Ryder Hook is apparently a galactic assassin in disguise. He is also not pleased when the spaceship he is travelling on decides to have a definite lack of operational ability thanks to some shoddy engineering.
He does manage to rescue a woman in the destruction, as a manly man does.
Apparently he has also gone through something called the Powerman Project, and is trying to stay out of the way of the Boosted Men.
It is not till much later on in the book we find out what is going on with them :
"He sat there, thrilling and jumping, his nerve-endings streaming billions of messages, his brain speeding into a near-superhuman level of activity. How he dreaded this experience! How he longed and hungered for this experience!
A Boosted Man had come within the sphere of mutual interrelation.
A Boosted Man was nearby!"
"The Boosted Men might know of Hook's existence. They might not. He didn't know if they were aware of him in the galaxy. All they would know was that he had been the first volunteer to go on RCI's Powerman Project from which he had been ignominiously turned out. They had followed him on that Project, and gone through to the end and been adapted into men who were no longer ordinary men.
Hook was only half a Boosted Man."
Nice to be a Boosted Man :
"What had been done to their metabolism had changed the Boosted Men's bodies into semi-human forms. Oh, they still looked like human beings, but their skeletons were near-metallic and their muscles and bodily functions had been souped-up to near-superhuman levels. And, gradually, these non-human aspects had taken over their minds. They had become a breed of men apart, the Boosted Men, and they had taken over RCI and Hook knew they intended to take over any and everything in the galaxy they could:"
not so great for Hook :
"Hook had participated in something of this process, the guinea-pig, the one who had taken the risks to see if the Project was viable. Even he was not aware of all the side-effects. But he had been thrown out. He knew he had lightning-fast reflexes and phenomenal speed in thought-processes. But, he was not a superman. He was an ordinary man; but extraordinary tough and determined, ruthless, possessed, cunning and skilful.
The extra powers conferred on Hook by his Boosting Process were absent at all times except when he came into proximity with another Boosted Man. This was akin to two tuned crystals vibrating when brought together. When he came within the orbit of a Boosted Man - Hook became a Boosted Man himself. It was an experience he feared and loved, that he detested and longed for.
Prometheus cast down out of flames into flames!"
Shades of the Mimic, indeed.
Given there is four books, you know who does better in this encounter.
2.5 out of 5