Operation Master Planet

by Gregory J. Smith
Series: StarQuest 2
Reviewed date: 2009 May 18
189 pages
cover art
cover art

I was looking for a book I read in junior high. Operation Master Planet is not the book, but I think it's the book's sequel. It's billed as Christian science fiction. Those are difficult genres to mix, but occasionally it's done well. Not in Operation Master Planet, sadly.

Plot: After the evil Dominion empire is defeated, the planets Neece and Vassir are rebuilding. Governor Kruge of Vassir is making the most of the opportunity: he intends to set up his own fiefdom. A young man named Lam Laeo is sent to size up the situation. He gets embroiled in local affairs when he discovers that Kruge is ruthlessly oppressing minority groups. Things are so bad that Lam realizes that Kruge is about to unleash a largescale eugenics program. First up: eliminate the cripples and defectives, including Lam's blind love interest.

Being that he's personally invested, Lam decides to help the rebellion. With Lam's help--and with help from his God--they succeed. Kruge and his minions die.

The God Factor: The Christian part of the story is simple: Lam worships Jesus Christ, the Son of God, as his personal Lord and Savior. Ha ha. Nothing of the sort. Lam worships a three-faceted god that he calls the Source, the Power, and the Friend. Hey, like the Trinity! Cool! Except, nothing about this god is revealed. Lam isn't a very good follower; about the only time he thinks about god is when he's in a tight spot and he bemoans the fact that his relationship with the Friend is poor.

The whole god thing just doesn't work. The allegory to the God of the Bible isn't clear enough, and the whole point of Christianity--that is, our sinfulness and Christ's substitutionary atonement--isn't presented. The necessity of repentance and the new life in Christ is shown only in a few throwaway lines where Lam admits to a past life of piracy. Wait, piracy? I hope that was in the previous book.

Operation Master Planet had promise, but it doesn't deliver. Still, for a juvenile it's probably not bad. There's nothing objectionable, so if I ever have a son I might try to read this to him someday.

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