Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets
Author: Luc Besson/Christie Golden
Reviewed by: Sandra Scholes
According to the story, back in 1975 two primitive space vessels would be fused together and its people could freely move around, the Apollo and the Soyuz would have done the unthinkable and this would only be the start. This heralded the end of interracial tension and the cooperation of every nation for the good of the people. Captains from all the known human cities were welcomed on board. Though now that the entire human world was united, they had to think about accepting aliens in an attempt to broaden the scope for inter species growth.
The Kortan-Dahuks ate the first alien race to step on board the Alpha Space Station; their love of art and culture told them they would be a good fit for life among humans. Peace and contentment reigned for a while when the story turns to 2710 where Valerian wakes up from a nightmare where an emperor and his daughter are killed by a crashing space craft. Along with Laureline they are tasked with keeping order on united territories and this particular assignment sees them going to Alpha where the potential for people getting out of control is possible.
The reason Valerian and Laureline are there is a suspect art dealer, Igon Siriuss is a Kodhar Khan and could have other reasons for being there as he is part of an aggressive race of aliens. The comedy between the two lovers is cute, the general story is a side issue but when they get to Ison Siriuss Valerian starts to get flashbacks from his odd nightmare.
Valerian's interception of Igon causes him to be on the aliens radar for search and destroy. As you might have guessed if he is in trouble then by association so is Laureline.
I could only find one pop culture reference in here to Star Trek ( find out which movie) "Revenge is a dish best served cold." While the rest of Valerian snd the City of a Thousand Planets seemed very similar in feel and characters to The Fifth Element, Valerian and Laureline could very well have been like Korben Dallas and Leeloo Thaziit the tour guide could easily be a double for the flamboyant Ruby Rod. Their pursuit leads Valerian to uncover a plot so dark it could destroy millions in its wake and the pearl he holds could have more power than even he knows. Some of the dialogue between Valerian and Laureline is unnecessary as it doesn't affect the story. One of the best scenes in the book is the nightmare Valerian has at the beginning as it contains all the drama and emotion needed to encourage the reader to find out more on why he had it. There are other scenes but none as effective as this one for intense shock value. As The Fifth Element was a romp through sci-fi territory from the 90s, this is more of an up dated version of it.