Tentaclessssssss iiiiiiiiiiin Spaaaaaaaaaaace! And so much more. 😉
Title: Situation Normal
Author: Morgan Harcourt
Publisher: Storm Moon Press
Cover Artist: ThinkSentient Ltd
Rating: 4 of 5 Stars
Sebastian Reed tries to live his life under the radar. Way under the radar. His job is ferrying cargo across the solar system, and not all of the cargo he moves is, strictly speaking, legal. So when he’s boarded by an alien Peace Officer named ‘His Most Just Tenacity’ (or ‘Ten’ for short), he’s pleasantly surprised that all the officer wants is to commandeer his ship in pursuit of a completely different fugitive. Even more pleasant is the fact that Ten is a particularly attractive member of his species, and that he finds Sebastian to be just as good-looking. Soon, Ten is comandeering more than just Sebastian’s ship, but his body as well. Not that Sebastian minds in the slightest.
So, page one: can we say humor? I think soooooooooooooo! This author had me at cartilaginous and panspermia. Two words I was not expecting to encounter in what turned out to be quite a delicious and well written short story about lizards, space, tentacles and a very bossy freighter ship captain. Yep, you heard me, tentacles.
In a word, if I was so meanly forced to choose just one to describe this little gemmy gem, it would be: HOTFUN. Yuh huh, it is definitely a word. I just declared it so.
It’s Sebastian, a long haul shipper, versus “peace officer” His Most Just Tenacity. *nods* It’s ok, you can giggle, I did too. Sebastian snorted when HMJT boarded his ship and commandeered it in order to pursue a nasty meany, to be named later, when you read this.
This is how banter should be written: witty, smirky, silly and based partially on truth. It felt very real, natural, and it showed off the lovely flow of the dialogue.
This is told from Sebastian’s point of view and I really like his voice. Smart, brash, a set of brass balls he very much enjoys having played with (especially by… ok, I won’t even spoil it!), as well as his hair pulled, being restrained, and if he can get a bite in here and there? All the better to boss you around, my prettyyyyyyy.
To properly expound on that last point, not quite everything I’ve mentioned actually occurs (though, I’d say about 80%), but is definitely discussed. This is part of the cleverness of this story: for as much as we’re given, we’re left wanting much more. At least I know I was!
Way too many italicized words. Most readers will be able to determine on which words to place emphasis from the context, tone and personalities of the characters. Towards the end, it became annoying and took me out of the story more than once. The thing is, this writing is full of personality all on its own and doesn’t need incorrectly assumed assistance from those italics.
Let me say that again: this writing is full of personality, which is on especially delicious display during the ending. Heh! It’s clever, frustrating and tantalizing.
So, to summarize: this is humorous, uses tension quite well (I really wasn’t sure how things were going to go once the shit hit the fan) and is towards the top of the steam charts. I definitely recommend this story and this author. I shall go forth and seek more. 😀
This review is based on a copy purchased by the reviewer independent of any review copies offered.
I have a number of paperbacks, most of which are signed, to giveaway. Over the between now (11 Mar 2017) and 31 Mar 2017, every comment on the blog (this post and all other new posts), will be entered to win 1 of these paperbacks. There are also some misc swag items, so there will be a few packs of these to give away as well.
Thank you so much for your support over the last 4 years. Prism will be closing its doors on 1 April 2017. All content will remain available, but no new content will appear after 31 Mar 2017. As such all request forms have been turned off. Again Thank you,
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