Search Book Reviews
Author/Editor Name
Book Title
Browse Book Reviews
Book Reviews Home
Browse by Author
Browse by Editor
Browse by Reviewer
Book Genres
Books by Rating
Publication Year
See Them All
Total Book Reviews 1,630
SFReader Extras
David L. Felts Stories
Fiction Feature Stories
Contest Winners
Movie Reviews
Suspended Animation
Firebrand Fiction
SFReader Info
Fiction Feature Guidelines
Story Contest Guidelines
How to Get Reviewed
Phule's Paradise, by Robert Lynn Asprin cover image
Science Fiction
Year Published
Review Posted on
Reviewer Rating

Reader Rating
7 out of 10

Phule's Paradise, by Robert Lynn Asprin

Book Review by David Hart

Have you read this book?

This is the second in the "Phule" series. Though the story could just about stand alone, you really should read it after the first book, Phule's Company (the same applies to this review!).

The company of misfit legionaries have been turned into an elite unit by their mega-rich young commander, Captain Phule. However his enemy in the Space Legion HQ arranges for the company to be assigned to protect a casino in Lorelie, a space habitat devoted to gambling. Supposedly a cushy duty, the casino has been infiltrated by the local Mob, who intend first to bankrupt it and then to take it over. Watch Phule and company dig in to repel the invaders, marvel at their counter-attack (or rather at its absence), thrill to the occasional low-key danger and violence.

As you may have gathered from the tone of the last sentence, I feel that the book, and indeed the whole series, suffers from an inherent problem. Here we have a 200-strong military unit complete with lethal hardware, and what do they do with it? Not a lot. In Phule's Company they guarded a swamp, here they guard a casino. At least this time a few shots are fired in anger, though in a nice, controlled way to make sure nobody is hurt. Once the enemy is defeated, do they kill? do they prosecute? No, actually they don't do anything much at all. Maybe that's because they sense that the bad guys aren't especially bad--at least the way Asprin portrays them.

Don't misunderstand me: I'm not particularly keen on blood and guts or detailed military manoeuvring. However the series needs to decide what it's about. So far at least it isn't about warfare. Despite what the blurb-writer thinks, it isn't conspicuously humorous. The first book introduced the situation and the characters, which passed the time pleasantly enough. The sequel doesn't really expand on either; and neither does the next in the series, A Phule and His Money. I can't help feeling that both would have been improved if there was something more for the troop to confront: a tiny galactic crisis perhaps, or maybe a limited war, or at least a bloodless coup.

So much for the bad points. There are good points too. The writing style is light and readable. The main characters are reasonably convincing (though the lesser ones tend to be rather flimsy). Though the story relates matters of less-than-cosmic importance, there is enough detail in the plot to keep the reader's attention. In summary, I feel the book is a missed opportunity, but still not without merit. Don't look for hidden depths, or even unhidden ones. Read it for relaxation, secure in the knowledge that no one will be seriously hurt and the good guys will win.
Phule's Paradise, by Robert Lynn Asprin on Amazon

Phule's Paradise, by Robert Lynn Asprin on Amazon

Phule's Paradise, by Robert Lynn Asprin cover pic
Add a comment on Phule's Paradise, by Robert Lynn Asprin
Your Name:
Type (case sensitive) here:
Comments on Phule's Paradise, by Robert Lynn Asprin
There are no comments on this book.

Top Rated Books
Catching Fire-by Suzanne Collins
Catching Fire

by Suzanne Collins
Newest Movie Reviews
Advertise on SFReader

Dalsala Den, by Mike Griffiths
home page | books: by author - by editor - by genre - by reviewer - by rating - by year | all books | firebrand fiction | how to get reviewed
  All contents Copyright 2000-2015,