The star of this series is David Starr, a newly qualified bio-physicist who has recently been accepted as a member of The Council of Science, located on Earth. He is given a task; to uncover a criminal conspiracy to hold the Earth ransom by poisoning its food supplies. Earth has long since used up its natural resources and relies on the farms on Mars as its primary source of food.
David Starr goes to Mars disguised as a 'farm boy' and is embroiled in a plan to dastardly his life is in peril until he can uncover the mastermind (sounds like crime fiction doesn't it).
Asimov is important to science fiction, not just because of how prolific a writer he was, but because he was one of the first writers of hard science fiction, that is, science fiction based on real scientific thought/theories.
Asimov himself was a biochemist as well as a writer, and his depiction of Mars in Space Ranger is all the more fascinating because the Mars that he creates, with its thin atmosphere not able to support human life and its network of fissures that crosses the planet, was an accurate representation of the planet according to mid 19th century knowledge (although now we know differently).
In Space Ranger, Asimov effectively combines this (historically) accurate setting with an exciting story in a way that displays his imagination and his talent for story telling.
I was swept up in the action and drama of this book; unable to put it down until I had figured out who it was that putting the Earth under such a great threat. It had me completely drawn in from beginning to end, so much so that I was giving my boyfriend unwelcome/exciting updates about what was happening as the story progressed.
If you are looking for a tense and exciting read, this is a book for you. If you are looking for a short but creative introduction to the fun and fabulous world of science fiction, this is one for you too.