_____This book is as exciting as three rounds of oatmeal and the resulting trip to the toilet... Or maybe it is as tasty as the cardboard box the oatmeal came in. What I am saying and asking is this: Was it the author's intent to be as bland, tasteless and as unoriginal as possible? It seems as if every single spaceship-oriented sci-fi novel written during and after the 1990s contains the same motifs ripped off of Star Wars and Star Trek--or anything with star in its title. Consider the elements: humanoid aliens that are more human than alien, mystical mind-powers to wow the audience, galactic federations of planets and super-skilled zap-gun slinging superheroes to defend the realm and...wait for it...magical spaceships that have no trouble hopping from galaxy to galaxy! Guess what, folks? Freemaster has all of that--so does every single magic spaceship book on library and bookstore shelves. Pass the cinnamon...
_____For those of you who care, what could this wholly derivative book be about? Stick to reading old Star Trek or Star Wars novels, and you will not have missed out on the plot. A galactic cop-agent-lady with hints of mind-powers goes down to a planet of mystical aliens who live in a medieval, low-tech society... ("Zzzz...") Don't be rude; falling asleep in the middle of a conversation shows a lack of manners. Anyway, the Jedi-esque lady is there to make sure that a certain Han Solo-like character doesn't start mucking with the innocently sweet and pure traditional ways of the humanoid aliens. Oh, and just like every other episode of Star Trek, the main protagonist falls in love with an alien, shoots up some bad guys, rides around on Ton-Ton like creatures drinking the drinks and eventually having mind-sex.... What the fork! Most Americans can't even drink the water in Mexico or the food in Iraq, and here she is swigging tons of extra-terrestrial foodstuffs as easily as Aunt Bessie eats Quaker Brand? Yes, this book actually got published.
_____I said Star Wars, and I mean it. The title of the book itself, Freemaster, it is a title given to free-range nobles in the alien society who excel at their professions while capable of developing the sort of force powers that would make Luke Skywalker's short green teacher proud. Of course the author doesn't use the word Jedi. Doing that would be trademark infringement! But, all the similarities are there. In the book Freemaster, only certain aliens are capable of summoning the hidden powers to do kick-[...] things like move objects with their mind or create glowing energy weapons for the sake of duels. Golly, doesn't that sound familiar, Mr. Lucas? If it quacks like a Jedi, it walks like a Jedi, it's a duck! Or, it is a flat-out rip-off...quack.
_____Come to think of it, Freemaster, that sounds like the name of an outhouse manufacturer--where this book ought to be placed. Imagine a set of portable chemical potties that can be trucked to job sites anywhere: free-range toiletry, master of bowel movements! Speaking of imagination, imagery and other techniques of storytelling, this book was stylistically terrible in that regard: so soaked with talk of guilds and tribes and clans and what-not that a person would think the book had fallen in love with itself. Did somebody reincarnate Andre Norton from a port-a-potty chemical laboratory and do a really bad job of it? Freemaster, eh? I'd just as soon be free of this book much as someone with one too many glasses of prune juice in the gut would like to be free of what's pressuring his or her lower intestine.
_____My point is this: The one cent you pay for this stinker of a novel would probably be better spent on something useful, like research for better glow-in-the-dark sandwich trays or earmuffs for earthworms. If a person is going to rip off of Lucas or Roddenberry, the least they could do is do it decently. Unfortunately true is how the writer of Freemaster failed at even that--pillaging most every single cliché to make itself into every single post-80s magic spaceship science fiction, creating a wholly unoriginal and uninspiring work. I'm somewhat glad that the protagonist got crispified twice at the end of the book. That way, there won't be room for sequels. That would be as if anyone has room enough in their digestive tracts after stomaching this crap. Nobody likes clichés, no one likes to eat poop, and I doubt if anyone is a raving fan of well-used port-a-potties. Now there's an idea: If you buy copies of this book in bulk, at one cent per copy, it would be cheaper than toilet paper--even if the quality is rough in more ways than one.