REVIEW: Your Planet or Mine? by Susan Grant
Dear Ms. Grant,
I started reading your books with the first in “The Star King” series. I fell in love. They were fresh and different. The “Banzai Maguire” book didn’t work as well for me though I applauded the risks you took. I had really hoped to enjoy “Your Planet or Mine?” but despite the great idea it was not to be.
Years ago, young Cavin Far Star accompanied his scientist father on fact finding missions to planets which the Coalition might be interested in taking over. On one of them, he met a young girl who believed in magic, who danced in the moonlight and who captured his heart. Jana Jasper, one of the “First Family of California” Jaspers has all but forgotten the magical boy she met twice when she was nine. All grown up now and carrying on her family’s legacy of public service as the youngest state senator in California, she is determined to get to the bottom of the recent spate of rumors, inuendo, and lies behind the smear campaign against them. The last thing she needs is for a handsome nutcase to follow her around the grocery store in her quest for “Phish Food.” But when he utters a nickname she hasn’t heard in decades, she finally, reluctantly, admits that it’s her magic boy returned to her — though all grown up now himself.
But what he has to tell her, stuns her. And the high tech robot assassin who’s tailing him and trying to kill him scares her. According to Cavin, Earth has finally reached the top of the Coalition’s, the ruling body of most of the galaxy, acquisision list and they’re headed this way to clear out the pesky humans and take over. He needs Jana to get him to her leader and help convince the Earth powers-that-be of the seriousness of the situation. He also needs access to a few things to help him help Earth to change the Coalition’s mind. He also hopes to finally be able to tell Jana what he’s always felt for her. That is, if they survive the many forces out to stop/get them.
As I said, it’s a great idea but one marred by slow scenes, long scenes and too many subplots. I started reading the prologue and kept reading and reading and reading it. After a while, I wondered when it was going to end. After 38 pages, that’s when. Who needs a 38 page prologue? I also felt that it needed a lot of tightening and editing. Scenes dragged on for far too long, long past when I lost interest in them.
And there were too many subplots — did we really need the whole sturgeon subplot and an assassin after Jana? I kept reading the early scenes of this plot thread wondering why the heck I was wasting my time reading them. Well I found out then wondered why you’d wasted pages with this? The fate of the whole world is at stake and as Jana (finally!) said about 250 or so pages into the book, who’s gonna care what happens to the fish when the frickin’ aliens land? You set up a great idea then sandbagged it. Jana learns the aliens are a comin’ and then wastes 48 hours with her state senate subcommittees and having lunch with the family at the cousin’s vodka/caviar bar. And isn’t this First Family of California worried about the public image of them slaming back shots of iced Stoly for lunch? I read this scene in disbelief. And just a personal decorating preference but the sister’s chocolate brown house didn’t make me hungry — it made me depressed. Who wants a totally brown house? Okay, that’s just me and doesn’t really have much to do with the book.
The fact that Jana keeps heading back to places she would be known to go to – her apartment, her senate offices, the family compound — when she’s got a suspicion someone’s after her didn’t raise my view of her intelligence. I mean someone breaks into her apartment, the REEF takes shots at her as she’s first remeeting Cavin and then she heads back to places where anyone following her would then know to go. The scene where grandpa tells Cavin not to be afraid to touch Jana (and the implication is in a sexual way) is just wrong. It was another scene I read in disbelief and with a (not good) shudder.
I read reviews in which people took you to task for reusing so many well known movie plots such as Terminator and Independence Day. Honestly, this didn’t bother me. Actually, when you stuck to these I enjoyed the book the best. Those parts zipped by, kept me interested and made me want to read more. They’re the reason the book gets a C even after all the gripping I did. I just wish there had been more of them.
This book can be purchased in eform.