SF Reviews background image SF Reviews logo image
Contact SF Reviews   |   Get the Newsletter 

Biased and superficial Science Fiction reviews

Angel Of Destruction

Copyright 2001 by Susan R. Matthews

In Association with Amazon.com In Association with Amazon.co.uk
SOJALS rating:     
no SOJALS point no SOJALS point no SOJALS point no SOJALS point no SOJALS point    Unrated (0/5)

I first read this on the 29th January 2002.

This novel is set in Matthews "Judiciary" universe.

Bench Specialist Garel Vogel negotiated the surrender of the rebel Langsarik space fleet. During these negotiations he has come to respect the Langsariks and in particular their commander, Fleet Captain Walton Agenis. Vogel has endeavored to implement a workable and fair agreement. The terms of surrender are hard for the Langsariks but after eight years of servitude their parole will be over and they'll free once more. If the terms are not met, the penalties for the Langsariks are very severe, indeed horrific.

So Vogel is surprised and disbelieving when after only one year, he is sent to investigate infractions of their parole, including piracy and murder.

Are the Langsariks really so foolish as to risk their freedom, or are they being framed?

With help of the Langsariks, Vogel investigates.

Characters from Matthews other "Judiciary" novels make cameo appearance: Andrej Koscuisko floats around a little in the background and Secretary Verlaine and Mergau Noycannir pop up once or twice. What's sad is that these guests are the only ones worth mentioning in this dire book.

It's clearly written for the juvenile market, but something's terribly wrong with the writing. There's not tension, no mystery. The Langsariks officers are supposedly highly-professional commanders of a major space fleet yet have clearly been brain-wiped. I can find no other explanation for their total lack of professionalism, intelligence and initiative. It's either brain-wipes or bad writing.

Matthews introduces two special organisations: the 'Malcontent' and the 'Angel Of Destruction'. These are badly-conceived devices to add some depth and breadth to the plot but are so without merit that they simply drag the book down further. I read this with a growing sense of amazement that this could be so different from her other work.

Don't read this, but do read Matthews' other books, they're great, albeit somewhat violent.

Loaded on the 17th February 2002.
Cover of Angel Of Destruction
Cover art by Matt Stawicki and Ray Lundgren

Reviews of other works by Susan R. Matthews:
An Exchange Of Hostages
Prisoner Of Conscience

Reviews of other works with covers by Matt Stawicki:
River Of Dust
Murphy's Gambit

Reviews of other works with covers by Matt Stawicki and Annette Fiore:

Reviews of other works with covers by Ray Lundgren: