Interplanetary Spy guide to The Space Olympics

Story Line: 5
Puzzles: 4
Pictures: 8
Endings: 7
Writing Style: 6

Story Line:This is the first book by Ron Martinez, and he doesn't really get it going until his second, The Star Crystal. The idea of olympics is clever, but most of the time the events are about manipulating robots. Protecting a woman athlete appeals to a lot of guys, and this seems to be the first book in the series where the Spy is clearly masculine. (I wonder how women who read Interplanetary Spy feel about this? Maybe I'll post some ALL CAPS messages to newsgroups/mailing lists to find out.)

Puzzles:Nothing special. The hand signal at the end is tricky, and there are some nice optical illusions and 3-d rotation puzzles. The different eye color puzzle would be better if people with each eye color had to make a choice.

Pictures:If there's one problem, it's too much of Gresh and his clones, although admittedly Gresh looks pretty tough! Your helmet is cool, and the aliens participating in the olympics are neat. Andromeda's not as cute as I remeber, but I can't deduct points for that in good conscience.

Endings:The time-warp ending with Gresh's clone is cool(it gave me nightmares when I was 10), as is getting picked up by the Interplanetary garbage scow. They do a particularly good job of having the endings make sense. They even direct you to other pages first in some cases, so that remembering page numbers doesn't do any good. This ties in with puzzles a bit. The android going berserk is a classic, as are the monsters licking their lips in the rubble. Even the general endings are neat.

Writing Style:This book is well put together. It follows an organized pattern.

Links to other books: Andromeda re-appears in Ultraheroes, number nine in the series.
PagesSide choicesPuzzleDifficulty
1-2-3-4-5 15:11/40 Mirror image 1
11-12-13-14 60-61 Which other picture contains this picture? 2
7-8-9-10 (16-21) Put lines together 1
21-22-23-24-25 6 Optical Illusion 1
34-35-36-37-38 26 Triangles on Circles(??) 3
17-18-19-20 28 Which key of 3 is unused? 1
28-29-30-31 44-96 Compare wavy lines outside original picture 2
52-53-54-55-56 39-6 Insert 3-hole crystal in sockets 2
69-70-71-72 93 Match pictures 1
45-46 32 Look for hiding place 2
77 (78:(51-60-61)/66) Green eyes safe, blue eyes optical illusion 1
57-66-67-68 107 Align blocks to form a resting person 1
82-83-84-85 6 How many fingers and toes do we have? 1
48-49-50 73-74 Find double-rings among single rings 1
62-63-64 114 Which spiral is wrapped around a person? 1
58-59 65-40 Grab hands from the front or back? 1
79-80-81-75 92-74 Complete pattern 2
86-87 76 Fit your spacecraft between spikes 2
101-102-103-104-105-106 114 Rotation angles 2
88-89-90 96, 47 Finish a pattern 1
108-109-110-111-112 91-100 Which cable to pull to trip Gresh? 2
94-95-115 60-61, 118-100 Make a sign with your hands 3
97-98-99-116-117 100 3-d rotation 2
97-98-99-116 100 3-d rotation 2
113-119-120-121 The End
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