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The Light-Years Beneath My Feet, by Alan Dean Foster Book Review | SFReader.com
The LightYears Beneath My Feet, by Alan Dean Foster Genre: Science Fiction Publisher: Random House Published: 2005 Review Posted: 5/23/2005 Reviewer Rating:
Reader Rating: 5 out of 10
The LightYears Beneath My Feet, by Alan Dean Foster
Book Review by Lynn Nicole Louis
Have you read this book?
I'm not an Alan Dean Foster fan in the sense that I eagerly await his books. I've read some of his stuff, but I can't really recall any of it, so it must not have made much of an impression. I remember one three-book series he did about an interstellar war in which humans turn out to be the saving grace because they are able to resist the mind-controlling influence of the enemy. I recall enjoying Book One very much -- I can still recall a few of the scenes from it -- but I couldn't tell you a lick about the second or third books. So the point of this whole rambling prefix is to explain that while I might not seek out Mr. Foster's work, I'm not adverse to reading it.
The Light Years Beneath my Feet is Book Two in the Taken Trilogy, the follow-up to Lost and Found. In order to talk about the book I read, I have to give a little background. A key plot element to Book One is required, so if you plan on reading Lost and Found, you might want to skip this review.
In Lost and Found, commodities broker Marcus Walker and the stray dog George were kidnapped by the Vilenjii, a space-faring species that indulges in slavery. The Light Years Beneath my Feet finds Marcus and George (now enhanced with human- equivalent intelligence and the capability to talk) and their alien companions Braouk, a hulking and saga spouting Tuuqalian, and Sque, an acerbic and intellectual squid-like creature, free from their capture and guests on the civilized world of the Sessrimathe. With no evident way home, Marcus finds himself bored and foundering.
In a world where technology is capable of almost anything, and art and novelty are still somewhat appreciated, he decides to become a cook. A culinary performer, whose gastronomic concoctions are as much a show as they are meal. Marcus becomes so successful he finds himself in great demand. At a show for local dignitaries, he's approached by the alien Viyv-pym, of Niyyuu and offered a commission to perform on her home world. Figuring he can't be any worse off, and hoping they might be headed in the right direction, Marcus talks his companions into accompanying him.
Once on Niyyuu, Marcus once again finds success with his meal preparation performances, so much so that his new hosts seem reluctant to assist him in finding Earth. So Marcus, with some assistance from his companions, put into action a plan with the intent of encouraging their hosts to assist them.
Foster's writing is smooth and his characters engaging, but like most of his other stuff they failed to rise above expectations. I had a large quibble with some military tactics Foster has his aliens employ in that they just wouldn't be feasible and I was left unconvinced that they would work. So while I found this an enjoyable read and a pleasant enough way to pass the time, it didn't raise Foster into the ranks of "authors to look for."
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