Red Claw

Red Claw

by Philip Palmer


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Take an entirely unexpected voyage through the cosmos in a space opera dubbed "an intelligent action adventure replete with intellectual rigour, human insight and superb storytelling" by The Guardian.

From Space Marines to alien jungles filled with terrifying monsters and killer robots, you'll lose yourself in Philip Palmer's utterly inventive, wild journey — an extraterrestrial scientific expedition that goes horribly awry.

"It's been a while since I've read a science fiction novel as invigoratingly original in approach and theme as this one Morning Star Red Claw moves at a relentless pace . . . I was hooked" —

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780316018937
Publisher: Orbit
Publication date: 10/15/2009
Pages: 452
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.20(h) x 1.30(d)

About the Author

Philip Palmer lives in London and is currently at work on a new book set in the same universe as DEBATABLE SPACE. He has written for film, TV and theater. Find out more about Philip Palmer at

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Red Claw 3.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 10 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Johannesaurus More than 1 year ago
Reading /REDCLAW/ (the name has virtually nothing to do with the book, by the way-it's never even referenced) is like listening to an eight-year-old boy with severe ADHD describing his favorite video game: you know it makes sense to him, and it might even be based on a really great premise, but he's clearly getting it all mixed up with two other games, the cartoons he watched that morning, a movie he saw on TV in the middle of the night three weeks ago because he'd eaten an entire box of Chocolate Frosted Sugar Bombs and couldn't sleep, something one of his friends told him at school that day, and a whole bunch of stuff he just made up on the spot. He started off telling you about something where dinosaurs fight each other but, by the time he's finished, the subject has shifted more times than you can count and he's telling you about giant spiders battling Dracula with lasers in space. /REDCLAW/ is what 'Axe Cop' would be if 'Axe Cop' had no illustrations, were intended as a legitimate piece of adult literature, and were written by a grown man instead of a five year old. Throw in a few tablespoons of gratuitous and unnecessary sex scenes, a pinch of heavy-handed political and moral commentary, and about eight cups (give or take) of awkward, needless cursing and you've got yourself one o' thum thur Science Fik-Shun books. On the plus side, the number of holes in the plot, discrepancies in the technology, and the excessively high character turnover made for an extremely varied reading experience. Loose ends dangle, untied, all about the narrative, creating an ominous suspense that never quite goes away. Armor that can withstand laser blasts, rocket explosions, and being partially digested by dinosaurs is later torn apart like tissue paper by semi-intelligent grass. Characters whose personalities can only be described as one-dimensional because a smaller dimension hasn't been discovered yet have sudden mood swings that transform them into completely different (one-dimensional) characters in all but name. People you never knew existed suddenly appear and develop complex back-stories with the turn of a page, only to be mindlessly slaughtered before you reach the next one. It's rather more like reading a hundred two-page short stories than a single, cohesive novel. Really, it's a miracle that someone was even able to glean coherent sentences from Philip Palmer's writing, let alone publish it more than once. It is so mindbogglingly unfair that Palmer is allowed even a modicum of success while others struggle that some authors have chosen to see it as final and clinching proof of the non-existence of God. Read this book if you must-don't say I didn't warn you-but please, oh please, don't purchase it. Maybe-just maybe-if we stop giving this man our money, he'll give up and go home. So if you find yourself drawn to this monstrosity, this Ruiner of Worlds-irresistibly urged to part its vile pages-be a hero and get it from the library. For the children.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
ealdent More than 1 year ago
This is one of the best adventure sci-fi books I've read in recent years. Palmer's style is fast-paced and captivating. The setting of New Amazon is teeming from the depths of the ocean to stratosphere with life, and the book exposes you to it with harrowing life-and-death encounters and amusing details of alien taxonomy. I couldn't put it down.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Lindsey_Miller More than 1 year ago
Two things to note on this one: First-Amazing; Second: Not a kids book by any means. Normally I wouldn't review a book that was clearly more for adults than for tweens or teens, but there was something particularly special about Palmer's imaginative world. There were Godzillas, Cyclops, people running around in full-body space suit things, and tons more. So this is why I chose to review it here, other than that it was awesome: it reminds me of when I was a kid, playing with toys and imagining worlds for them-minus the sex and swearing. I'm sure there are many who will second that sentiment, and if for nothing else, I thought I would review it here specifically to recommend it to more mature readers who will appreciate that element. On the literary end, it's rare to see an author who takes chances in the way a science fiction book is written. Almost all of them are completely linear, showing a dystopian future where the good guys have to fight against the government who takes their rights away and makes everyone be exactly the same-death to creativity, death to beauty and imagination. This novel still has some of that, as any good sci fi book should, but the novel really isn't about fighting the government as much as it is the human responsibility to protect a world and all its species from total annihilation (sound familiar?). At least that's one of the main themes. The others are what makes it such a stellar read, not to mention that Palmer has written it in a somewhat unique and inventive style. The chapters only mark the passage of days as they go by, and every page is interspersed with short snippets of each main/sub main character and their point of view on what's happening at that exact moment. That tactic allows the reader to empathize with several characters and see everything from many points of view. It's a great read, and I highly recommend it to all readers 16+. -Lindsey Miller,
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
harstan More than 1 year ago
Professor Richard Helms leads the classification of the animalia and plantae found on recently discovered New Amazon. The planet is a nightmare with its acid rain and the discovery of "kingdomshifters". Still even with the hostile orb seemingly at war with the outside occupiers, the team of scientist protected by genetically enhanced human commandos and gigantic robotic soldiers finish the cataloguing of this alien ecosystem. The invaders plan to burn everything to the ground so they can terraform New Amazon into a place for humans to live without wearing protective helmets. Instead of the final solution, the crew is attacked by a flying seemingly invincible monster forcing them to find shelter in the deadly jungle. Survival of the fittest means betraying your friends and lovers as the rain forest proves lethal as does the robots. As the human number dwindle Helms fails to take the helm as the commandos with weapons overwhelm the scientists, Although this tale has a pulp feel with an over the top of Mt Olympus satirical stripping away civilization story line, fans will enjoy this tale that is the Lord of the Flies in outer space. The story line is fast-paced and filled with dark humor starting with Dr. Baal's opening "whatever" diary and never slows down as terraforming becomes terror forming. Filled with several twists, readers will enjoy Red Claw as the scientists argue how to classify gryphon, Godzilla, and seditious killing robots while the mercenaries argue how to survive the hostile ordeal with pathetic intelligentsia leaches unable to set up camp. Harriet Klausner