Mechanical Failure, by Joe Zieja

Mechanical Failure, by Joe Zieja book coverGenre: Science Fiction
Publisher: Saga Press
Published: 2016
Reviewer Rating: three stars
Reviewer: Joshua Palmatier

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This is the first book of a series of humorous SF novels.  Sort of a spoof of serious military SF.

Premise: Roger Wilson Rogers has managed to get out of the military and start up a smuggling career, but unfortunately one of his runs goes horribly wrong and rather than get sent to a labor camp for prisoners, he agrees to rejoin the fleet … as an officer! But once on the ship, he realizes that things have changed since he was last here.

Droids appear everywhere, along with inspirational posters, not to mention that everyone has been transferred to jobs they aren’t qualified to do.  Where’s the beer hour? Where’s the shuffleboard? And what’s all this talk about preparing for war? Rogers is afraid he’s bitten off more than he can handle, like, actual work.  But can he figure out what’s going on before the enemy fleet attacks?

This was a fun read, although it does take a while to get things set up for the humorous ending. I’d say about half to two thirds of the book is Rogers exploring the ship, meeting people, and setting up the plot elements that make the last half to a third so much fun. But once the action starts, the book speeds along at a fast clip.

The main character is fun to follow and the side characters are a blast as well.  A few of the plot elements are too over the top, but it’s really just a roller-coaster ride throughout.

If you’re into humorous SF with a military slant, definitely check this out.

Joshua Palmatier/Benjamin Tate

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