Jack L. Chalker Melchior's Fire

ISBN 13: 9780671319915

Melchior's Fire

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9780671319915: Melchior's Fire
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For centuries, interstella prospectors have searched the galaxy for the fabled lost worlds of the Three Kings, but without success, until a starfaring evangelist and his flock stumble upon them accidentally, only to vanish in turn, and a spacegoing salvage team must follow his trail to find the treasure or pay the price from the galactic underworld's vicious repo men.

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From Publishers Weekly:

This serviceable action-SF novel of far-future starfaring opens with a useful prologue, bringing the reader up to speed on the planets called the Three Kings Balshazzar, Melchior and Kaspar, satellites of a gas giant and the source of incredibly valuable alien artifacts and the events of the first book in the series, Balshazzar's Serpent (2000). To set up the journey to volcanic, overheated and alien-inhabited Melchior, the author spends nearly half the novel driving his characters, a piratical interstellar salvage crew, to the verge of bankruptcy or worse. They suffer this fate on a deserted colony planet, through the agency of an alien entity who has ingested the previous colonists and is considerably more interesting than anything they later encounter. Thanks to a media mogul, the salvagers embark on a perilous journey through "wild wormholes" to the Three Kings. Once in the system, they discover that Balshazzar holds colonies from several races under a benign but total alien despotism. Reaching Melchior, the spacefarers find it positively swarming with alien races at which point the action slams to a cliffhanger ending as the crew barely survives a telepathic attack. The author has apparently tried to cram two comparatively self-contained tales into a book so short that neither story is really developed adequately. One can only hope Chalker will devote more attention to narrative technique in the inevitable saga of ice-bound Kaspar, last of the Three Kings.

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

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ISBN 10:  0743435834 ISBN 13:  9780743435833
Publisher: Baen, 2002
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