Jim C. Hines is one of the best authors in SFF right now as evidenced in this latest series that published late last year. I’m more of a fantasy reader usually, but sometimes science fiction titles really grab my attention and won’t let go. That’s what happened with this fun, cynical read! Just look at the series title: Janitors of the Post-Apocalypse. I love it! And the author did a great job balancing science, janitor jargon, intrigue, and action. There were looks of interesting aliens. And a fun look at how Earth’s human population fell into a feral state.
A fascinating aspect of this book was the use of pronouns. Various alien species were treated differently according to their preferences. One of the main characters uses they/them/their always. There was another race that doesn’t recognize gender, so a conversation alternates female and male pronouns. A third race uses zie in place of gender. And except for giving a brief reasoning for each use, the text doesn’t call attention to it. It’s just accepted.
I did occasionally get lost in the science jargon but never for very long. I think there’s enough to give meaning to the crew’s actions and the universe overall, but not so much that readers will dnf because they can’t follow along.
I loved this snarky crew and can’t wait to see what other mysteries they uncover in book 2!!
In his hilarious new sci-fi series, Jim C. Hines introduces the unlikely heroes that may just save the galaxy: a crew of space janitors.
The Krakau came to Earth to invite humanity into a growing alliance of sentient species. However, they happened to arrive after a mutated plague wiped out half the planet, turned the rest into shambling, near-unstoppable animals, and basically destroyed human civilization. You know–your standard apocalypse.
The Krakau’s first impulse was to turn around and go home. (After all, it’s hard to have diplomatic relations with mindless savages who eat your diplomats.) Their second impulse was to try to fix us. Now, a century later, human beings might not be what they once were, but at least they’re no longer trying to eat everyone. Mostly.
Marion “Mops” Adamopoulos is surprisingly bright (for a human). As a Lieutenant on the Earth Mercenary Corps Ship Pufferfish, she’s in charge of the Shipboard Hygiene and Sanitation team. When a bioweapon attack wipes out the Krakau command crew and reverts the rest of the humans to their feral state, only Mops and her team are left with their minds intact.
Escaping the attacking aliens–not to mention her shambling crewmates–is only the beginning. Sure, Mops and her team of space janitors and plumbers can clean the ship as well as anyone, but flying the damn thing is another matter.
As they struggle to keep the Pufferfish functioning and find a cure for their crew, they stumble onto a conspiracy that could threaten the entire alliance… a conspiracy born from the truth of what happened on Earth all those years ago.
Jim C. Hines has proven himself a master of humorous fantasy with his Jig the Goblin novels, and has turned the usual fantasy tropes sideways and upside down with his Princess and his Magic Ex Libris series. With Terminal Alliance, the debut novel in his humorous military science fiction series, Jim takes us into a brand-new universe of entertainment certain to appeal to fans of both Douglas Adams and Terry Pratchett.