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Waypoint Kangaroo

(Kangaroo #1)

3.96  ·  Rating details ·  993 ratings  ·  188 reviews
A high octane science-fiction spy thriller that puts a new spin on the outer space adventure, WAYPOINT KANGAROO kicks off a blockbuster series full of adrenaline and intrigue.
Kangaroo isn’t your typical spy. Sure, he has extensive agency training, access to bleeding-edge technology, and a ready supply of clever (to him) quips and retorts. But what sets him apart is “the po
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published June 21st 2016 by Thomas Dunne Books
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Average rating 3.96  · 
Rating details
 ·  993 ratings  ·  188 reviews

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Dec 12, 2016 rated it really liked it
“Nobody gets my jokes,” laments Kangaroo, the otherwise unnamed protagonist of Curtis C. Chen’s Waypoint Kangaroo. He’s not kidding. The titular spy can’t coax a single laugh from anyone else in the novel, though he hardly lets a moment pass without cracking wise. For the reader, Kangaroo’s prodigious attempts at humor are also more likely to elicit a groan than a laugh. But it doesn’t stop us rooting for him to find one that sticks.
Kangaroo is an archetypal underdog hero, so dogged determinatio
The Captain
Feb 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: sci-fi
Ahoy me mateys! I absolutely loved this sci-fi tale about a bumbling James Bond type-character code name: Kangaroo. Kangaroo’s name is not because he is from Australia or because he can jump high or because he is a “genetically-engineered human-marsupial.” As he puts it, “come on, that last one is pretty ridiculous.” No it is because he has a Pocket.

The Pocket is a portal that opens up into an empty parallel universe. It is pretty nifty for spy work. Storing things in the Pocket and smuggling ar
Jun 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: e-books, read-2017
5 Stars

I absolutely loved Waypoint Kangaroo and wish that I wrote a deserved review. This book was a guilty pleasure of mine as it appeals to all of my likes. This was a fast paced science fiction story with some very cool aspects. Waypoint Kangaroo is the perfect title. Just an awesome read.
Jan 05, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio
I think this would have been a three star book if I hadn't listened to the audio. The narrator was mediocre in the first place but unfortunately he made the two main women, Jemisin and Jessica, sound emotional and bitchy. Totally not cool.

The story is an interesting concept. The MC has a way of opening up a pocket universe that has nothing to do with ours. There are no stars, for example. He can use this ability to store things, which is quite funny at times. This is an ability that he alone has
Book Haunt
Kangaroo was an orphan who stumbled upon the unique and supernatural ability to create a pocket universe to stash things in. As he grew up, the government nabbed him to work for them as a spy. He has been physically implanted with tools that come in handy for all sorts of things a spy might need. He has his own handler, his own doctor and his own gadget guy. Kangaroo is a great James Bond for the future! A bumbling, wanna-be hero who is always jumping in feet first without thinking ahead. He is ...more
Sep 23, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: audiobooks

Curtis Chen is a local Portland author who I see quite often, and have hung around quite a bit (though much like David Levine, I doubt he could pick me out of a lineup), so I've had my eyes on this novel since he announced it some time back (last year?). Kangaroo is a spy, but one with a very particular and exclusive talent - he can open a "pocket" to a foreign bit of space, in which he can store anything of any size, for an indefinite amount of
Jun 29, 2017 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Peter Tillman
Mar 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
An engaging interplanetary thriller, and a fine debut. 4 stars

A silly, cinematic, pulse-pounding SF thriller that has some WSoD issues, but powers its way right past those. An unusual super-science superpower is at center stage. Basically this is a Boys Own Adventure story from the 1940s, updated to 21st century sensibilities and a whole lot better written. Setting: a GINORMOUS nuclear-powered space-liner, the Dejah Thoris! Did you pick up on that classical reference? The titular Kangaroo is an
Apr 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: reviewed, 2017-rev
4 stars - Metaphorosis Reviews

A spy with his own pocket universe to stash things in goes on vacation. But his all-expenses paid luxury cruise to Mars doesn't turn out quite like he'd expected.

I've met Curtis Chen, in a casual, convention-y sitting at the same table way. He seemed quiet, reserved, unassuming. I'd never read any of his work. But apparently, under that calm demeanour is a trenchant wit and a great sense of storytelling.

Waypoint Kangaroo is the epitome of formula - from the moment t
Jul 20, 2016 rated it liked it
Disclaimer: I received this book free through a giveaway (although, not through Goodreads itself). I don't think it affects my review.

A secret agent, code-named Kangaroo, has the apparently unique ability to open a portal to an empty universe and store stuff there. This makes him extremely valuable and makes up for the other areas where he may lack some of the qualities ideal in a secret agent. But when he's on vacation, none of that should matter. Except on his vacation cruise between Earth and
Chris Bauer
Jun 25, 2016 rated it it was amazing
The debut novel by Curtis Chen "Waypoint Kangaroo" is fantastic. I've always been a fan of "speculative thriller" novels, those which have elements of intrigue, action and science fiction / fantasy elements and this novel delivers on all counts. Not to mention that the protagonist, dialogue and utter absurdity of some scenes are just plain funny as hell. Yes, I know humor is subjective, but if you don't find yourself chuckling out loud while reading "Waypoint Kangaroo" you ought to check yoursel ...more
Criminal Element
Jul 12, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: thriller
Curtis C Chen’s Waypoint Kangaroo is a clever mix of space opera, superheroics, and spy thriller. Set in a future that sees Earth’s colony of Mars having fought a bloody war of independence from the mother planet, peace has been regained enough for interplanetary travel and commerce to settle into a routine that includes regular vacation cruises.

Our hero, Kangaroo (and no, that’s not his real name), has been forced onto one of these cruises. He didn’t exactly botch his last mission, but he cert
Apr 21, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Waypoint Kangaroo is a fantastic read! Once I hit the half way point I couldn't put it down and stayed up much too late one night, I mean morning, to finish it.

I could tell you about Kangaroo, about his pocket, or about any of the other points already mentioned inside the book cover but what I've never seen before, and maybe it's because I'm way off base, is that this is Kangaroo's origin story. Sure, Kangaroo already has a "superpower," his pocket, but this is the story we will all be able to l
Jun 22, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: sf
I loved this book! A spy thriller-comedy-space romp with a killer sense of humor, it will have you racing along with the breakneck plot from page one. I'd recommend it to anyone who enjoys zero - gravity hijinks, murder mysteries, and all you can eat buffets on their reading adventures! ...more
Jan 18, 2018 rated it it was ok
This book could have been a nice light entertainment - murder mystery on a cruise to Mars.
The sort of books I usually give 3* and move on.
Unfortunately it had it had too many issues , the major one being the protagonist, Evan (“this is not my real name” but who cares) , AKA the Kangaroo.
He’s described as a young (early- mid twenties) yet well-experienced secret agent ( the book starts off with an action scene around the Mongolian border).
The thing is , throughout the story you actually feel li
Brandon McNulty
Aug 02, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Awesome debut novel with a cool and unique concept, high stakes, relentless humor, and slick pacing. A lot of outer space sci-fi tends to drag in my opinion, but Chen balances things out with his quirky protagonist Kangaroo, who never lets up with the wisecracking, even as the conflict gets lethal on a grand scale.
This is a fun spy romp that mashes together a bunch of genres.

We have Kangaroo, a young spy with the superpower of being able to open a portal to an empty universe, giving him the ability to store anything in pure vacuum for retrieval later. He essentially has the magic medicine bag of Shaman from Marvel’s Alpha Flight by John Byrne: Omnibus. Or perhaps the book from Jim Hines’ Libriomancer. This duplicates the ability characters have in video games to carry multiple objects that would otherwis
Apr 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Light SF fans
Shelves: sci-fi, espionage
If (when) this is made into a movie, I hope they use the El Ray's cover of Secret Agent Man in the soundtrack.
It's got the pacing & patter of a long-established semi-serious spy caper, with an outer-space setting and plenty of room to grow into a series. Impressive debut novel.
Line I kept expecting: Is that an alternate universe in your pocket or are you just happy to see me?
(view spoiler)
Fred Hughes
Aug 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
A great start to a great series. Kangaroo si ordered to go on vacation and sure enough there is trouble. Along with 4,000 other passengers it appears that someone is out to crash their luxury cruise ship into Mars.

Add the fact that they seem to be smarter and better organized than the Spaceship's Captain and Kangaroo and it's a fight to the the finish to stop the ship from crashing and killing 20 million Martians.

Main character is a wise ass ala Scalzi and it all makes for a GREAT read.

Looking f
Oct 03, 2017 rated it really liked it
Inventive shtick and setting for a standard espionage tale.
Marc Rocket
Dec 14, 2018 rated it liked it
Much better than I could have wrote.
Aleksandar Nikolov
Not great, not terrible.
Get Booked Fans
Episode 156:
6. My dad loves traditional sci-fi. Heinlein is his favorite author ever, but he also enjoys Zelazny, Asimov, etc. I’m hoping to find new authors for him, and have had some success with the Expanse, The Martian, and with books by Elizabeth Moon. However, the Vorkosigan books, the Murderbot Diaries, Red Mars, and the Honor Harrington books all fell flat for him. Do you have suggestions for modern books in the classic sci-fi style?
–Books for Space Dad
Recommended by: Jenn
Angela Burkhead
Aug 22, 2016 rated it really liked it
I picked up Waypoint Kangaroo on a whim. I saw a tweet about it, thought hey, I'll check this out, read a couple reviews, and then had to have it. The title alone is quirky and that off-the-wall humor extends throughout the book.

Kangaroo is a spy... but he's not on a mission, he's on vacation, (Forced vacation, but still a vacation) and he has no idea what to do with his time. He's suspicious of everyone, and as it turns out, he has a right to be. He may be a top secret government spy, but this
John Wiswell
Jul 06, 2016 rated it really liked it
They call him Kangaroo. It's not because he can leap great distances, but because he's got a transdimensional pocket inside of him, perfect for hiding secret files or gadgets. That's why the spy agency snatched him up, an everyman who was stripped of his real name and sent into the galaxy to help save lives with flopsweat and witty repartee. In his debut novel, Chen introduces us to Kangaroo in dire need of vacation. But in the space opera spy business, the vacations are the deadly part.

You see,
Brian Enigma
Jul 05, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Waypoint Kangaroo is a fun spy thriller, with a dash of mystery and intrigue, that kept me turning page after page to find out what happens next. There are plenty of twists that feel spot-on to the story — neither too outlandish nor too obvious. It's a fun summer read that played out in my head like an action movie, and when I hit the end, I found myself ready for more stories starring the main character, [code name, not his real name] Kangaroo. And Kangaroo is the thread that ties all of the ac ...more
J.R. Sherrill
Aug 22, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Kangaroo is the code name for a secret agent in future who just happens to have a super power. Whenever he wants a gadget, or to hide or smuggle and object, or just toss an unwanted bad guy somewhere, Kangaroo simply opens a little portal into a pocket universe only he can access. The physics of how the pocket works, not to mention the many clever ways it is employs, are quite fascinating and I'm intrigued at how he'll use it in the future. In addition, several high tech implants give him an edg ...more
Jan 24, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: scifi, ebook
Kangaroo is a somewhat peculiar scifi thriller. In many ways it's pretty typical: a lot of futuristic technology lets villains do things that our hero has to understand and combat with his (yes, there's no ground broken on the gender front) own lesser futuristic technology. The tension climbs higher and higher as a deadline approaches.

What makes it peculiar is that "kangaroo" aspect. The author probably spent a lot of time playing Dungeons & Dragons, which has a special magical items called a "b
Jun 21, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I picked up this book because the author is an acquaintance of mine, but no amount of good will towards an author is enough to make me KEEP reading a book if it doesn't grab me within the first couple of chapters.

This was a thoroughly enjoyable read. Some of the tech was over my head, but understanding it wasn't crucial to the story, and anyway, the main character's "superpower" is never explained, either by himself or the scientists at the classified government agency he works for. "Waypoint Ka
Tim Hicks
Apr 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: science-fiction
Five stars for a first book. Yep. It's great fun, but never breaks the unwritten rules of SF.
It's a space opera/spy story, with the authorial privilege of creating just ONE impossible thing, in this case the very same "magic" pocket that Bugs Bunny used in so many cartoons. As SF requires, the pocket has rules and constraints, and Chen carefully observes them.

The plot is fast-moving, has twists, and is well-paced and well-managed. There are interesting characters, not least of which is our her
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Once a Silicon Valley software engineer, CURTIS C. CHEN (陳致宇) now writes speculative fiction and runs puzzle games near Portland, Oregon. His debut novel WAYPOINT KANGAROO (a 2017 Locus Awards Finalist and Endeavour Award Finalist) is a science fiction thriller about a superpowered spy facing his toughest mission yet: vacation. The sequel, KANGAROO TOO, lands our hero on the Moon to confront long- ...more

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