Evie's Reviews > Zaftan Entrepreneurs

Zaftan Entrepreneurs by Hank Quense
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's review
Apr 21, 2011

it was amazing
bookshelves: favorites
Read in April, 2011

Zaftan Entrepreneurs is an extremely funny and highly entertaining science fantasy novel by Hank Quense. This book has everything: humor, adventure, magic, war, aliens, fantasy creatures and humans. Spiced up with a hilarious political satire and a healthy dose of romance, it's a delightful fast-paced and engaging read, that will leave you craving for more. I can promise you that it's nothing like you've ever read before!

The story takes off when a Zaftan space ship approaches the Gundar planet. Zaftans are rather repulsive looking, squid-like creatures, standing seven feet tall and weighing over 400 pounds, with grayish skin oozing green slime. Oh, and did I mention that they don't wear clothes? It's because the slime makes most cloth materials smolder and eventually catch fire. Not only do they look nasty, but they're also quite snarly and treacherous, even toward their own kind. They come from a planet called Zaftan 31B, colorless and depressing place, permanently covered with dark clouds. Living on a planet nearly deployed of natural resources, zaftans are forced to explore the space.

During one of the exploration voyages a zaftan space ship, commanded by Captain Yunta, comes across Gundar, a bluish planet populated by diverse races, such as dwarfs, elves, humans, half-pints, yuks and others. After a brief analysis of the surface, Yunta decides to send Shtap, one of her officers, to negotiate the mining treaty with the leader of the natives. After learning the language of the natives, Shtap pays a visit to the president of Gundarland, Albert Webley. In exchange for the mining permission, he offers to teach them how to clean up the pollution and keep their water clean. Shtap says, they will use robotic explorers to explore the surface of the planet and promises to respect the property rights and the people. The officials, tempted by the prospect of having their pollution problem solved, agree to the treaty. Everything seems to be going well for zaftans, up until the point when the robotic explorers start trespassing and causing damage to the private properties. One thing zaftans don't yet realize is how feisty a creature each Gundarians can be when it comes to protecting his/her land and property. Zaftans are about to learn their lesson the hard way!

I haven't read any previous novels from Hank Quense, but in this one, he definitely makes his great talent clear. Hank is no doubt an ingenious comedic writer, blessed with intellect and the ability to make the reader laugh out loud. It really doesn't even matter whether you're a fantasy or science fiction fan, if you like a good laugh, this is definitely a book for you. Zaftan Entrepreneurs is remarkably fresh and consistently funny, very Pratchett-ish! The characters in this book are fascinating and even the smallest ones are very relevant to the plot. I loved how the story was told from many different perspectives, all of them complementary to each other. I enjoyed the story and the humor a lot, I found it extremely hard to put this book down and I'm definitely looking forward to the second part of Zaftan Trilogy!

So is there anyone I wouldn't recommend this book to? Well, yes, actually, there is. If your book shelf consist mostly of YA/Paranormal novels, you might not find this book to be a good fit for you. It definitely takes a rather mature and open minded reader to fully appreciate the political satire (which by the way, is oh!-so-genius!). But if you're one of the people who can "think outside the box" and you feel like a good laugh, then by all means, grab the book and start reading! You definitely won't be disappointed!
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