Star Lord — Louise Lawrence (1978)

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Publisher: Starwanderer / Harper & Row

Second Harper & Row Edition, First Starwanderer Imprint, 1980

Cover Art: Michael Heslop

Plot Synopsis (of cover): The black heart of the Star Lord flared anew at the sight of his grisly visage. He had coated himself in the rotting entrails of his slain enemies, rubbing his hair with blood and viscera. His naked body glistened wet and sanguine, and the stench of rotting flesh filled his bedchamber. His stomach growled, and he took a bite of raw liver to quiet it. This was a special day—today he would cement his tyrannical control over the masses by striking fear into their weak, timid souls. He was Star Lord, and he would not be denied! Suddenly, breaking his concentration, Star Lord’s gran walked into the room without knocking. “Alphonse, I made you some Pop Tarts for your big day!” Grammy Star Lord then gasped, “Alphonse Eugene Star Lord, I never! You are not going outside like that! Wash yourself off this instant!” Star Lord moaned, “But Grammy! I’m subjugating the masses today! I gotta have a grisly visage!” “Nonsense,” replied his gran. “That’s all the more reason to look respectable. Now I got you this nice button-up, and I’ll run you a bath. You want Grammy to wash your back?” Star Lord, mortified, shrieked, “Grammy, they need to fear me! Nobody fears anyone in a button-up!” Grammy huffed, “Galactic Terror wore a button-up when he ascended to power, and he’s feared.” “Nobody fears Galactic Terror! He’s a NERD!” At that, Grammy had her fill. “That’s enough! You march right into that bathroom immediately, mister, or Granny will spank!” As her chastised grandson skulked off to the lavatory, Grammy remarked to herself, “Oh, that Star Lord. Such a good boy.”

Relatively Irrelevant Inside Text: This is a joke, right? Like, I’m being Punk’d or something, right? I mean, by the cover, you’d assume that this would be dull as dirt. In fact, it’s what dirt reads when it needs to calm down from a rough day of being dirt. Your titular character, who doesn’t appear until halfway through the book, spends most of his time in a coma. What you’re left with is the paranoid, superstitious dithering of a sedate group of imbeciles bent on keeping up appearances after a UFO crashes into their adjacent mountainside. If it sounds funny, understand that the earnestness with which this book creates its setting is nauseous to the point that any sarcasm between the lines would suffocate and die. Oh, and fuck me, if I had to suffer through one more asinine diatribe anthropomorphizing the mountain they all have a spiritual boner for, I’d have eaten this book rather than finishing it. There’s no substance beyond what sort of mystical feels one might inherently have for the Welsh countryside and its indigenous folklore—the great conflict centers around whether or not to get medical help for the unresponsive kid with the bullet wound. The ending pretends to some sort of compromise between new-age philosophy and scientific intelligence, and that comes off exactly like you think it would. This was dull, painful, and, given that it’s billed as a “young adult” novel, a great way to discourage your kids from reading. Snore Lord is a turd.

Rating: 3.0 Lusty Welsh MILFs

Questions for Critical Cover-Viewing:

  • Is it common among aliens to look like altar boys, or is this race just trying to infiltrate the Catholic Church?
  • Could they not afford to draw a proper-size space ship, or is this kid’s agent just REALLY good?
  • **Knock Knock** Do you have a moment to talk about the Star Lord?
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