I’m just going to apologize upfront:
I’m crap at writing “real” book reviews. I’m sorry. Please don’t hold that against this book that I’m about to write a really crappy review for. It’s not its fault that my way with words is not on par with the author’s or my co-bloggers for that matter. They write awesome reviews. I tend to stick to “alternative” posts because I can handle those WAY better, or at least marginally better. So again, please accept this deep, heartfelt apology for what you are about to experience (or not experience if I’ve managed to drive you away!)
There. Now that the niceties are out of the way and you guys are aware that this book review will be only “so-so” I can proceed guilt free.
I try to keep my reading experiences fun and interesting. I have way too much going on in my real life to be brought down by a boring fantasy world, hence the reading of silly monster smut and bad alien erotica. It’s ridiculous and cheesy and sometimes just the perfect palate cleanser. So when I came across this book with my handy, dandy kindle unlimited subscription, which NEVER fails me by the way (that was sarcasm people, just in case you were wondering), I was intrigued, but also a little hesitant. I like space stuff and I like funny, but I’d never really read a space farce before. I’ve seen them, sure. Who doesn’t love Spaceballs?
If you don’t think this is comedic genius then you have no comedy in your soul my friend.
And while I didn’t necessarily expect this to be that, it was the basis for my comparison. The bar was set really, really high. So I see this book, Starship Grifters (Rex Nihilo #1) by Robert Kroese
and I just can’t look away from it. I keep coming back to it, over and over again. I mean, that cover: it screams intergalactic space romp. I love it so much! Cover love does not always equate to book love, though, as I’m sure you are all aware. These books with amazingly perfect cover art are the Trojan horses of the book world. They look like beautiful, wonderful gifts on the outside. You welcome them into your life with open arms. Come here, pretty book, come to mama. But when you look on the inside all you find is the death of your hopes and dreams, stabbed, crushed, and stomped on by the facade of an attractive face. I would have hated for that to have been this book.
Please don’t let me down, please don’t let me down….
And you know what? It absolutely did not. I LOVED this book. I literally laughed out loud reading it. I regaled my co-workers, with tears streaming down my face, with the antics of Rex Nihilo. It was so good in every way.
You see Rex is a, well, he’s a grifter. He’s not a great gambler or boss or a great person for that matter, but he can talk himself in to and out of almost anything. Rex is always looking out for numero uno and for the next big score that requires the least amount of effort on his part. Imagine his delight when, during a card game, he manages to win (totally on the up and up, I swear *wink wink*) the ownership of not only a spaceship but also a whole friggin planet. And from a well-known and well-respected weapons merchant! It’s gotta be legit, right? This is it: his big score! Only of course, it’s not that easy and things don’t go as planned. Rex learns the planet is mortgaged to the hilt and now, because of the unpaid debt, he has a bounty on his head. Rex and Sasha, his Self-Arresting near-Sentient Heuristic Android companion, must figure a way out of this mess before it’s too late and he ends up paying way more than he bargained for.
Along the way they amass the traditional rag-tag crew (YAS!) and you begin to realize that either Rex is the luckiest man in the whole damn universe or he’s just fucking brilliant. Or both. I’m going with both.
Guys, this book was just fun and smart and even ended with a twist I didn’t quite see coming. It’s probably going to go down as one of my favorites this year. I’m that serious. If you like funny, like nerdy funny, I highly recommend it (and if you’re an audio book person, the audio is pretty good as well!)
That’s it, my people. Crappy review out.