Wednesday, November 28, 2007

The Warriors of Day, by James Blish

Rating: 2
Pages: 160
Better than Moby Dick?: The Warriors of Day are giants who eat Moby Dick for a snack, like a sardine.

The Warriors of Day is a useless book. It would never be published today, but standards were lower in the 1950s. The book starts out promisingly: Tipton Bond goes toe-to-toe with a Kodiak bear and emerges the victor. It's a gripping fight scene. But the book goes downhill quickly.

Tipton Bond finds himself magically transported to another world, called Xota. On Xota he stumbles upon the Temple of Mahrt, where he discovers that he is the Sword of Mahrt. Apparently, the Warriors of Day have vowed to destroy Xota as part of their quest for galactic domination. The legends tell of the god Mahrt, who will call forth his Sword to defeat the giant Warriors of Day.

It's all ludicrous and not in the least interesting. Tipton Bond taps into the planetary consciousness of Xota, which has some sort of gaia collective subconscious mind. He uses that power to destroy the huge spaceships of the Warriors of Day. It's all rather inexplicable.

It's too bad The Warriors of Day is such a poor book. Blish is a good writer, and flashes of his brilliance show through. But the plot is so utterly outlandish that it comes across as nothing but a cheap third-rate fantasy. I am tempted to give it a rating of 1, but it isn't quite that actively bad. The Warriors of Day rates a 2.

1 comment:

Ash said...

It's not a great book, admittedly, but I read it when I was 12 and loved it, and it still has a certain charm. I agree a lot of it is cliched, and it most certainly is not Blish's best work by a LONG chalk, but I thought the collective mind idea was a nice one, and the book has a certain charm. Still wouldn't challenge the low rating tho!