June 1, 2014
Starship Grifters by Robert Kroese (Review)
Author: Robert Kroese
First published: 2014
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I have been given this book for review by Lori, and I must say she's great at choosing appropriate reviewers :) I really enjoyed Starship Grifters!
Usually I would complain that the book lacks depth. You know, The Hitchhiker's Guide, which it is compared to, is about "life, universe and everything"; Starship Grifters is not. It's just some funny adventures of some crazy characters in a totally unbelievable universe. But just because of this it's just a perfect book to read when you are in the end of the semester writing your diploma, your long-term relationship is fucked-up and you undergo an unpleasant and expensive medical treatment. There was literally nothing that could make me laugh or even engage me enough to care, but this book could!
The first amazing thing about the book is that the story is being told by a robot! A nearly-intelligent robot that shuts off every time there is a danger of generating an original thought. How awesome is that? I can also tell that the author apparently knows something about artificial intelligence, as the technical descriptions were very accurate. It pleases a scientist inside me :)
The second amazing thing is all the craziness of what's happening in the book. There's no telling what'll happen next, but you'll surely be surprised. There are some funny and sarcastic commentaries on certain easily recognizable real-life characters and situations, but the book is still far from being satirical. The dialogues are funny and made me giggle a couple of times, and the final plot twist is really good.
I had some problem with the main character, though. Rex is very, very crazy, and although sometimes it's great, sometimes he becomes insufferable. I think that was the point, but somehow he is still the most unbelievable character in the book for me. However, his martini "thing" was classy! And his character made me sympathize with his robot even more :)
In my book: Starship Grifters is a farce, full of cliches and unbelievable stuff. But it's very funny and just great for raising your spirits, even at times when you are totally unable to concentrate on everything.
P.S. Look at the cover! It looks like a battered copy of a classic sci-fi paperback! I love that!