In Whipping Star, Jorj X. McKie, a "Saboteur Extraordinary," is a born troublemaker who has naturally become one of BuSab's best agents. As the novel opens, it is revealed that Calebans, who are beings visible to other sentient species as stars, have been disappearing one by one. Each disappearance is accompanied by millions of sentient deaths and instances of incurable insanity.
Ninety years prior to the setting of Whipping Star, the Calebans appeared and offered jump-doors to the collective species, allowing sentients to travel instantly to any point in the universe. Gratefully accepting, the sentiency didn't question the consequences. Now Mliss Abnethe, a psychotic human female with immense power and wealth, has bound a Caleban in a contract that allows the Caleban to be whipped to death; when the Caleban dies, everyone who has ever used a jump-door (which is almost every adult in the sentient world and many of the young) will die as well.
©1970 Herbert Properties LLC; (P)2008 Tantor
On par with Frank Herbert's other work. Very enjoyable. Wish there were more stories about BuSab and Jorge x. McKee.
I have enjoyed many of Frank Herbert's stories, but this one is rather poor. As another reviewer said, the good guys were too busy protecting their legal hides to really go after the bad guys. There were hints of a complex universe, but it felt like wasted space in the story.
The narration was good, the story was poor.
This book doesn't even deserve the one star which I've given it. It seems like at least half the book is human characters communicating with aliens telepathically, yet the conversations get hung up on English words with multiple definitions. If that's not enough to make you avoid the book, try this: the main characters are hunting a villain who is going to end all sentient life in the universe within days, yet they keep tip-toeing around what the villain's lawyers might do in response to their actions. Since it's a relatively short book, I decided to finish it, hoping there might be some interesting twist at the end, but I was disappointed once again.
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