Day of the Starwind by Douglas Hill (Victor Gollancz, 1980) Book three of the Last Legionary quartet sees Keill Randor edge closer to the shadowy Warlord who masterminded his planet’s destruction. Hill has a knack for upping the stakes, pitting his protagonist against ever more serious threats. Clear, fast-moving middle-grade action SF.
Demon Stalkers: Prey by Douglas Hill (MacMillan, 2008) A fast-moving mix of supernatural horror and YA adventure. Hill includes some dark real-world elements—homelessness, abandonment, torture, sadism—but does so for purposes of realism, not shock value. His protagonist is not without flaws, yet maintains a sense of morality throughout.
Deathwing Over Veynaa by Douglas Hill (Victor Gollancz, 1980) Middle-grade science fiction. Book two of Hill’s Last Legionary quartet/quintet succeeds admirably as both a standalone novel and a progression of the series. Hill’s characterisation may be unambiguous but he knows how to keep a story moving. An exciting single-sitting action adventure.
Exiles of ColSec by Douglas Hill (Victor Gollancz, 1984) At bit clumsy at the outset and rushed in its conclusion, but otherwise an exciting piece of middle-grade SF. Hill moves from a plausible near-future dystopia into a story of castaway survival on a new planet. Distinctive characters, decent representation, accomplished world-building.
Young Legionary by Douglas Hill (Victor Gollancz, 1982) Serving as a prequel to Hill’s Last Legionary quartet, this fix-up novel follows a young Keill Randor (aged 12, 14, 16 & 18) through four challenges on his way to becoming a Legionary of Moros. Easy SF action escapism for middle-grade readers.
Cade: Galaxy’s Edge by Douglas Hill (Bantam, 1996) A slightly awkward blend of MG and YA space opera. There’s action aplenty but sections of the prose are remarkably clunky for an author of Hill’s calibre. This first book establishes Cade (an Artful Dodger type) and the universe he operates in.
The Fraxilly Fracas by Douglas Hill (Victor Gollancz, 1989) By Hill’s standards, a great disappointment. Galactic courier Del Curb comes from the oeuvre of would-be comedic, self-inflated, mishap-prone, comeuppance-provoking space opera antiheroes. The story, however, fairly plods along and the humour is just a disreputable turkey flapping about, never taking flight.
Galactic Warlord by Douglas Hill (Gollancz, 1979) As an introduction to Hill’s ‘Last Legionary’ series (or to MG/YA SF in general) Galactic Warlord is hard to fault: the main character is austere but morally unambiguous and easy to cheer for; the threat is serious and the story clearly told.