The Stainless Steel Rat's Revenge

by Harry Harrison
Series: Stainless Steel Rat 2
Reviewed date: 2003 Dec 17
Rating: 3
192 pages
cover art

The Stainless Steel Rat's Revenge is Mr. Harrison's second Rat book. No, it's not part of a trilogy or of a series, really. It's just another story about our hero, Slippery Jim DiGriz.

In this adventure, Slippery Jim must save the galaxy from the evil Cliaand empire, which is conquering other planets at an alarming rate. Not only are they conquering other planets--a rare and unusual feat--they are conquering planets in other solar systems! Interstellar conquest! A hitherto impossible feat--moving the men and supplies necessary to stage an invasion of a planet is simply impossible over interstellar distances, and yet, Cliaand is doing it, and winning.

So of course our hero must figure out how Cliaand is staging and winning these invasions, and then put a stop to it. This book holds together better than Mr. Harrison's first Rat book. Mainly it is due to a cohesive plot; the first book was more a disjointed series of episodes than true story--I suspect because it was written in discrete pieces and only later shoehorned into a single novel. But this story is more complete, more cohesive.

I was just about to rate the book a 4 when a little something strange happened at the end. I'm not going to give it away, but I'd like to sit down and have a little chat with Mr. Harrison about a thing called deus ex machina. The Stainless Steel Rat's Revenge is a decent book bordering on excellence until the very end, when it is horribly and unjustly murdered by it's author. I give this book a rating of 3 dead rats.

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