This page will house my humble reviews for books, particularly self-published books by other independent authors. From time to time its possible I may prattle on about something more mainstream, and if so, I’ll find it a different home on my blog.
These reviews will be listed in alphabetical order by book title.
Title: Imminent Danger: And How To Fly Straight Into It
Author: Michelle Proulx
Genre: Space Odyssey/Romance/Humor
Release Date: January, 2013
Overview: The Space Odyssey genre isn’t one I’ve explored very much outside of things like the Star Wars movies. And romance books don’t tend to be my thing, generally speaking; especially teenage love. But the humorous way in which it’s presented, and the fact that the romance serves as a backdrop to the action and the world makes this a really fun read, even for a man.
It’s very easy to see the space odyssey influences in the setting and characters. Like Star Wars and Firefly, there are a lot of common themes here: You have a central ‘galactic government’ that does its best to keep order in the galaxy, but tends to let many people slip through the cracks. The Galatic Empire from the Star Wars universe and Firefly’s Alliance deal with the same problems present in Imminent Danger – there are too many people, across too many worlds, dealing with too many problems to take care of and pay attention to them all. And the gaps are filled by everything from smugglers and vigilantes to evil ‘mega corporations’ not unlike Lucas’ Czerka Corp. and Whedon’s Blue Sun.
Insert one inept, very-out-of-her-element high school student, and you have a recipe for turning everything on its head.
Pros: The story is fast-paced and fun. The characters gracefully tumble from one problem to the next without too much unnecessary banter in between, which makes it a compelling read, because as one event is winding down, you quickly come up on the next, and its hard to stop reading when you want to know how they get out of the next bind.
There is some good character growth, which only serves to build the story more. And yet despite how much some of the characters grow they manage to show you they still have a ways to go yet, which adds even more realism.
Cons: Sometimes the parallels between similar settings are too obvious (Chakra and Czerka Corporations are very close in name and trade). And what intergalactic free-lancer wouldn’t love a furry alien co-pilot? (Although in all honesty, this one tried really hard to avoid it.) This is definitely mitigated by the humor and parody elements, though.
There are a couple events that seemed a little contrived, like someone feeling a little blue so they decide to call up their father just to gloat and argue, but in the overall context it still worked. And, to some degree, it may have been necessary. I still can’t help but think that there could have been a different way to handle it, though.
Closing: Still, I can’t iterate enough that it’s easily worth $3 for an electronic copy. You can also check out a sample copy of the book that gives you a few chapters worth to read. I guarantee you’ll find something about it you like, and probably very little you don’t.