Look, there were some very thoughtful science fiction stories being written throughout the Golden Age. This isn’t one of those. Gardner F. Fox didn’t really write ‘thoughtful.’ He wrote a lot, and he wrote fun. Essentially a holdover from the Pulp era. This isn’t meant as a slight. He wrote a solid ripping yarn.
With “The Arsenal of Miracles,” we find a crazy future where Humanity and another humanoid species have clashed over habitable worlds. Both species live in the shadows of ancient aliens, and the secrets of those aliens become the crux of the book.
There are a lot of fun ideas, if not a lot of character development, and not a heck of a lot of plot. There’s a dash of Edgar Rice Burroughs thrown to kick things up. And you can see a bit of Sword & Sorcery, especially in the early part of the book. The book drifts off the rails in the final stretch, though. It reaches a climax, but then meanders on to a second finale that is less than thrilling.
-Matthew J. Constantine