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.
A decade in the future, humanity thrives in the absence of sickness and disease.
We owe our good health to a humble parasite – a genetically engineered tapeworm developed by the pioneering SymboGen Corporation. When implanted, the tapeworm protects us from illness, boosts our immune system – even secretes designer drugs. It’s been successful beyond the scientists’ wildest dreams. Now, years on, almost every human being has a SymboGen tapeworm living within them.
But these parasites are getting restless. They want their own lives…and will do anything to get them.
In a world of soaring continents and bottomless skies, where a burgeoning new science lifts skyships into the cloud-strewn heights and ancient blood-borne sorceries cling to a fading glory, Princess Isabelle des Zephyrs is about to be married to a man she has barely heard of, the second son of a dying king in an empire collapsing into civil war.
Born without the sorcery that is her birthright but with a perspicacious intellect, Isabelle believes her marriage will stave off disastrous conflict and bring her opportunity and influence. But the last two women betrothed to this prince were murdered, and a sorcerer-assassin is bent on making Isabelle the third. Aided and defended by her loyal musketeer, Jean-Claude, Isabelle plunges into a great maze of prophecy, intrigue, and betrayal, where everyone wears masks of glamour and lies. Step by dangerous step, she unravels the lies of her enemies and discovers a truth more perilous than any deception.
I was so ready to love this book. The cover is gorgeous, the reviews were fantastic, and I love so many other fairy-based stories. Unfortunately, this was just felt meh. I didn’t hate it, but I also didn’t feel compelled either. Honestly, I couldn’t stop comparing it to some of my absolute favorite fae books and authors (i.e. Holly Black, Sarah Maas, and others).
I finished it and liked it. The character connection just wasn’t there for me, and that’s usually what grabs me in a story. I think this was a debut novel, maybe. So I’m hoping to read more of her books in the future.
A skilled painter must stand up to the ancient power of the faerie courts—even as she falls in love with a faerie prince—in this gorgeous debut novel.
Isobel is a prodigy portrait artist with a dangerous set of clients: the sinister fair folk, immortal creatures who cannot bake bread, weave cloth, or put a pen to paper without crumbling to dust. They crave human Craft with a terrible thirst, and Isobel’s paintings are highly prized. But when she receives her first royal patron—Rook, the autumn prince—she makes a terrible mistake. She paints mortal sorrow in his eyes—a weakness that could cost him his life.
Furious and devastated, Rook spirits her away to the autumnlands to stand trial for her crime. Waylaid by the Wild Hunt’s ghostly hounds, the tainted influence of the Alder King, and hideous monsters risen from barrow mounds, Isobel and Rook depend on one another for survival. Their alliance blossoms into trust, then love—and that love violates the fair folks’ ruthless laws. Now both of their lives are forfeit, unless Isobel can use her skill as an artist to fight the fairy courts. Because secretly, her Craft represents a threat the fair folk have never faced in all the millennia of their unchanging lives: for the first time, her portraits have the power to make them feel.
Sophie has the great misfortune of being the eldest of three daughters, destined to fail miserably should she ever leave home to seek her fate. But when she unwittingly attracts the ire of the Witch of the Waste, Sophie finds herself under a horrid spell that transforms her into an old lady. Her only chance at breaking it lies in the ever-moving castle in the hills: the Wizard Howl’s castle. To untangle the enchantment, Sophie must handle the heartless Howl, strike a bargain with a fire demon, and meet the Witch of the Waste head-on. Along the way, she discovers that there’s far more to Howl—and herself—than first meets the eye.
This is a really fun graphic novel that uses a lot of science. It may not all be correct science as we know it (taffimatter seems a bit farfetched), but I enjoyed that the author didn’t dumb done the science even though this is marketed toward middle grade readers. In fact, I would argue that the science jargon might make the reader inclined to ask questions and do some research if it sparks their interest. For those readers less interested in the science aspect, there are plenty of things to latch unto in this story. Thing one is a three-headed kitten! Initially what caught my attention. LOL Also, this story takes place on a space station that’s deep in space and nowhere near Earth. It reminded me a lot of the Disney Channel Original movie, Zenon Girl of the 21st Century. Down to the white and colored female leads, although here the WOC takes center stage, which I enjoyed greatly. I’m looking forward to reading more about their misadventures in future books and will be recommending it highly to anyone interested in graphic novels, animals, space, or a good romp.
Sanity Jones and Tallulah Vega are best friends on Wilnick, the dilapidated space station they call home at the end of the galaxy. So naturally, when gifted scientist Sanity uses her lab skills and energy allowance to create a definitely-illegal-but-impossibly-cute three-headed kitten, she has to show Tallulah. But Princess, Sparkle, Destroyer of Worlds is a bit of a handful, and it isn’t long before the kitten escapes to wreak havoc on the space station. The girls will have to turn Wilnick upside down to find her, but not before causing the whole place to evacuate! Can they save their home before it’s too late?
Readers will be over the moon for this rollicking space adventure by debut author Molly Brooks.
Since learning I could listen to audiobooks at work, my two favorites, so far, have been Jay Kristoff’s Nevernight and Godsgrave! There was even a scene in Godsgrave that I really wanted to recreate. I let it percolate in my mind for a little bit before sketching it out and stippling the entire thing. Although this piece was on 9×12 paper and relatively small, the tiny dots made my hand cramp up and it took a bit longer to finish. But I can officially say that I have completed it 🙂 I’m so proud of my little picture.