Sleeper Agent by Sean Gibbons

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Sleeper Agent by Sean Gibbons
Buy Sleeper Agent from Amazon.co.uk

Buy Sleeper Agent from Amazon.com

Genre: Teens
Rating: 3/5
Reviewer: Jill Murphy
Reviewed by Jill Murphy
Summary: Sprightly and imaginative sci-fi pulp novella. Fast-paced and with a twist in the tale, it's in true homage to the genre.
Buy? Maybe Borrow? Yes
Pages: 70 Date: March 2009
Publisher: Equilibrium Books
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 9781921456152

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Zach has been in contact with aliens for some time. They've been beefing up his mental and physical abilities so that he can fulfill his destiny as the saviour of civilisation in the inevitable Vrotogore invasion. His friends don't know this, though, and so his girlfriend Cass has become his ex. She's fed up with his frequent and unexplained absences, and has taken up with Jeremy, a particularly unpleasant character with some quite revolting habits and an exceedingly aggressive manner. Then there's Hooper - a geeky genius inventor who likes a drink more than is strictly good for him.

Returning from an alien world-saving training session with the Rejaelans, Zach discovers that Jeremy has captured a mysterious creature. Jeremy doesn't know it, but the captive is Crown Prince Krael of the Dractillum - a part of the intergalactic alliance against the wicked Vrotogore. Since Krael's spaceship is at the bottom of a local lake undergoing repairs and battling the Loch Ness Monster Earth's last remaining pleiosaur, only Zach lies between a prince of the Dractillum and a nasty fate at Jeremy's hands...

Sleeper Agent is written in the style of the pulp sci-fi magazines of the 1950s. It has all the elements: good aliens, bad aliens, badder-than-bad but ludicrous villains, a human destined to save humanity, a gorgeous girl, and an energetic, lurid style. It's hugely entertaining and faithful to the genre. Geeky sci-fi fans will thoroughly enjoy it.

These types of story generally form part of a series and while Sleeper Agent doesn't end on a cliffhanger, I suspect we'll be seeing Zach and Cass again some time soon. If and when we do, I'd like Gibbons to tidy up the structure and style just a wee bit. Sleeper Agent has a little prologue at the beginning, but it's not signalled and I spent the first dozen pages feeling a little bit confused. Sentences have a tendency to run on and while I the lurid vocabulary fits the genre perfectly, it gets a bit wordy at times. I would also have welcomed some tougher proofreading.

These nitpicks aside, though, Sleeper Agent is a thoroughly satisfactory piece of sci-fi pulp fiction. It's fast-paced and good-hearted with a great deal of energy about it.

If you fancy the sound of Sleeper Agent, you can download the ebook in various formats here

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