Let me start by saying that I was never a fan of the original Star Trek. But I loved me some Star Trek: TNG. (Ed. note: So it’s quite fitting that while Wil Wheaton narrates all of Scalzi’s audiobooks, that he especially narrated this one.) This book is an homage to the Red Shirt trope - the idea that low ranked crew members (easily recognized by their uniforms with red shirts) would invariably be put into mortal danger and almost always die in each episode of the show.
It was incredible. And cheesy in moments. But how could it not be? It’s part parody to a classic 60′s science fiction show that was often cheesy as hell.
I have never listened to an audiobook this quickly. Generally speaking, audiobooks are for in the car only. But this one? Nope. I’d find myself coming home in the evenings and I just had to know what was going on. So I’d be sitting in my living room with my dog staring at me because nothing was going on except an audiobook playing from my phone. Nice, right?
Scalzi was absolutely brilliant. And then at the end he breaks down the fourth wall and… well I won’t say any more than that. You just have to read it yourself.
And even if you don’t like Star Trek, I think you’ll like this book. Like I said – I never liked the original. But I appreciate the humor behind the trope and what Scalzi was doing with this book. And the story he wrote is one worth reading. I found myself completely and totally invested in the characters as they tried to figure out why things seemed so odd on board the Intrepid.
You’ve got Andy Dahl – seminary student from an alien religion turned starship crewman (to clarify, Andy’s not an alien). There’s also Jenkins, a man who now lives “off the grid” within the cargo tunnels of the Intrepid. The rest of the crew (Finn, Hester, Duvall, and Hanson) are various and sundry folks who are newly assigned to the ship as Dahl is. Together they take on their own mission to find out what the hell is going on.
And the geek girl in me loved every minute of it....more
I’m not sure I’ve ever reviewed a middle grade title on this blog. I’m fairly certain I haven’t, even though I do read them from time to time (can we say hellloooo Percy Jackson?). I picked up books 1 and 2 in the series at BEA last year and they’ve just been languishing on my shelf ever since. When book 3 showed up on Netgalley a few weeks ago, I decided it was definitely past time for me to get started.
I think the reason this one stayed on my shelf for so long was because I was dubious that a book about janitors and demon dirt creatures could possibly be good.
And now I feel like an ass.
It’s certainly not Harry Potter good or Percy Jackson good, but it is a good story. And it’s unique. In an age where every other book is a vampire or witch novel and the rest are plucked out of Greek mythology, it’s a nice change of pace.
It was also really nice to have characters acting their own age. Parents and adults were involved. That almost never happens! I didn’t find myself screaming at Spencer to just go tell someone for goodness sake! I tend to do that a lot in books.
The Grimes, Filth, and Rubbish creatures were disgusting (though the names could use a little more imagination). I’m pretty sure if I ever came face to face with one, I’d lose my lunch.
In the end, I’m glad I read it. Will I read it again? Probably not. But will I recommend it to my co-worker’s kids? Absolutely....more