My review of Variable Star

Variable Star by Robert A. Heinlein

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

You don’t know what to expect when one writer finishes a work started by another writer, particularly when that other writer is considered one of the greats in the field. Happily, Spider Robinson is a pretty darned good writer himself, as the Callahan’s series demonstrates, and is a big Heinlein fan as well. So I was delighted to find that this book read to me like a Heinlein I had somehow missed reading that came from his prime period. It is rather like a typical YA novel that Heinlein wrote, and indeed that was its intended use, but somehow it got put aside in the form of detailed notes. So the characters and plot are all Heinlein, and like most of his YA novels it is about a young fellow (named Joel Johnston) who nearly finds himself married to the richest heiress in the solar system, but then decides he can’t do that and goes on a one-way journey to the stars. And as things happen he gradually grows up and learns a few things. So like all Heinlein YA novels, it is essentially a coming-of-age story. I not only read it with great pleasure, it is a novel I will certainly re-read in the future. This may well be the last new Heinlein I ever come across, given that he died in 1988. But if anyone wants to read something has definite touches of Heinlein, I can also recommend John Scalzi’s Old Man’s War.

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