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Sly Mongoose (Xenowealth #3)

3.80  ·  Rating Details  ·  480 Ratings  ·  68 Reviews
Welcome to Chilo, a planet with corrosive rain, crushing pressure, and deadly heat. Fortunately, fourteen-year-old Timas lives in one of the domed cities that float 100,000 feet above the surface, circling near the edge of a monstrous perpetual storm. Above the acidic clouds the temperature and pressure are normal. But to make a living, Timas like many other young men, is ...more
ebook, 320 pages
Published August 19th 2008 by Tor Books (first published January 1st 2008)
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4.5 to 5.0 stars. It is official...I am a fan of Tobias Buckell and he has become an author that I will begin purchasing his new books upon release (at least until I come across a bad one). This is the third novel set loosely in the universe of the "48 worlds" and it expands and adds to the mythos referred to in the preceding novels, Crystal Rain and Ragamuffin. I am really enjoying how Buckell is slowly expanding the scope of the novels and parceling out the back story of how his universe is se ...more
Seizure Romero
Jan 14, 2009 Seizure Romero rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sf-fantasy, library
Someone else has already pointed this out, but it bears repeating:

Zombies. In space.

Ok, so they're not old-school brain-eating zombies (don't want to mislead hard core horror fans), but they still wanna bite you & if you get bitten, you become one of them. Destroy the brain, they stop moving.

And they're in space.
Buckell's writing is exuberant, his plot choices audacious. There is a fantastic energy to his books, as though anything might happen. Each book has been better than the last, without ever losing the adrenaline rush or interesting world-building with which Buckell first burst onto the scene.

For generations, a race of mind-controlling aliens calling themselves the Benevolent Satrapi enslaved the human race. Small bands fought back, and finally defeated their overlords in Ragamuffin. But the victo
Jan 13, 2009 Chloe marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Zoooooombiiiiiieeeeeesssss iiiiiiiinnnnnn sppaaaaaaaaccccceeeee....
Oct 12, 2008 Ron rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If you loved the way classic science fiction writers like Hal Clement would imagine a planet with radically different living conditions than Earth, and then extrapolate what sort of people would live on that planet, you're going to love this story: Chilo is a planet with massive atmospheric pressure, intense surface heat, and corrosive precipitation -- so the only societies that can flourish there are in floating cities, miles above the surface.

And then a virtually indestructible warrior, jumpin
Scott Marlowe
Jul 20, 2010 Scott Marlowe rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Tobias Buckell posted a request for advanced readers for his upcoming science fiction novel, Sly Mongoose, and, of course, I took him up on it.

This is my first go-around with Buckell’s work, though I’ve had one of his other novels, Crystal Rain, on my radar for a long time. Sly Mongoose is and isn’t a continuation of the story told in Ragamuffin. While there are clear references to the story that unfolded in that previous book, at no time did I feel as if I was missing something by not having re
Roger Eschbacher
Enjoyable read despite the fact that it contains space zombies.
Nov 29, 2012 Donna rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: library, sci-fi
I enjoyed the premise and setting, but the side adventures didn't always mesh well with bigger-picture plot. I also wish more had been done with the rich cities/poor cities class dynamics. Still, this was a fun, well-paced read, and I loved that the cultures we met were based on Mexican and Caribbean history.
Mandy Tanksley
Jul 14, 2014 Mandy Tanksley rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
It's a wonderful thing to be able to find books for a very cheap price that you might not ever have purchased otherwise and discovering a new love for an author. That's what happened to me with Tobias Buckell. I found his book Sly Mongoose in a bargain in somewhere and thought it sounded kind of cool. Well, it's more than just kind of cool. It's awesome! I love sci-fi, but haven't read a lot of it over the years so my rating may be slightly skewed. Buckell presents here the story of young Timas ...more
Jul 12, 2015 Wendy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I had a good time reading this. The setting is very well done--the planet's conditions shaped the cities in interesting ways. The characters were engaging and there were quite thoughtful explorations of how the forces of responsibility, status, and the past can affect a person. All this and solid action is yours if you read.

I do wish I had read the previous novels. This story can stand on its own, but I'm happier when I have context and connection. It's not the book's fault at all--I should be
Feb 06, 2016 Sueij rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
My third book from this author, pretty much everything I said in my previous two reviews holds here: 3 1/2 stars, because I really enjoyed reading it, but it doesn't quite rise to where I really want to hand it out to everyone. It's an action movie in book form. The characters are pretty good and have context and history, but I do still wish they had a little more depth. But I think it's just not that kind of book... maybe not that kind of author. These stories are about interesting worlds and a ...more
Jul 22, 2012 Doug rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Fun but empty-headed space opera.
Jesse Whitehead
Oct 21, 2014 Jesse Whitehead rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Tobias Buckell doesn’t like to keep readers waiting. Instead he shoves us into the heads of larger-than-life characters and hurls us into a zombie apocalypse in space.

The story starts with Pepper, some kind of centuries old super soldier (who is already familiar from the two previous books in the series) who is deorbiting onto a planet using a makeshift heat shield and a spacesuit, because that’s how he rolls. From there we are thrown into a world of floating cities, airships, acid clouds, hidde
May 16, 2015 Bryan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Update March 2012 - the paperback is here! The hardcover was published Aug 2008 so it wasn't quite a 4 year wait, but the book arguably languished by the delay. I'm sure ebook sales helped... Now back to the original review.

Hey Tor... where's the paperback edition?

I really enjoyed the first two books in this series, so I was eagerly awaiting this 3rd entry.

But... something happened. While it's beyond the scope of this review, and does not reflect on the book or the author, I feel it's worth men
Sep 30, 2009 Sarah rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm not a huge science fiction fan, but love fantasy! So I couldn't believe it when I LOVED this adult sci fi novel! I read in some reviews after reading the novel, that this author has created several books in this world, but I've never read them. However, I read this book as stand-alone just fine and highly recommend it.[return][return]Timas is a 14-year-old boy who helps upkeep the ore thingie under his city. Everyone depends on him to keep the city alive. And to stay thin. He forces himself ...more
Gamma Mouse
May 12, 2011 Gamma Mouse rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
After an innovative and entertaining debut with “Crystal Rain”, author Tobias Buckell followed that up with an even better sophomore effort in “Ragamuffin”. Both novels are essentially stand-alone stories that share the same universe, the Forty-Eight worlds, and some of the same characters. Both also strongly hinted at great things to come from Buckell in the future. Well, the future is here my friend, as Buckell easily solidifies his claim as a hot new writer to watch. His absolutely incredible ...more
Tensy MB
Jul 06, 2009 Tensy MB rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
Fast paced sci-fi. Interesting protagonists including a young hero, Timas, who must face incredible challenges on an inhospitable home world and a war weary, tech-enhanced, older man named Pepper. I had just finished reading Alfred Besters "The Stars My Destination" and I thought it was interesting how Buckell used a truncated English speech pattern with some of his characters, just like Bester did in his classic sci-fi novel. If you like your sci-fi full of battle sequences this is the one for ...more
Shaun Duke
Dec 25, 2008 Shaun Duke rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Welcome to Chilo, a planet with corrosive rain, crushing pressure, and deadly heat. Fortunately, fourteen-year-old Timas lives in one of the domed cities that float 100,000 feet above the surface, circling near the edge of a monstrous perpetual storm. Above the acidic clouds the temperature and pressure are normal. But to make a living, Timas, like many other young men, is lowered to the surface in an armored suit to scavenge what he can.
Timas' life is turned upside down when a strange man crash
Apr 07, 2012 Andrew rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a heavily-delayed paperback, which means it's been almost four years since I read _Ragamuffin_. But then, I recall having trouble absorbing the space-opera background even then. The history behind everything is *big* and complicated, and we've been getting barely a soda-straw view of it per book.

In any case, we now alternate between Pepper (semi-immortal defender of humanity, cranky bastard) and Timas (a teenager growing up in a ramshackle-poor mining town). Pepper drops into down just
Elijah Kinch Spector
I was scared that this book would be a bit weaker than its predecessors, but Tobias Buckell has kept up a surprising level of quality in his non-series (it IS a series, but each stands on its own). My biggest worry, all told, was about the fact that this book focuses on Pepper, the ultra bad-ass who's been in each one of the books (and in some short stories). For one, Pepper is so powerful that one wonders how he can be the center of a story where there's any real threat, and secondly he's such ...more
Jun 08, 2009 Brendan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Sly Mongoose is the third book by Tobias Buckell that takes place within the same far-future universe in which human beings have expanded but have done so on the technology of more advanced species, so now they’re trapped holding on to what little they have left. Using this historical backdrop, Buckell crafts a group of flying cities (Bespin style) over a harsh, Venus-like world. Enter space-zombies. You heard me.

* The book has a couple main characters, including a super-soldier not unlike Taka
Sep 29, 2008 Jim rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Space zombies. Floating cities. And Pepper leaping out of a spaceship and riding a heatshield down, sans parachute. What else do I really need to say about this one?

Sly Mongoose is Tobias Buckell's third novel, set in the same universe as Crystal Rain and Ragamuffin, but Pepper is the only character from the earlier books. As with Ragamuffin, this isn't a direct sequel, though it does continue the larger story Buckell is creating about humans struggling to survive and find their place as they d
Gary Baker
May 12, 2013 Gary Baker rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
For a sci-fi by an author I'd never heard of, this book kicked serious ass.

The tale brings sci-fi fans into the back alleys of spacial domination, with a world much like Mexico compared to the U.S.A. when compared to the other worlds in this story. As such, the wealthy are there because of exploitation and the hoarding of resources, and the poor face the worst scenarios to stay alive, often resorting to crime and the like to keep their floating city above the harsh lower atmosphere.

In comes a m
Josh Gentry
Jul 06, 2011 Josh Gentry rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was fun. I have read all 3 of Buckell's Xenowealth novels, and this was the best. I enjoyed the first 2, but each had their problems from my view. In _Chrystal Rain_ I did not connect with or care about any of the characters enough. This changed in _Ragamuffin_, which had a good protagonist, but it lost me when 2 thirds of the way through the book we moved away from her and back to characters from _Chrystal Rain_. _Sly Mongoose_ has a potent mix of cool tech, over-the-top action, and Pepper ...more
Jan 25, 2009 Alan rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Hungry readers, hungry for braaains
Recommended to Alan by: io9 []
A science-fictional adventure story which moves along with headlong pace in an exotic setting. This tale of a super-soldier trapped on an inhospitable world of cloud cities inhabited by fundamentalist Aztecs still reeling from their exploitation by aliens they thought were real gods (!) is likeable enough, has a couple of strongly-drawn characters, and definitely has its exciting moments. Oh, and did I mention it's got zombies (kinda)? That's the key word that pulled me in, actually, but Buckell ...more
Feb 27, 2015 Kate rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: library, 2014
The second Xenowealth book is my favorite. This one . . . did not work. I spent the first half of the book waiting for things to happen. Further, the only reasons things weren't happening is that the characters were being frustratingly dense. There was a large, nasty, credible threat, and no one would do anything. While arguments could be made that this is realistic, it doesn't make for a very interesting read.

And one final note is that the Xenowealth series isn't a series in the typical sense.
Guy Gonzalez
Aug 20, 2011 Guy Gonzalez rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: my-ebooks
Tobias Buckell's third entry in his Xenowealth series is arguably the tightest and most accessible of them all, and might even be a better starting point for new readers than Crystal Rain/Ragamuffin. From the intense nail-biter of a opening scene to its very satisfying conclusion, Buckell puts one of his best characters, Pepper, in a thrilling, high stakes situation that includes floating cities, political intrigue, intergalactic war, and zombies. Yes, zombies! Two kinds, actually; both subtly i ...more
Apr 22, 2015 Pat rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Pepper, the dreadlocked, morally ambiguous space badass returns in more of the same fast, crunchy action as the previous books. This time he's fighting space zombies (well, there's a lot more to it than that involving alien-created viruses etc... but space zombies sounds awesome) on a hellish planet where the inhabitants live in floating cities because the surface is fairly deadly.

There's also more political skulduggery with humanity fighting with itself over how to deal with the various alien s
Joe Slavinsky
Jan 23, 2016 Joe Slavinsky rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the Buckell's third novel, in the same section of space, with some of the same characters, although each is only loosely related. It's full of richly developed characters, striving to survive, fighting alien invasion. Lots of intrigue, betrayal, redemption, in other words good stuff in any genre. I read this book in 2 days, and I will recommend Mr. Buckell to any serious sci-fi fan.
In which Buckell follows up Aztecs and airships (Crystal Rain) and space pirates (Ragamuffin) with space zombies. I kid you not. I enjoyed this novel, but I don't think it holds together quite as well as Buckell's earlier work. It's told from multiple points-of-view, but only Pepper's is at all interesting; that's extra problematic because Pepper himself works great as a side character and not so well is a central protagonist. Anyway, I found myself really missing the narrative balance provided ...more
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Born in the Caribbean, Tobias S. Buckell is a New York Times Bestselling author. His novels and over 50 short stories have been translated into 17 languages and he has been nominated for the Hugo, Nebula, Prometheus and John W. Campbell Award for Best New Science Fiction Author. He currently lives in Ohio.
More about Tobias S. Buckell...

Other Books in the Series

Xenowealth (4 books)
  • Crystal Rain (Xenowealth, #1)
  • Ragamuffin (Xenowealth, #2)
  • The Apocalypse Ocean (Xenowealth #4)

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