Junkyard Pirate, #1.
By Jamie McFarlane.
My rating ⭐ 1/2 out of five stars.
Nope this is not a series that I will continue reading. The story is mediocre, even childish at times, the characters mediocre and the book as a whole is, well, mediocre at best.
When reading the book blurb I thought this was a type of story that I could like. A military veteran makes a, somewhat involuntary, first contact and is told about Earth being invaded by aliens. There are so many ways that can be turned into a good story.
Unfortunately the author completely squandered the opportunity.
For starters, the main character, I never really felt like rooting for him. He is stubborn, he never really appears to be very competent and appears rather content at living in a pigsty. That old nurse that he knows from the war and which rather early gets dragged into the story appears to be not only more likable but also more competent as well as kick-ass. At least she doesn’t just sit there letting the, supposedly, friendly aliens shit-talk them.
That brings us to the aliens. The idea of microscopic aliens that would work together with the main characters like some AI implant is not new but can be quite cool if done right. Unfortunately they are condescending and arrogant most of the time and even less likable than Jenkins.
Then we have the story about these, second, aliens which actually have already kind of invaded Earth and are stripping it of rare elements that the humans doesn’t even know exists yet is weak. Especially the part where there are supposedly 20 million or so of them in the process of strip-mining Earth and not a single human would have noticed anything suspicious.
To really insure that the story lacks much interest, for me at least, these “good” aliens are actually not really there to help kick the invaders out but to gather information to present to some galactic council and make a formal protest against the “bad” aliens. Seriously, like some bloody resolution from the totally useless UN which Iran, North Korea, China, Russia and such like terrorist dictatorships happily uses for toilet paper while laughing at the clueless UN bureaucrats.
Actually the first, not so subtle, hint that this book was not going to be a book for me came already at page 24 when these aliens explained to Jenkins about these two rare elements that were being mined on Earth, Fantasium and Blastorium. What the fuck!?!? I so hate when an author just invents totally ridiculous names for things and persons.
Yes, the author did come up with a half-assed explanation for these silly names that the alien inhabiting Jenkins came up with but once that was explained he could have given them some decent names. Instead I had to go through the entire book with these frustratingly shitty names thrown at me on every second page.
Overall the story is simply not very good. Jenkins lacks charisma and this so called military veteran gets shot or clobbered, and have to be saved by his few friends, more often than not.
So, nope, this series goes on the not-to-read shelf.