Star Rover: Running Out of Time – Stuck in the same, now old, formula

Star Rover - Running Out of TimeStar Rover – Running Out Of time (Lens Of Time, #6) by Saxon Andrew
My rating: 6 out of 10 stars

The Union has defeated the Masters and can now confront the Grillen, who have invaded more than a million planets in M87 and are threatening to invade the Union. While the Union was fighting for survival against the black monsters in a distant galaxy, the Grillen have begun building warships that are invincible. They are immune to the Rover’s beams and the Union’s force fields are no barrier to their destructive power. No one knows where the Grillen suddenly acquired this new and deadly technology but an answer must be found quickly before the full production of these Grey Ships leads to the Union Fleets being overwhelmed.

Time is running out and the future doesn’t look good. The only chance of success is going to be left in the ten arms of a former Master and there is huge doubt he can be trusted. The action becomes fast and furious when the source of the Grillen Technology enters the war.

As can be expected from Saxon Andrew this is very much a Young Adult book. The science is more fantasy than science. It is largely simplistic, unexplained and the huge leaps and advancements always arrive in the nick of time. There are lots of action, the heroes are heroes and bad guys are bad guys until the end or until they get converted to the “right way” which usually happens in a blink of an eye. In short the story is somewhat naive and childish.

In most of the books from this author I have overlooked this since I liked the boyish adventures and generally positive the-good-guys-always-wins-in-the-end style of these books. However, I have to say that, reading this book did not give me as much enjoyment as the previous ones. It was still fun to read but…

When I first started to read the Lens of Time series I was happy that it felt like a new and fresh story from Saxon Andrew. However, this one really felt like it was simply back to the same old formula that we have seen since the later parts of the Annihilation series and quite a few of his book series. Saxon Andrew have written 27 books now and I think he has really stretched this formula to its limits. Every so often he comes out with something that feels new and fresh, like The Pyramid Builders and The Lost Prince but sooner or later he seems to dig himself down in the same formula. That is: Overwhelming foe threatens the good guys with annihilation and good guys invent thing stopping them. Doing so billions of ships gets blown up as well as planets and even galaxies. Ships never really maneuver in real space but just jump around everywhere. Etc…

As I said, I can live with the childishness and lack of science in these books because Saxon Andrew writes these books in a way that I really like and sometimes I just like to read these kind of books but he really should look at finding a different formula. This book really felt like it could have been a book in any of his Star Realm related series except that there are no psychics in this one.

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