Friday, April 20, 2018

Book Review: 'Starship Grifters' by Robert Kroese


Rex has a bad habit of spinning tall tales about money to be made and then stealing the money to be invested. You don’t have to be smart to figure out that is going to catch up with you. But does he listen to his sidekick Sasha? No, he doesn’t…
Mr. Kroese writes an action-packed tale of space fiction with all kinds of odd creatures and an underlying plot that doesn’t become evident until the end of the book. While I think he wrote it for adults, I think the best market for this style of book would be young adults. There are strange animals, nuclear power, space ships, insane rulers, and a dozen different interests in this story. It’s a bit silly, almost space opera, and I know they’ll have fun with Rex’s schemes.
Sasha is a robot. When Rex gets in a pickle, she helps him forget certain important past activities so he won’t be able to give them away. She can’t help; she must tell the truth. She has learned to tell the truth by not directly answering the question, but that’s almost like cheating. Can robots do that?
Rex is on the run because the repo guys are after him for debt. He stops long enough to play poker and win not only an old starship but also a planet. When he visits the planet, it’s all desert and there’s nothing of value there. But when he gets captured again, he pretends there is and tries to sell it. After about three such deals and a bounty hunter after him now, he gets stuck in the worst place of his life. Will he get out or is this it? If he’s going to get free, how’s he going to do it and who is going to pay his debt?
If those questions aren’t enough to entice you to read this book, this is also where you learn there was a much larger plan in place and that Rex isn’t as in control as he thinks he is. It makes for a good read and I think young ones will pick up on the humor and enjoy the fascinating chases. It’s not bad for an adult read either if you like sci fi!

Editor's note: This article was originally published at Long and Short ReviewsIt has been republished with permission. Like what you read? Subscribe to the SFRB's free daily email notice so you can be up-to-date on our latest articles. Scroll up this page to the sign-up field on your right.