I had no idea what to expect from the first novel in this series, by Toby Frost. It was filed under Science Fiction, yet had a cover reminiscent of the bombastic, divine right of the British Empire to rule with impunity. That’s exactly what I got from this book, however, delivered with its tongue, secured firmly in its cheek.
The rather tenuous story revolves around Captain Isambard Smith, a man born well after his time, with an upper lip stiffer than a Scotsman on a Friday night, in his attempts to save the ever perilous galaxy from a horde of ant soldiers called the Ghast.
In this adventure, he is joined by a somewhat mild maniacal, skull mining alien, an android smart mouthed pilot who ran away from her life as a sex toy, and a hamster. They set off in the Captains’ Spaceship the John Pym to collect Rhianna Mitchell – basically a sixties inspired free loving herbalist.
Without giving anything away, the journey is not as simple as it might seem.
Toby has chosen to take the best bits of Douglas Adams and spun it around to include a little bit of Star Wars with a soupçon of Star Trek. It is silly, but you have to expect this going in. In addition, it genuinely has some laugh out loud moments and will even remind you of the intelligent ridiculousness of Black Adder.
A relatively short story, but well worth it…give it a try !