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Alien Stars

A Harry Stubbs Adventure
Narrated by: Gethyn Edwards
Series: The Harry Stubbs Adventures, Book 3
Length: 6 hrs and 54 mins
5 out of 5 stars (8 ratings)

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Summary

London 1925: after a grisly discovery in a ladies' rooming house, ex-boxer Harry Stubbs finds himself on a mission that takes him from the lowest dives to high society, searching for occult mysteries buried in the Horniman Musem, wrestling with enigmas - and bare-knuckle battling with deadly opponents. An insidious alien is at large, the time to stop it is running out - and that may not even be the worst of Harry's problems.

©2017 David Hambling (P)2017 David Hambling

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Another great story

Entertaining, dryly humourous, thought proking, mysterious!
The library-frequenting ex-boxer scrapes away more reality in his attempt to find a potentially lethal object.
There's so many great things : Skinner, the chancer with his nonchalance; Hoad, the terse but game librarian, the fantastic chair scene in the library, Arthur and his rackets (brilliantly voiced by Gethyn Edwards, who does a fantastic job on all the male voices, maybe less so on the female roles, but he is a man!); the depiction of the rougher parts of London.
There's many indications of research in these books too, little tricks of the trade, whether it's boxing, clairvoyance, the secondhand trade - they all provide an insight and help fill out the roles as Hambling gives us a glimpse of between-the-wars London.
The supernatural is revealed in flashes more than being a constant, the horror of a man slowly disintegrating, dream-like snaps into our possible future of a desolated world turning to dust. Scrape away reality and the horror could destroy you! There's definitely a theme of there being self-appointed protectors of the planet, but are their intentions good or bad? 'You can't handle the truth' perhaps?
I think I've read this book a few times now, and listened to the excellent audio book a couple of times, and it gets better each time. It's a great series and David Hambling has created some memorable characters that will hopefully lead us on more strange journeys into both the human and supernatural worlds.

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Profile Image for TU
  • TU
  • 17-07-18

Bring on more Harry Stubbs!

I was given this free review copy audio book at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

This was another great Harry Stubbs adventure. Full of action and good dialog. The narration continues to be great as well. I was stoked that this one was longer than the previous two. Can't wait for more from this author.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Profile Image for C.T.
  • C.T.
  • 27-02-18

Another excellent volume

HARRY STUBBS is back and fighting the Great Od Ones again! The adventures of a early 20th century London boxer and amateur detective remains one of my favorite Cthulhu spin-offs. It's a series of well-researched detective stories which are more interested in the occult secret societies, weird history of London, and cultists versus the actual supernatural weirdness so many other stories deal with. In simple terms, it's more The 9th Gate versus Friday the Thirteenth in how it compares to most stories.

ALIEN STARS opens with Harry having lost his job with legitimate firms and having been reduced to doing criminal work with a corrupt partner. They now serve as thieves and black marketeers who acquire antiques with occult significance then sell them to their patrons. It's a pretty big shift for the normally honest and forthright Harry so I found this change a bit jarring. This time, his latest job results in a death of a young woman who is involved in a conspiracy to deal with an unnatural plague that can destroy the world.

Alien Stars isn't quite as enjoyable as the other two volumes of the series due to the fact Harry doens't quite work as a professional criminal and I felt the more "aware" cultists helping him investigate the occult was less interesting than the protagonist stumbling around on his own. On the plus side, I liked the larger role of women in the story. There's more in this book and they play a more central role than usual.

I also appreciate all the references to the Colour of Outer Space, which is my favorite of HPL's work.

8/10

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  • Derek Robertson
  • 02-11-17

Another rousing Harry Stubbs yarn

In this third tale of Harry Stubbs, our self effacing but pugnacious hero faces another Mythos entity, this one is a take on The Colour out of Space.

David Hambling merges plausible science, real life occultism and the fictional world of HPL, and brings them all together in this story.

The expansion of Harry Stubbs world and the evolution of the character are also very welcome.

If you liked the other installments of Hamblings tales, you'll love this one.