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by Dave Freer And Eric Flint
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From Publishers Weekly
In this SF-fantasy romp through classical myth, the authors of Rats, Bats, and Vats offer a charmingly picaresque journey that begins when an artifact of the alien Krim lands in the University of Chicago library and starts abducting people. Few of the artifact's victims return alive, and some do not return at all. Among those abducted into a Krim-twisted version of the ancient Mediterranean world are street-smart university custodian Lamont Jackson, biologist Elizabeth De Beer, paratrooper sergeant Anibal Cruz and, most crucially, mythological scholar Jerry Lukacs. Weedy and absent-minded, Lukacs is the only one who can advise the exiles on how to outwit Odysseus (who has the ethics of a junk-bond dealer) or win the good will of Medea (much maligned, but accompanied by two dragons who need a lot to eat). Assembling allies from different mythologies as they go along, the exiles must strive to undo the Krim's corruption of the Olympians before they can hope to effect a return to their own world. The novel is full of historical, mythological and folkloric erudition, as well as wit (usually laced with puns), coincidences, broadly painted characters and a vast profusion of the verbal equivalent of sight gags. Since the individual parts are sufficiently entertaining, the reader won't worry much about the whole's lack of integrity.
Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
From Library Journal
When a mysterious black pyramid from outer space crash-lands inside Chicago's Regenstein Library, a mythographer, a marine biologist, two soldiers, and the library's maintenance man are tagged by the U.S. to investigate the phenomenon only to find themselves in the company of Odysseus and his bewildered crew. The coauthors of Rats, Bats and Vats combine ancient history with alien encounters in a rollicking cross-genre adventure that belongs in most libraries.
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Freer and Flint's second collaboration (the first: Rats, Bats, and Vats, 2000) bridges the gap between fantasy and sf and nearly falls into the gap between the historical and the hysterical. The invasion of the alien Krim begins on the University of Chicago campus, but soon most of the principals are zapped into a Krim-manipulated version of classical Greece and ancient Egypt. The deities in the Krim's synthesis are even nastier than their models (Freer and Flint's erudition on those is formidable), and without the guidance of four-eyed mythologist Jerry Lukacs, the exiles would be doomed. As it is, they enlist allies from among the victims of divine injustice (e.g., Arachne, turned into a spider by Athena), liberate the Titan Prometheus, and organize an effort to return the gods to their ordinary vices and themselves to Earth. Chunks and even great slabs of broad humor, tossed in with total abandon, make the yarn rather resemble Flint's Philosophical Strangler [BKL Ap 15 01]. Great stuff for those who don't like things too serious. Roland Green
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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