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Phule Me Twice (Phule’s Company Book 4) Kindle Edition
|Length: 261 pages||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled||Page Flip: Enabled|
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In the world of SF, this is the "screwball comedy" of the genre.
Cpt. Phule and the Omega bunch get a new assignment, something they can really sink their teeth into, they are working for the Zenobians now, those delightful little reptiles with an appreciation for anyone who "goes all out only for their friends".
Phule's been recognized by the State department and so he gets the assignment when the Zenobians specifically request his outfit. The fun starts because Phule's higher ups don't want him to succeed again, and plot a convincing method of bringing him down with a crash.
And previous elements of the series all conspire to deliver surprises for everyone.
A fun read, doesn't do the expected, and really begins to recapture the humor and characters of the first two books. In particular, the slowness of the previous book is gone and new recruits in that book are already proving their worth in this one.
If you want light SF reading that makes you smile, go for this book.
As it happens, the Zenobians are worried and they are asking for help from the Alliance. It seems that there is some sort of hidden force that is affecting their home planet and they are worried about an invasion. Since Captain Jester (as Phule is known in the legion) is responsible for their introduction to the Alliance, it is logical that the Zenobians ask for Phule's outfit to help them in their troubles.
So, the Omega Mob goes to the Zenobian home planet, set up shop there and start investigating the "Hidden Ones". At the same time, the Space Legion sends Major Botchup to do his best. Since the Major outranks the Captain, the Major must be in command. Not only that, but Botchup shows up just as Phule himself disappears with Beeker and no one knows where to find them.
Not to fear though, all ends well with Phule re-establishing his command; the Hidden Ones are revealed as just another improbable race that lives on that planet and has peaceful intentions; and no shots are fired nor damage done. However, the robot that was left on Lorelei is compromised and is given a new role.
Ok. So, why did I give this book only three stars? Well, first of all, the technological details that overhang the plot are so badly thought out that I could not suspend my disbelief enough. For instance, supposedly the Zenobians were unknown before Flight Leftenant Qual's spaceship malfunctioned because they used different frequencies than the Alliance members. That might have been Ok if they did not communicate much. But the Zenobians are supposedly much more advanced than the Alliance so one would have expected much MORE electronic communications which would have definitely been detected by the Alliance. This is double so, as the Zenobian home planet is right next to Lorelei in the midst of the Alliance realms!
The same premise is used for the Hidden Ones, but one of the Omega Company folks (Sushi) is able to modify his laptop computer to detect, discover, translate, and triangulate on the Hidden Ones within days if not hours of being given the assignment. How can one soldier do something that two complete civilizations could not accomplish applying ALL of their technology to the task? Not even close to credible enough to look over.
The next quibble I have is with the way in which Botchup is dispensed with. No way would a commander fall for the kind of trap and flim flammery that is attempted in this book. Not even such a bad commander as he is depicted to be. Sorry.
And what's with the cover art? Didn't the author fill the artist in? Did the artist even read a single chapter in the book? Blech!
Finally, this book is seriously not funny. There are many situations that could have developed into some humorous situations, but none of them are pursued sufficiently to make me even crack a smile and that is probably the biggest problem with this book.
So, read this if you want to know the next chapter in Phule's career, but do not pick up this book if you have never read one of the Phule books before.