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Cleopatra in Space: The Golden Lion: 10/05/17
Cleopatra in Space: The Golden Lion by Mike Maihack is the fourth in the Cleopatra in Space series and starts of a new plot arc. Some time has passed since Secret of the Time Tablets.
Cleopatra is recovering emotionally from what happened on Hykosis and has devoted herself to training to make sure she never loses another one of her friends. When she hears of the Golden Lion — a star that could be used to make a weapon of unfathomable power, she heads off on her own to Cada'duun to find it before anyone else does.
I've commented before on how much I like Maihack's world building, especially the way it's done through the artwork. Cada'duun is rendered in grays, purples, whites and blacks to drive home how desolate, cold, and inhospitable it is.
The secret of the Golden Lion, though, is a familiar story. It shares themes with Journey to the Center of the Earth and "Kole" (Teen Titans, Season 5, Episode 6), among others.
It's in the these themes of happy, primitive people being able to live with the potential doomsday device that I take issue with this volume. These people are shown dressed in grass skirts and are basically alien Polynesian because that's what any primitive group of people living in a warm place would look like? After three and a half books of stunning worlds and interesting aliens we end up with aliens who are one step away from being dashboard hula dancers. Why?
To make matters worse, the author chose to draw himself in his blurb in a grass skirt. It's unnecessary appropriation. I don't recall any of the previous books with him dressed in a costume.