A couple weeks ago I had the pleasure of meeting author Brent D. Seth in the workshops at Outlantaccon. We traded signed copies and I am pleased to report that the book is very, very good.
The novel is billed as a sci fi comedy, and the humor comes through the observations of the main character, Jason Miller, a grocery clerk who becomes abducted by aliens. The comedic elements are dry and witty. Seth never tries to hard to make a joke land, which shows impressive restraint when writing humor. It can't be funny all the time and it isn't.
The plot takes our hero from humble beginnings into a galactic war between two species: a race of technological slavers and a race of telepathic plants. Jason's shenanigans go from bumbling around space ships looking for a way to light his cigarettes to truly epic accomplishments as he becomes more self-possessed and confident.
Along the way we meet an interesting cast of characters, including Leo, the cat. Animals as characters is a tall order to write well, but you will come to love this cat-- which becomes somewhat of a badass in his own right. My personal favorites were Oola Oola, the melon headed alien from a species that lacks an understanding of suspicion; and fido, the six legged sack of translucent jelly with a heart of gold (not literally but it would be visible if he had one). Tony, a buff policeman who was abducted with Jason, has some good moments, but the character was the least compelling of the main characters for me.
There is an impressive cast of minor characters. Seth gives us a ton of species with their own unique personalities and specialties aboard the space station TBNL. Seth creates a living society, complete with intrigue, politics and factions whose infighting drives the story forward. They have relationships: A father becomes proud of his reluctant son. An angry bird finds love.
Nanotechnology features as the primary system of science in the book. Jason is altered by nanites to be ageless and can access any computer system by using his nanites. At times the power of this ability made me wonder if there wouldn't be more safeguards or restrictions on how it worked, but the concerns are addressed and don't take away from the ability to enjoy the book.
It's a fun read and the book really starts to pick up when Tony and Jason leave their ship. There's no point where it feels like it drags on Seth's style is simple and readable with great balance between action, description, dialogue and narrative.
I can't wait for the next installment. I just hope Jason finally finally gets a cigarette.
Mike bode is the author of The Queen of Lies, the first installment in the ongoing series, Architects of the Grand Design. His next book comes out September. Sign up for the mailing list for more info.
Mike bode is the author of The Queen of Lies, the first installment in the ongoing series, Architects of the Grand Design. His next book comes out October. Sign up for the mailing list for more info. You can find him on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest . (You can also follow him on Goodreads and even Amazon)