Screw The Galaxy (Hard Luck Hank #1) by Steven Campbell
My rating: 5 out of 10 stars
Hank is a thug. He knows he’s a thug. He has no problem with that realization. In his view the galaxy has given him a gift: a mutation that allows him to withstand great deals of physical trauma. He puts his abilities to the best use possible and that isn’t by being a scientist. Besides, the space station Belvaille doesn’t need scientists. It is not, generally, a thinking person’s locale. It is the remotest habitation in the entire Colmarian Confederation. There is literally no reason to be there. Unless you are a criminal. Because of its location, Belvaille is populated with nothing but crooks. Every day is a series of power struggles between the crime bosses. Hank is an intrinsic part of this community as a premier gang negotiator. Not because he is eloquent or brilliant or an expert combatant, but because if you shoot him in the face he keeps on talking. Hank believes he has it pretty good until a beautiful and mysterious blue woman enters his life with a compelling job offer. Hank and Belvaille, so long out of public scrutiny, suddenly find themselves at the epicenter of the galaxy with a lot of very unwelcome attention.
Well, the book blurb pretty much describes Hank and the scenery for this book. The part about Belvaille not being a thinking person’s locale is certainly spot on. I would say that I felt that the first third of the book was quite entertaining. Crazy but entertaining.
Unfortunately after that the book only got tiresome. Hank’s worldview seems to be to float through life with a minimum of resistance and a maximum of stupidity. Unfortunately a lot of the people he associates with appears to share his reluctance to use the gray cells, if they have any that is. I could live with the wacky story if, at least, the hero had some character and some focus but Hank is just a big organic entity that responds to external stimuli (usually delivered by means of a rapid chemical reaction) and occasionally cracks a joke.
It did not help that, towards the end, the story became increasingly ludicrous. There has been published two more books and two short stories in the series so obviously there are people who likes this book but unfortunately it was not really my cup of tea.