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Distant Star: Volume One (Distant Star Series) (Volume 1) Paperback – August 24, 2014
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The Amazon Book Review
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About the Author
W. Brad LaJeunesse is a masters-degreed librarian who has never worked in a real library. Instead he co-founded a library software development and support company with a bunch of other crazies, who, for some indecipherable reason, keep him around. Probably for evil experiments, now that he thinks about it. Brad's official website is wblwrites.com and you can email him at email@example.com.
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Top customer reviews
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This is a spoiler free review so it will be light on details about plot and characters. It will instead be about the character of the book itself. Honestly, I hate those reviews. I'm a librarian and I do adult collection development. I buy 100+ titles a month, read a review of each one and they rarely tell me why I would want to read a book. So, I'll tell you why I've read this one. In fact I've read it twice, once as a favor and once again for myself.
Why read it twice? My bias. I'm a child of the 70s and 80s and I grew up loving science fiction. Most of my science fiction were battered paperbacks from second hand book stores and flea markets. Reading was fun and the stories were meant to be fun. That isn't to say they couldn't be nuanced but even stories with layered elements of social criticism were often escapist and had to sell to kids like me.
In the 21st century science fiction has become both more mature and sophisticated. Now I read anthologies and feel like I'm back working on my undergrad lit degree. Short stories need flow charts. There are obvious efforts to be original and say something new. Science fiction has become literature. And that's good ... for the most part. I love a deep science fiction book but sometimes I also just want to enjoy reading.
My bias in the review of this book is that I'm predisposed to what it is - a fun science fiction adventure. It isn't the most original thing to end up on a space ship with someone you can't quite trust and end up off on adventure, to have a bitter ex out to get you, for the good guys to be on the run. To me that's not the point. My question is, was the adventure fun? Yes. Did I like the characters? Yes. Did I dislike the bad guy? Yes. Was it well written? Yes. Did it feel predictable or dull? No. Did I have points where I went, "huh, I didn't expect that?" Yes. Was the dialogue (I'm big on dialogue) decent? Yes. Do I want to read the next one? Yes. Did I feel like I needed to think back to comparative analysis courses to read it? Thank the lord and the green grass of this world, no.
There you go. If you don't love escapist space opera buddy adventures then it's probably a three star book for you but for me it was four stars, because it's not like the 100+ other titles I buy each month, or in a year of months. It's not original but it is novel amongst the other books you could pick up to read next weekend and you'll have fun reading it.
Brad's first book is a really fun read! I've never seen a Runaway Groom story mixed with a little Goodfellas, but this was great. Grant Fitzsimmons is a guy completely unprepared for marriage, so he decides to run away by purchasing a second hand spaceship (which turns out to be stolen) and convincing his best buddy to go with him. Speaking of Skip, he is a sidekick in the tradition of Gabby Hayes and Chewbacca; a great character that was just as much fun to read about as Grant himself.
Grant is pursued by the perfectly nice intergalactic supermodel he left at the altar. Well, perfectly nice except for being a psychotic narcissist. Samantha Knox is the epitome of the "Ex from Hell" and does everything from drug Grant, try to blow up his spaceship and put a bounty on his head.
The only drawback is that Brad needed a better editor. There were a few times in the middle third that the characters didn't exactly 'speak' the same as they did before or after. It's a minor complaint though and shouldn't keep anyone from enjoying this book.
I have to say a few words about the illustrator as well. George Sellas was ideal for this book. His pictures and designs fit perfectly with the characters and did not leave you trying to figure who was who at any time.
Brad wrapped up his book with a nice little bow, but left more than enough threads to lead into at least another two or three books. I look forward to reading them.
Buy this book! You won't be disappointed!
This was an entertaining and easy read and I enjoyed it very much. The story kept my interest throughout even though I don’t generally read science fiction. I am definitely looking forward to the next installment in the series.
After reading the first volume, I immediately picked up the second and read it as well.