Review Blog

Sep 27 2013

The only game in the galaxy by Paul Collins

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The Maximus Black Files, Book 3. Ford St, 2013. ISBN 9781925000061. RRP $19.95. 333p. Pbk.
(Age 12+) Recommended. Hold on and get ready for a fast and furious helter skelter ride through a world of futuristic spy games with Maximus Black and his nemesis, Anneke Longshadow. Defined by the publisher as science fiction (space opera) this final offering in the trilogy, had this reader on the edge of my seat for the entire ride. Openly admitting this is not my favourite genre and despite having not read the first two books in the series, I had no trouble in picking up the threads of previous actions and history of the whole RIM (intergalactic law enforcement agency) and the nefarious main character. This was a book that demanded not to put down mid-story and there was some considerable difficulty in doing so (due to constraints of mundane annoyances like day jobs and the length of my commute).
Though there are numerous other characters in play, as well as some swift changes in time and place, due to the technological marvels of the future, the novel has tremendously fluid continuity throughout. One has immense trouble disliking Maximus, for all his faults and as his past unfolds to reveal his present, there is clearly room for a 'nurture vs nature' debate. I was put in mind of Artemis Fowl - except perhaps on steroids!!
Begging for a lengthy discussion about good and evil, - and are certain characters inherently either one or the other, along with the obvious parallels with historical and current global conflicts, there is no hesitation in recommending this exciting and well paced novel for older and capable readers of around 12+.
Put this one (and the first two!) on your shopping list immediately - there will be no disappointments here.
Teaching notes are available.
Sue Warren

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