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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating Novel for the Diehard Fan, 31 Aug 2013
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This review is from: Lucifer (Blake's 7) (Hardcover)
Paul's writing has much improved since his earlier forays into B7 fan fiction, which I didn't get on with at all. Lucifer is a curate's egg but is, at worst, a cracking read for the committed fan. Unsurprisingly, Paul has Avon's character down and the second section, where Avon escapes from the bloody scene at the end of the BBC series is well worked through. The female characterisation throughout is strong, if rather too obviously similar to Servalan (strangely, when Servalan herself turns up she isn't drawn as well as these other characters!). The men, besides Avon, are treated as cannon fodder by their women folk and by Paul too.

There are too many anachronisms with the known B7 universe alas, for my own taste. In particular the constant references to percussive weaponry (shotguns, machine guns etc) and aircraft technology instead of space technology is rather jarring when B7 is well and truly set in a 'Star Wars' style universe. But at least Paul avoids reinventing teleport for the third time!

He does invent a post Federation war on Earth that sets up a 'Chinese' force patrolling through the universe alongside Federation remnants and Warlords. This device is used rather like a fairy godmother to get Avon out of major trouble from time to time but since Orac is buried on Gauda Prime for 99% of the book, you have to allow for some alternative fairy dust!

The closest thing to a fatal flaw in the book is Avon's relationship with Magda, which we are eventually led to believe must have lasted around 20 years but is treated by almost everyone as being a recent crush. There was an opportunity to put more meat on these bones without affecting Avon's characterisation - having Avon eventually walk out on a meaningful relationship for selfish reasons would have worked just fine but Magda is sketched too thinly for this and when the likely 20 year relationship timespan becomes clear it is difficult to tie it into the main story arc.

So it's not a novel that will win SF awards and isn't something that you'd read if you weren't into B7 in the first place and from my review above you may be surprised that I give it 5 stars but I *am* a dedicated B7 fan who watched the original series' broadcasts, joined the fan clubs and still occasionally watches his prized DVDs some 30 years later. I thoroughly enjoyed Paul's book, devoured it it in only a few sittings and then have spent many, many hours lost in my own B7 memories as a result.
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Initial post: 12 May 2014 22:19:53 BDT
G. Morris says:
Thank you for the spoiler, all I wanted to to know is how good it is.

I don't think I'll bother buying it now to see if a certain character turns up!
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