Intergalactic Wizard Scout by Rodney Hartman
Over the years I’ve read a couple of books and series that have started out well, but over the course of multiple books, gotten quite a bit “less good” and somewhat tedious. Unfortunately, Intergalactic Wizard Scout is one of these in my opinion.
While the writing itself is nothing to write home about, the main character and his companion are somewhat interesting, but over the course of the series, they become nothing more than caricatures and with the introduction of some (annoying) supporting characters in book 2 it becomes even more of a slog.
Normally as you know, I would give a synopsis of each book in depth and detail but with this series that’s difficult as by the end of the series I really didn’t care and, to be honest, I’ve been struggling with (what I think is) the final book for weeks…
In Wizard Defiant we’re introduced to the Intergalactic Wizard Scouts. Basically a group of super soldiers with the added ability to utilize magic like abilities in their battles – they are bad-ass and humanities only bastion in an increasingly hostile universe.
Richard & his wise-ass high-tech battle computer/suit Nickelo are cadets at the academy being trained as the next generation of Wizard Scouts & while Richard has the normal complement of troubles as a new cadet with regards to his drill instructor (who hates his guts for some unknown reason) there is another twist waiting for him.
To be honest, this switch is what peaked my interest as the book transitions from SciFi to Fantasy when Richard is sent on a mysterious mission by the “One”. Sent to help an elf princess in her search for a magical talisman he is exposed to goblins, orcs and other demons in his quest. While his skills are primarily science-based, Wizard Scouts are able to access the magical dimension, but Richard is still only in training and his skills are definitely not yet at the level they need to be.
Richard has made it to the next stage of his training at the Scout Academy and is finally being sent on missions for the Alliance. However, the One is still sending him out for its own reasons & this time while he’s on a mission to retrieve a defecting scientist he is dispatched by the One to fight a horde of zombies also.
Unfortunately, this is where the series gets a little bit stupid in my opinion as while he’s attempting to retrieve the scientist, he comes across the aliens two adopted (super-genius) children. These kids are not just smart – they are super smart and completely overshadow Richard. However, they are also really annoying and from this point onwards the series just went downhill!
One positive though is the introduction of the phase hounds … they were quite cool and fun, but at the same time the fact that they were essential to the rest of the story removed some of my enjoyment. It’s better in my opinion when a character “levels up” and is able to take on increasingly complex challenges – Richard unfortunately, seems stuck.
I haven’t finished this one yet so will have to update it at a later stage – however here are the details from the book jacket:
Wizard scouts were once the elite, deep-recon forces of the Intergalactic Empire. But now they are a dying breed. Or are they?
A black dreadnaught has been raiding star lanes near the outer fringes of the Empire. Is it just another pirate ship? Or is it the key to reviving the wizard scout corps? And what about the discovery of a mysterious anomaly reportedly found by cantankerous asteroid miners? Does it have something to do with the black dreadnaught?
Wizard Scout Richard Shepard, the last of the legendary wizard scouts, is sent to investigate. Aided by the crew of the recon ship, Defiant, Richard must circumvent an increasingly convoluted political landscape in his search for the truth. But what is truth? And can Richard handle the truth – if he finds it?
Faced with a decision which could mean the life or death of millions of helpless innocents, Richard must make a choice. What his choice will be, no one knows; least of all, Richard.