Saturday, October 16, 2010

good, but not great: blonde bombshell by tom holt

“A comedy of intergalactic proportions” reads the blurb on the front cover of Tom Holt’s latest book, Blonde Bombshell, but while there’s the odd chuckle among the pages this is no Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy.
Holt has been hailed as the heir to Douglas Adams any number of times, despite the fact that his work is as often about magic as it is about science.
But the sheer surrealism of a universe run by mice is missing from Blonde Bombshell – even though Holt has the audacity to nick the concept and substitute another Earth animal as the protagonist.
In fact there are more than a few nods to other seminal works in this novel, not the least being a “bomb” that becomes self-aware.
While there are some humourous passages as aliens attempt to interpret seemingly bizarre human rituals like using money, fast food and airports, Blonde Bombshell generally falls rather flat.
There are no new ideas, no really engaging characters and the pat platitudes of “make peace not war” – even coming from the mouth of a creature created to destroy – doesn’t really grab the reader.
Blonde Bombshell isn’t a bad book; it’s easy to read, light and not too taxing. Basically if you’re stuck in an airport somewhere wondering why two men dressed in bad suits are trying to board with a decaying octopus in their carry-on luggage but can’t really be bothered paying attention, then Blonde Bombshell will certainly help pass the time. 

Blonde Bombshell by Tom Holt is published by Orbit Books and is available from good book stores and online.


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