Author: L.Ron Hubbard
Review Copy: Purchased Paperback
Overall Rating: 4 out of 5
Synopses; Taken from GoodReads
Suspense, politics, war, humour and intergalactic finance. A towering masterwork of science fiction adventure and one of the best-selling science fiction novels of all time, L. Ron Hubbard’s Battlefield Earth opens with breathtaking scope on an Earth dominated for 1,000 years by an alien invader and man is an endangered species. From the handful of surviving humans a courageous leader emerges Jonnie Goodboy Tyler, who challenges the invincible might of the alien Psychlo empire in a battle of epic scale, danger and intrigue with the fate of the Earth and of the universe in the tenuous balance.
Battlefield Earth: A Saga of the Year 3000 is such an epic book that I thought I would try a new style of review. The reason for this is because of the depth and detail that has gone into it and that the book itself has three to four stories, but of cause 80% of the book is about the struggle to take back the planet from the evil Psychlo Empire and the remainder we see the story and characters develop very quickly.
The basic idea of this story is it is set in a world that seems to have progressed back to the Stone Age era. The world itself has been taken over by a hostile alien race called Psyclos who have for thousands of years been harvesting the metals of the planet.
The invasion of Earth was over in a matter of days and most of the population was killed off by huge gas drones that where teleported on to the Earth.
Now fast forward 1000 years and we have humans who have survived the mass extinction holding up deep in mountains. The technological level of theses survivors has progressed so far back to using slings, kill-clubs and hunting techniques of a Stone Age person. The isolation in the mountains has fostered a belief that the Psychlos where sent by god to punish all humans.
After the death of our main characters (Jonnie Goodboy Tyler) father he starts to feel that something is wrong with the area they live in and decides to adventure out to find a new place for where his tribe can relocate.
Jonnie Goodboy Tyler sets out on his mission to explore the surrounding area but is confronted by what he calls a giant bug. His description and movements of this bug gives the reader an impression that our character is really a primitive man. After a quick battle with this giant bug our character is taken prisoner by Terl a giant alien Pyschlo who has his own desires that involve catching and training a human for plans involving greed and deception.
Throughout the story we have narrative changes between the protagonist and antagonist that I really enjoyed. For example when Jonnie Goodboy Tyler interacted with the giant bug we are given an experience and description on a level of a primitive human. Then the story flips and now we are given the same experience but in Terl’s point of view with his high-technological way of thinking.
Now as the story develops we learn that Terl is a security chief of an alien mining company who resents being on this planet. He trains Jonnie in language and mathematics and then teaches him how to use the mining companies’ technology; all so he can get rich and leave planet Earth.
Terl recruits a handful of Scottish survivors who are not as far back technologically as Jonnies people. The Scottish themselves seem to be at around the Middle Ages era with broadswords and a clan system. Also their reading, writing and medical skills are very advanced than those from Jonnies tribe.
As the story progresses we have two agendas; one with Jonnie who is making plans to take back the planet and kill the Psychlos. Two, Terl, who is working towards becoming rich and getting off the planet for good.
From this point I will not describe how it progresses as it would take about five more pages and that wouldn’t even scratch the surface. But I can guarantee you that the development is really enjoyable and at times I couldn’t put the book down.
Once we reach the climax of the ending of the occupation of Psychlo on planet Earth we learn that Jonnie and the Scots lead an all-out attack on all the mine bases around the world with the Psychlos own weapons and technology.
Most of the Psychlos are killed in battle but a handful, plus Terl are taken prisoner where he continues his scheme to get rich and off the planet.
Another part I like about this book is that it doesn’t end here. It now evolves into rebuilding the planet and bringing the human survivors together. The Scots now become missionaries who go forth to find all the tribes and to pass on the news that Jonnie saved the world.
As the story progresses we learn that most of the humans learn how to use Psychlo technology through the same method as Jonnie did but now we are confronted by a new enemy, other aliens who wish to make claim on the planet and even humans as well.
As the battle with spacecraft’s and great space war-ships takes place we see the human survivors hold their own against this new group of enemys.
With the help of a grey skinned and suited alien Jonnie is able to hold an intergalactic meeting to stop all hostilities and create a treaty that will protect earth.
Around the end of the book we learn that the grey skinned and suited man is in fact an intergalactic banker who has come to claim the remaining debt on the Earth and now that Psychlo is gone the humans are now the new owners of the planet and the debt.
Jonnie must find a way to pay up over tens of trillions of galactic money or face the planet being auctioned off along with its people. He debates and plans out many ways in which to get out of paying the debt such as attacking the bankers, destroying the other alien home worlds the same way he did to Psychlo but before all is lost the human bankers find a way to take ownership of the galactic bank and most of the universe.
The ending is sealed with Earth owning half the galactic bank, and Jonnie Goodboy Tyler being the savourer of everyone and everything.
My Final Thoughts
I really enjoyed this book and loved how it continued to develop and build as each story finished and the next took its place. The book was so epic that I found it very hard to write this review in two ways; one not knowing if I covered all areas that I wanted to write about, and two; exceeding a limit to how much I wanted to write.
I liked how the planet had a huge debt that was continued over to the humans even though they by birth right owned the plant. The Psychlos invaded the planet killed its species on a loan they took from the galactic bank and soon as the species took back what was rightfully theirs they inherited the loan. This I found interesting and amusing. The only thing I didn’t like about the book was how it slowed at times and how it did drag near the end but with quick plot changes and surprises this well made up for it.
From a rank of 1 to 5 I put L.Ron Hubbards Battlefield Earth: A Saga of the Year 3000 at a 4.