RATS, BATS & VATS by Dave Freer

RATS, BATS & VATS

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Noirish comedy alien shoot-’em-up, from paperback author Freer and collaborator Flint (1632, Feb. 2000, etc.). Isolated, mostly low-tech colony planet Harmony and Reason, with its rich shareholders and peasant non-shareholders, has been invaded by the giant-grub Magh’. Fortunately, the colonists were forewarned by the ambulatory-pincushion Korozhet, who also provided cybernetic implants to raise the colony's bats and rats to human intelligence. Along with numerous vat-grown non-shareholders, the bats and rats form the beleaguered colonists' defense forces. Ginny Shaw, brain-damaged after a childhood accident, also has an implant; she's the daughter of the planet's richest couple. Unfortunately, they've just been murdered, by Jampad assassins, according to Ginny's Korozhet tutor, the Professor, and both Ginny and tutor are now prisoners of the Magh'. Lowly vat-grown soldier Chip Connolly, along with assorted rambunctious, uninhibited, drunken rat and bat buddies, finds himself cut off behind enemy lines, trapped inside a force field and with little prospect of survival. Still, Chip, rats, and bats fight their way out of one scrape after another, rescuing Ginny and the Professor along the way. If they can kill the Magh' queen, the barrier force field will fall, so they decide to attack the hive's nerve center. Their chief weapons will be an assortment of abandoned agricultural machines, fertilizer, alcohol, and a quality the rich, stupid shareholder bosses have been unable to muster—initiative.

Inventive and often smile-worthy, though it's far from certain that the authors' unlikely setup hangs logically together.

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 2000
ISBN: 0-671-31940-X
Page count: 416pp
Publisher: Baen
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15th, 2000




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