Thursday, November 25, 2021

Review of "Tom Corbett Space Cadet: On the Trail of the Space Pirates," by Carey Rockwell

Review of

Tom Corbett Space Cadet: On the Trail of the Space Pirates, by Carey Rockwell

Four out of five stars

Dated, but entertaining

 Published in 1953 before there was a detailed understanding of the environments of the other planets and satellites in the solar system, there are some major scientific holes in the plot. Venus is depicted as a habitable planet and there are rather Earthlike colonies on Mars and some of the satellites of Jupiter. Humans have extended their range of habitat all the way to Pluto.

 Yet, this is fundamentally an adventure written for the YA market and it is basically a good guy versus outlaw story. Tom Corbett is a cadet in the Solar Guard, the military/police force of the Solar Alliance. He is the command cadet of a three-member unit. They serve under Captain Steve Strong and they come into direct opposition with a powerful interplanetary pirate force led by the ruthless Bull Coxine.  

 The action is somewhat formulaic, their position relative to the pirates rises and falls until there is a tense moment in the end with a climactic battle. They battle with modern stun weapons and powerful laser cannons, but at times it comes down to a one-on-one battle with their fists.

 This book is very typical of YA science fiction of the fifties. Although it is scientifically very dated, it is still entertaining, replace the spaceships with sailing ships and the basic story is hundreds of years old.

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