This is the 5th volume in the Strontium Dog series and this time finds bounty hunting partners Johnny Alpha and Middenface on the trail of Kit Jones, AKA "Identi Kit", a dangerous mutant who escaped a maximum security prison and has the ability to shape change into anyone he comes in contact with, right down to their voice. On Tulium 9 Alpha learns by interrogating the corpse (and this part was truly hilarious, if not a bit gruesome as well) of the leader of the Chameleon gang that Kit, the gang's former leader, is on the planet of Miltonia with the intention of killing Moosehead, a retired SD Agent who had captured Kit and sent him to prison. This all came after a terrific battle with the chameleon gang that involved time-slowing weapons and some extremely bizarre mutant gang members.
Kit and Middenface are apprehensive about going to Miltonia. This planet is unique in that it's the only planet in the Universe where the Mutants outnumber the norms and life a life of relative peace and tranquility. They try and avoid the Miltonia red tape and conceal themselves within a merchant vessel but are discovered and then spend hours being interrogated by the immigration officials who are convinced that the two bounty hunters have really come to Miltonia to live! Their freedom is gained when another former friend of theirs, no less than the President of Miltonia, orders them freed. Turns out their former war buddy from the Mutant War is now "President Ooze", a living mush of protoplasm with eyes who communicates telepathically with another mutant called Nosejob.
They soon learn the horrible truth...Identi Kit has already made his way to Miltonia and assassinated Moosehead. Not only that, but the mutant has thrown in with a band of Norm supremacist terrorists who call themselves the Salvationists. They've been stirring up trouble for sometime and have kidnapped a mutant known as the Consoler, who had the unique ability to remove the mutations from people, making them normal. The Consoler has been brainwashed to believe that mutants are evil and that curing them is the right thing to do. This could all lead to yet another Mutant War. Now Alpha and Middenface are given the task of trying to find the Salvationists secret base in the mountains that is protected by electromagnetic ore deposits which render technology useless. They'll have to go in with just old fashioned clubs and their own killer instincts.
I loved a Fistful of Strontium, the first book I've read in the series. The characters of Alpha and Middenface have a wonderful chemistry together, much like buddy cops. Middenface handles the comic relief with his Scottish accent and his fear of space travel (he gets stone drunk when he has to travel!). The action starts off quickly with the encounter against the chameleon gang and keeps moving at breakneck speed from there. The book was plotted very well with several surprising twists. Great Stuff! I look forward to reading more!
Reviewed by Tim Janson