Battlefield Earth by L. Ron Hubbard

Many thanks to NetGalley and the publisher, Galaxy Press, for sending me a review copy in exchange for an honest review.

In 2000, I watched possibly the worst movie ever made. Starring John Travolta, Battlefield Earth was expected to be fantastic. The book had been one of the best selling sci-fi novels when it was published originally in 1982 and hopes were very high, but the adaptation was awful. Given the opportunity to read the book myself for the first time, I thought to myself "how bad can it be?"...

Quite frankly, the book is nothing special. It is just over 1000 pages of average writing, average plot and pretty average characters. In fact, the only word to describe this is average! I found the plot to be a little to contrived in places, to get the main character into more and more unlikely situations which he would always, eventually, wriggle his way out of. I found myself, at times hoping Jonnie Goodboy Tyler (which sounds like a name for a dog, to be frank!) would have some kind of slip and suffer a lot more, and I was even routing for Terl, a monstrous alien known as a Psychlo, in the first half of the book.

The basic premise is that it is the year 3000. human-kind is almost extinct and the planet has been taken over by a the Psychlos. They are monsters from the living humans' knowledge, weighing 1000 lbs, around twice our height, with claws and skin which is very tough. Even the weakest is stronger than any human ever. Jonnie Goodboy Tyler, a young man from a village in the Rockies, tries to find proof that there were ancient cities on the plains and finds Denver, where is is captured by Terl. The story then really begins, but there seems to be a formula...every time Jonnie solves one crisis, another emerges, threatening the whole planet many times over.

The idea for the book isn't bad, in fact, I like the premise very much, but the way it has been written and constructed left me feeling a little frustrated. Had the book been a trilogy instead of a single volume, it would have made more sense, but for me it was as monstrous as the Psychlos. Too big, and all show...

Star rating: 3 from 5 - as average as average can be!


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