ability to meet future challenges.. . . Funny, featherweight frolic reminiscent of the we-found-a-spaceship-in-our-backyard SF juveniles of the 1930s.
“Coonts knows how to write and build suspense.” The New York Times Book Review
“Tough to put down.” Publishers Weekly
“A comic, feel-good sf adventure.” Kirkus Reviews
“Coonts is a natural storyteller.” USA Today