M.H. Wilson,
The Galactic Seven
(Virtual, 2003)

If The Galactic Seven were a TV series, the spaceship would be a spray-painted cardboard box, lasers would be made of flashbulbs and the majority of aliens would look like humans combined with whatever the prop department had on hand.

I love shows like that. When the props are bare and the plots simple, everything rests on the spirit of the show and the projection of the characters. The Galactic Seven of the title are otherwise rather ordinary earthlings who just happen to have been picked to defend peace across the galaxy, and maybe beyond. The reader is introduced to their strange secret heroism along with Todd Wills, an unemployed computer specialist who is recruited to join the team after the previous specialist comes to a bad end. Why Todd is picked over any other computer buff is never fully explained and doesn't really matter, as the book is soon caught up in unraveling the deadly schemes of the Saiphians with the help of a dangerous female spy.

Everyone is pure-hearted here -- the bad guys dangerous, the good guys driven by the most accessible of emotions. It's cheesy, true, but it makes for an accessible adventure, a crew the reader could and would easily join in. First time author M.H. Wilson relates the adventures of the Seven with just the right mix of seriousness and fun to make the threats they face alarming, without requiring deep critique of the physics and politics involved.

The Galactic Seven isn't brilliant literature. This is Wilson's first book, and his writing trips headfirst over many beginner's stumbling blocks. Speech attributions are afflicted with an amusing case of synonyms, leading people to shriek, gasp and shout on every page. Descriptions are over-emphasized as though he fears the reader might overlook something. If Wilson wasn't clearly having so much fun with the story, these might be crippling problems. The innocent exuberance of the intrepid crew carries them over and through the weaker points of the writing. More troubling are the perniciously prevalent typos. Misspellings, and sound-alike words interrupt the action with a frequency that suggests either the author or the producer of this adventure was too busy to ensure the work was presented properly. The Galactic Seven deserve better!

This isn't a coffeetable book. No book club would deign to consider it for deep analysis. But The Galactic Seven aren't there to impress critics; they're here to save the galaxy! I wish them luck, and many successful adventures.

- Rambles
written by Sarah Meador
published 25 October 2003

Buy it from Amazon.com.