Melchior's Fire Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of Melchior's Fire

Baen, Jun 2001, 23.00, 277 pp.
ISBN: 0671319914

    The salvagers of the Henry Morton Stanley space ship land on the planet due to the town that looks like a rich find. Randy Queson, known for her ability to decide what has salvage value amidst tons of junk, finds the structure out of synchronization with what should be expected by this planet in which the colonists apparently abruptly left. Randy and crew soon learn why no humans are on site as vicious aliens, who enjoyed snacking on the settlers as part of their lunch, attack the Stanley crew. Randy and most of her mates escape, but the damage is astronomical and their creditors want payment right now.
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    Desperate, the crew accepts a suicide mission offered by wealthy Norman Sanders. He will cover their debts and more if they follow the alleged route to the legendary Three Kings and return with the magi stones. Assuming that Sanders has provided them with the correct coordinates that he allegedly obtained from the lost Woodward venture, Randy wonders what they will find amidst the three planets that they seek, not yet knowing that aliens control their destination.

    The sequel to BALSHAZZAR'S SERPENT, MELCHIOR'S FIRE is an exciting science fiction tale centering on a piratical crew struggling to survive among aliens and creditors. The story line is fun and filled with action, but is not very deep or loaded with strong characters. Instead, Jack L. Chalker's tale is for those readers who relish a non-stop adventure thriller that rides faster than the speed of light.

Harriet Klausner

The review of this Book prepared by Harriet Klausner

Chapter Analysis of Melchior's Fire

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Plot & Themes

FANTASY or SCIENCE FICTION?    -   science fiction story Explore/1st contact/ enviro story    -   Yes Explore:    -   stranded on alien planet, fighting aliens to survive Tech./$$$/Info hunt    -   Yes Stealing/recovering/destroying    -   money/gems/treasure Is this an adult or child's book?    -   Adult or Young Adult Book

Main Character

Identity:    -   Female Profession/status:    -   fighter (air/space) pilot


Spaceship setting:    -   futuristic human freighter/transport    -   really, really giant spaceship/station A substantial portion of this book takes place on a non-Earth planetary body:    -   unfriendly aliens    -   empty, or nearly empty world Planet outside solar system?    -   Yes Takes place in spaceship?    -   Yes

Writing Style

Accounts of torture and death?    -   generic/vague references to death/punishment scientific jargon? (SF only)    -   some scientific explanation How much dialogue?    -   roughly even amounts of descript and dialog

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Jack L. Chalker Books Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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