24 October 2017
The merry band are back, well, not back, as they never really left, but Joe, Skippy and the crew are still out in space, trying to safeguard Earth from the myriad of threats that appear to getting longer every book.
This time, they are making sure that the Thuranin are not a threat to Earth, that none of them are coming back, whilst still looking for Skippy’s Elder ring, trying not to be discovered, and generally safeguarding Earth when they find little issues.
These books are funny, like if you are alone, you sit there in hysterical fits of laughter funny at some of the comments that come out of Skippy’s mouth, type funny. Of course Joe makes it easier for him, and on the odd occasion, gets his own back.
There are multiple different plots that happen in this story, and it is a bit difficult to talk about all of them without giving too much away. Needless to say, there is a lot going on in this book.
As usual, there is the continual banter between Skippy and Joe, although in this book, the banter has expanded to include some other characters as well as although it has been alluded to previously, in this book, there are more examples of Skippy and other crew interacting with each other – of course none of it is as funny and offensive as the Joe/Skippy conversations.
This time around, there was the introduction of another ‘Skippy’ type character as well. As a result of some of the stuff that Skippy has done previously, one of the Splinter minds he has created to do a task actually reaches a semi level of AI, and much to Skippy’s annoyances, starts to talk to him with a female personality. He names her Nagatha, kind of like Agatha from Agatha Christie, but she Nags more about Skippy treats the crew.
This introduction of another ‘Skippy’ type character, less intelligent, but more intelligent than most humans, is rather an interesting dynamic for the story. It certainly causes some interesting conversational arcs.
The crew find themselves in a lot of trouble when they come across a particular issue that leads to the crew taking action for the safety of Earth. These actions must remain totally off the scope though, as any suspicion of their involvement will result in catastrophic outcomes for all humanity (Both on Earth and Paradise).
As with the other stories, the adventure is a mix of hilarious humour, stunning tech (some of which is almost magical it is so far beyond the standard understanding of normal humans – it would be fascinating to know where Alanson actually got his material from), some incredible battles, both in space, on board ship, and on the ground.
For those that have read the others in the series, this is a must read. If you are new to the series, you really should go back to the start. Although the books are good, the best way to get the most out of these is still to listen to the Audio books by R.C. Bray – the combination of Alanson’s writing, and Bray’s narration is a seriously outstanding experience and is the reason that each of these books has been such a hit on Audible.
This is still a ‘drop everything and start reading/listening’ title they are so good, so don’t miss it.