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Skylark DuQuesne

(Skylark #4)

3.80  ·  Rating details ·  867 ratings  ·  30 reviews
Dick Seaton and Marc DuQuesne are the deadliest enemies in the Universe--their feud has blazed among the stars and changed the history of a thousand planets. But now a threat from outside the Galaxy drives them into a dangerous alliance as hordes of strange races drive to a collision with Mankind!

Seaton and DuQuesne fight and slave side by side to fend off the invasion--as
Paperback, 256 pages
Published January 1st 1974 by Panther (first published 1965)
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Average rating 3.80  · 
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Jun 27, 2019 rated it liked it
I will think on the rating over the next couple of hours whilst I relax in the sunshine. It’s a toughie

Well I've given it a 3 star rating, which is the lowest of the 4 books in the series. It was heading for a very solid 4 stars until about 20 pages to go when to me it sort of lost its way. If there had been a 5th book in the series then I would be thinking everything would be resolved in that book, but there isnt and therefore there won't be (everything resolved in the next book).

It was, up
Megan Baxter
Jul 23, 2015 rated it it was ok
Despite the controversy this year, I push on with my efforts to read all the Hugo nominees for best novel. It's coming along, I jump around in time a lot, and I enjoy doing it. It's great fun getting a larger sense over how science fiction has changed, and what sorts of books were being nominated at any given time.

Note: The rest of this review has been withdrawn due to the changes in Goodreads policy and enforcement. You can read why I came to this decision here.

In the meantime, you can read the
Mick Bordet
Sep 17, 2012 rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: Stop at the 3rd book in the series!
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Storyline: 1/5
Characters: 1/5
Writing Style: 1/5
World: 1/5

The old school pulp here was tarnished a little by a partially coherent plot. Why Smith might have tried to turn this into a more modern novel can probably be understood by comparing Skylark Duquesne to other works written at the same time, books such as Herbert's Dune and Heinlein's The Moon is A Harsh Mistress. Smith also tried to elbow into the 1960s sexual revolution by making this just a little more risque than the previous 1930s
Aug 07, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: space-opera
Definitely an uneven member of the series. Smith's excesses are on full display here, between the weird creepy sexism (a planetary sub-governor casually called "the pistol-packing mama with the wiggle"), the outrageously cosmic scope of travel and energies and destruction and industry, and a new threat that overshadows that of the previous novel by an order of magnitude. Everything is so magnified that Smith has pretty much left the reader behind; he is lost in his own invented terminology and ...more
Caleb Wachter
Jul 05, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: sci-fi
I always enjoyed DuQuesne's character as a lingering foil, and in this book he actually gets to take center stage at the end. The problems our heroes face become literally unthinkable, as the invading Chlorans make the Fenachrone pale in comparison by their sheer power (but I never felt as invested in defeating the Chlorans as I did with the Fenachrone).

Doing battle at literally hundreds of thousands of light years distance is also a pretty neat trick ;)

Great ending to this classic Space Opera.
Jan 10, 2015 rated it did not like it
Shelves: science-fiction
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
James Hein
May 29, 2013 rated it liked it
This series just ended without a very good resolution.

I do enjoy EE Doc Smith's writing style and given the time when this was written his ideas were quite ahead of his time.

This was a reread since I first read them when I was a teenager (quite a while ago).
Timothy Boyd
Mar 11, 2016 rated it really liked it
This series is not as awesome as his Lensman series but a very good SiFi series by one of the early masters. Very recommended
Sep 03, 2018 rated it liked it
Retcon ahoy! Some forty years after writing the first three Skylark novels* Smith returned to the series at the end of his career in the 1960s. He places the events of the novels in (probably) the 1980s (an off hand comment on American and Russian moon artefacts of the 50s and 70s). The women are subtly updated, and they get more page space. Crane’s manservant Shiro is promoted to full Skylarker (all household tasks can be accomplished by using a headset to direct automated forces), and also ...more
Jul 08, 2017 rated it really liked it
This is my second reading of the Skylark series. The first time was many years ago--So long ago that I didn't remember the stories, but I credited them as part of my motivation to go into science. I now understand why; in Smith's novels, science is important and the source of enormous power, and it is to be shared for good. Perhaps others were motivated in the same way that I was. If so, that's enough to make these books worthwhile.
Smith wasn't a great writer, and his books don't show signs of a
Apr 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
Not quite up to the Lensman books, but classic Space Opera all the same.
Dayo Johnson
Feb 06, 2020 rated it liked it
Good story, I like the end, different from the run-of-the-mill endings
Nov 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
At first read I was thrown off the bull by the ending and had to read it again. And then I liked it!
Apr 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The fourth and final novel in Smith's Skylark series, this is the one that find Richard Seaton and Blackie DuQuesne on the same side, fighting on the same side against alien invaders.
Roddy Williams
When last we saw DuQuesne in The Skylark of Valeron. he had been transformed into a being of pure mind by the other bodiless minds. They had all, in any case, been imprisoned in a vessel from which they could not escape and fired in a direction far away from the First Galaxy.
Seaton's new alien friends, The Norlaminian minds, having thought things through, now realise that the vessel is likely to smash itself apart if it encounters any dense particles of matter at such an incalculable speed, and
Ryk Spoor
Nov 24, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Last of the Skylark novels and, I believe, the last novel written by Doc Smith, _Skylark DuQuesne_ is a magnificent conclusion to the seminal Skylark series.

Anyone who knows me could have guessed I'd say that, since among other pieces of evidence, I have my own character Marc C. DuQuesne in _Grand Central Arena_ as a direct salute to Doc's work.

In this case, DuQuesne is a central figure, not merely antagonist -- although he is as coldly and coolly planning to defeat Seaton and take over the
Jun 06, 2010 rated it did not like it
Shelves: 2010
A complete regression. The first book was kind of bad, the next two were really good, and the fourth one, written about 30 years later, was bad again. I mean really bad. Without losing any of the bad things from the first three books, the writer left out everything interesting. It seemed like he had some great big epic idea originally, and there were lots of references to "pulling threads together," and lots of direct dialogue from the writer to the reader about how he was "weaving" his tale, ...more
Kurt Hansen
Feb 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
The Doc Smith books are where all of our most familiar plots had their start. Space Opera in its infancy.
Feb 07, 2015 rated it it was ok
Despite being written about 20 years after the previous books, for the most part it feels as if no time has passed at all for the author. He's still exactly as sexist as he was in the original books, equally as as racist (although it is a subtle racism, it's still there) and his science hasn't matured in the slightest. The dialog is still passable at best. The plotting is a bit better than it has been. There is only a minimal amount of errors in continuity, such as the Brain supposedly being ...more
Leo Vegoda
Sep 15, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: science-fiction
It was only when I read an article by Cory Doctorow on why he hates science fiction movies that I realised what it was that I like about this series. It is an opera.

This book, like most of EE 'Doc' Smith's work, puts a positive shine on racism, sexism and several other undesirable aspects of humanity. Despite this, the underlying message is that humanity is one entity and should work together. Frankly, it is a bizarre mixture of ideology but that is all secondary to a series of set piece
Norman Howe
May 22, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: science-fiction
The master of the Super-Science Fiction story returns once more"," with a fourth Skylark adventure. The big twist is “Blackie” Duquesne as the major protagonist. Once again"," Smith spoofs the arms race"," with appalling escalation of violence between humans and other races.At least"," I hope he's kidding…
Jan 02, 2009 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Doug Farren
Sep 04, 2012 rated it liked it
I read this one a LONG time ago. The Skylark series is a classic which I periodically go back and reread every decade or so. The science is outdated and the level of technology is a bit too far-fetched but it's still a classic space opera.
Patrick Carroll
Jan 26, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Can't help myself, one of the first memorable book series I read in my early teens and I re-read the whole lot a couple of years ago, still wonderful and I wasn't disappointed revisiting the story.
May 09, 2012 rated it it was ok
Old school Space Opera series written by the doyen of space opera writes - style and content a bit dated now but still an ok read
Feb 27, 2008 rated it it was amazing
The Skylark series could be considered the early concept of the Singularity, the merging of man and machine
Al Brown
Jan 14, 2018 rated it liked it
Not the best of EE 'Doc' Smith but certainly in line with the other books in this series. Sadly this book is becoming very dated in technology terms and even much of the dialog.
Frank Carver
Jul 05, 2018 rated it liked it
At last, the final book in the four-book “Skylark” series. I hadn’t realised when I first read this just how long there was between the writing of the third and fourth books. According to copyright dates there was a thirty year gap, and it shows in the themes and the way it is written. Not knowing when I originally read the books in the series, I find it interesting that I had considerably more fragments and imagery from this one than the previous volumes.

It begins with a bit of retcon, as hero
Clayton Yuen
Aug 26, 2013 rated it did not like it
no thanks ..... old style is boring
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Edward Elmer Smith (also E.E. Smith, E.E. Smith, Ph.D., E.E. “Doc” Smith, Doc Smith, “Skylark” Smith, or—to his family—Ted), was an American food engineer (specializing in doughnut and pastry mixes) and an early science fiction author, best known for the Lensman and Skylark series. He is sometimes called the father of space opera.

Other books in the series

Skylark (4 books)
  • The Skylark of Space (Skylark #1)
  • Skylark Three (Skylark, #2)
  • Skylark of Valeron (Skylark #3)