Backyard Starship: Not great, not bad, fairly okay.

Backyard Starship by J.N. Chaney, Terry Maggert 
My rating: ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ out of 5 stars

When Van Tudor returns to his childhood home, he inherits more than the family farm.

His grandfather used to tell him fantastic stories of spacemen and monsters, princesses and galactic knights. Little did Van realize, the old man’s tales were more than fiction. They were real.

Hidden beneath the old barn, Van’s legacy is waiting: a starship, not of this world.

With his combat AI, an android bird named Perry, Van takes his first steps into the wider galaxy. He soon finds that space is far busier and more dangerous than he could have ever conceived.

Destiny is calling. His grandfather’s legacy awaits.

I have to say that I rather enjoyed this book. It is not great, it is not bad but it is fairly okay and the story is kind of cool. At least it is a type of story that I tend to like.

Van Tudor is a quite likable fellow. He is competent, a bit of a kick-ass person and adapts rather quickly to his new role as a Peacemaker. Yes that’s right. The “fellowship” into which he more or less gets drafted call themselves Peacemakers and not Peacekeepers.

I very much like his combat AS, Perry, as well. He is quite funny, has plenty of smartass comments and a good addition to Van Tudor’s entourage. Later in the book he picks up a female companion and although, at first, she starts of as being just another mission it quickly evolves into a more permanent “assignment”. Luckily the author doesn’t go overboard with romantic nonsense so they complement each other nicely when it comes to getting the job done and she is very kick-ass as well.

I was a bit miffed at the start that they kind of crippled this starship that he was given early in the book but I later found out that this is perfectly in line some of the elements of the story and how things develop so it was not as bad as I thought at first.

The story, although bringing some things to the table that makes it stand out as a bit original, is fairly simplistic. It develops quite quickly and Van Tudor goes from being a backwater planet primitive to being a Peacemaker galloping around the galaxy solving problems and making a name for himself in record time. The main characters are not really young teenagers but the story is still borderline young adult.

It is science fiction for the most part but it is rather light on science and some things, like this Peacemaker sword for example, are almost entering into the fantasy realm even though the author tries to keep it in the science fiction department.

Overall I found this book quite enjoyable. I liked the characters, there are some colorful characters, some good action and entertaining dialogue. It’s the lightness of the story and how Van Tudor just jumps from situation to situation with ludicrous ease that prevents me from giving the book a four star rating.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s