Books Military Science Fiction

Ship's Boy – Weird but entertaining

Ship's BoyShip’s Boy (The David Birkenhead Series, #1) by Phil Geusz
My rating: 5 out of 10 stars

David Birkenhead might have been only twelve years old, but his entire life was already laid out for him. First his father was supposed to teach him how to run a starship’s engine room. Then, when the time came, he’d take over the job himself. This was the way of things for slavebunnies like David; luxuries like career-choices were reserved for humans only. Not that David was complaining– compared to the farmbunnies or domestic-servant rabbits, he had it made. There was even a pretty doe waiting for him in the wings.

Then the ships of the Boyen Emperor arrived on David’s homeworld and nothing could ever be the same again. Great Houses of Nobility would contest for power, kingdoms would teeter on the edge of oblivion…

…and out of the resulting vortex young David would bring peace and justice to a thousand worlds.

I do have quite some difficulty rating this book. For starters it’s really short. At only 80 pages I almost hesitate calling it a book. Also it’s quite weird. Not the story itself . It’s a good story, although clearly intended for the younger audiences, but what makes it so weird is that the main character is a genetically altered rabbit! That’s really a weird choice and one that doesn’t really sit too well with me. Some alien or even a genetically modified monkey would have been fine but a rabbit. That’s just too weird and illogical.

If you can get over the choice of species for the main character it is a good classical story of a young kid who, due to unforeseen events, blasts off into the galaxy on a journey of adventure. His benefactor and protector ending up being nothing less than the royalty of the kingdom in which he lives.

To add to the weirdness of being a genetically modified rabbit he is, or rather was, also a slave as most of these rabbits apparently are. This, of course, gives the author an excellent opportunity to add some obstacles based on prejudice for our young hero as well as the opportunity to weave in some moral finger pointing into the story. In the short book that I’ve read and the first few pages of the next one the author manages to do this rather well without it becoming too intrusive.

The science in the book is more on the fictional side than on the science one but given the rabbit stuff that’s rather expected I would say. It’s still fairly okay and the book does not go too much into details about how things work which is probably a wise move in this case.

If it wouldn’t have been for this rabbit business I would have rated this book higher but I have a hard time getting over that bit when reading it. Otherwise it is a good story, although clearly intended for the younger audience as I mentioned above, and I quite wanted to see where the story went so I have already started to read the next one in the series. It’s not exactly a big commitment since, as I said, they are quite short. Even though the next one is twice as long it’s still not more than 179 pages.

My Book Collection

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