Joe Bonadonna’s first book, Mad Shadows, has been hailed a modern masterpiece by virtually everyone that has read the book, including myself. In recent months a sense of excitement has been building in the New Pulp community as readers eagerly awaited his second novel. Now Three Against the Stars has been published by Airship 27 and it’s another feather in Joe’s cap. Three Against the Stars is a rollicking Space Opera and thrill ride extraordinaire. And although I suspect some will compare it to the classic pulp era Space Operas, which is a fair comparison, this is by no means a juvenile adventure. Three Against the Stars is also a top-flight literary adventure story, well-told, superbly crafted and chock full of memorable scenes. It is far different in scope than Mad Shadows, which simply proves that Joe’s talent is limitless. He handles Space Opera with the same skill that made Mad Shadows such a memorable sword and sorcery fantasy. Three Against the Stars takers place in another galaxy where three rambunctious members of Third Regiment Company E of the United States Space Marines get involved in exposing the nefarious dealings of a nasty group called the Khandra. Joining them is Medical Corpsman Makki Doon, a proto-feline humanoid. Seargants Fernando Cortez, Seamus O’Hara and Claudia Akira are cut from the same cloth as all of those classic pulp heroes of yesteryear, made memorable today by Bonadonna’s surefire touch. There’s a dash of the old Flash Gordon style action, and truly riveting bad guys. The battle scenes are particularly exciting, and as usual Bonadonna uses the right images with the skill of a chef preparing his main course. Prepare yourself for a thrill ride in a universe where “the guards gobbled up the spilt brains and then ripped open chests and rib cages to get at the still-warm hearts.” (p, 33) This is slam-bang hardboiled pulp entertainment!