Home > Literature, Reviews > Review of The War Against the Rull by A E van Vogt

Review of The War Against the Rull by A E van Vogt

The War Against the RullThis is the second A E van Vogt novel I’ve read – the first being The Silkie about a group of superhumans – silkies – who can become human submarines (hence the name) and spacecraft, as well as having a range of other ludicrous powers – and there are a number of differences that disguise the essential similarities between the two books. While the main character here, Trevor Jamieson, is a mere ordinary human, he seems infinitely competent and manages to extract himself (and, at one point, his son) from a series of deadly predicaments. The narrative, is perhaps more intimate, focussing on Jamieson’s adventures, but it is set against a background of galactic war between humans and their allies and the Rull, an alien species with great powers of mimicry and mental control.

The story is very episodic, as I indicated – Jamieson goes from place to place, problem to problem, each time getting closer to being defeated, but each time coming away victorious with another item in his inventory to use against the Rull. The writing is, I suppose typical sixties sf – workmanlike and slightly self-important, teetering occasionally on the edge of absurdity, but generally doing a reasonable job. An enjoyable read, but nothing too spectacular.

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