EMPEROR MOLLUSK VERSUS THE SINISTER BRAIN
Only the hilarious Martinez could come up with a novel whose main character is a squid with a brain that rivals Einstein’s. Reading like a cheap ‘50s sci-fi flick, filled with outrageous creatures such as a jelligantic (exactly what it sounds like), this is ridiculously fun. Mollusk’s arrogance gets tedious now and then, and the ending is a bit predictable, but ignore all of that and enjoy the ride.
Emperor Mollusk, intergalactic menace and evil genius, is a retired Warlord of Earth — having conquered her, he finds the thrill of ruling her doesn’t live up to the expectation. But retirement offers its own species of boredom, so when a Venusian warrior attempts to kidnap Mollusk to “bring him to justice” for past crimes, he goes along with the plan, embarking on a series of adventures that soon make it clear that Earth is again under threat and in need of Mollusk’s help. (ORBIT, Mar., 306 pp., $19.99)