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review SPOILER ALERT! 2019-02-18 05:33
Terminal Alliance (Janitors of the Post-Apocalypse, #1) by Jim C. Hines
Terminal Alliance (Janitors of the Post-Apocalypse) - Jim C. Hines

This is a re-read before reading the second book, and I still loved it!

 

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TITLE:  Terminal Alliance - Janitors of the Post-Apocalypse, #1.

 

AUTHOR:  Jim C. Hines

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From the blurb:

The Krakau came to Earth to invite humanity into a growing alliance of sentient species. However, they happened to arrive after a mutated plague wiped out half the planet, turned the rest into shambling, near-unstoppable animals, and basically destroyed human civilization. You know--your standard apocalypse.

The Krakau's first impulse was to turn around and go home. (After all, it's hard to have diplomatic relations with mindless savages who eat your diplomats.) Their second impulse was to try to fix us. Now, a century later, human beings might not be what they once were, but at least they're no longer trying to eat everyone. Mostly.

Marion "Mops" Adamopoulos is surprisingly bright (for a human). As a Lieutenant on the Earth Mercenary Corps Ship Pufferfish, she's in charge of the Shipboard Hygiene and Sanitation team. When a bioweapon attack wipes out the Krakau command crew and reverts the rest of the humans to their feral state, only Mops and her team are left with their minds intact.

Escaping the attacking aliens--not to mention her shambling crewmates--is only the beginning. Sure, Mops and her team of space janitors and plumbers can clean the ship as well as anyone, but flying the damn thing is another matter.

As they struggle to keep the Pufferfish functioning and find a cure for their crew, they stumble onto a conspiracy that could threaten the entire alliance... a conspiracy born from the truth of what happened on Earth all those years ago.

 

Terminal Alliance is a fast paced, humorous, science-fiction novel with an original alien cast and world building.  It's not everyday that the janitorial team ends up in the spotlight or saves the galaxy with disinfectant, so this makes for an original book concept too.  The main character is likeable, though the secondary cast are a bit flat (in this book anyway - maybe we learn more about them in following books?).  The book cover is both funny and beautiful!  This book was great fun and I'm looking forward to the next one.

NOTE:  This book is a complete story, but "what happens next" will be covered in another book.

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review 2018-05-28 11:20
“Terminal Alliance – Janitors of the Post-Apocalypse #1” by Jim C Hines – highly recommended.
Terminal Alliance (Janitors of the Post-Apocalypse) - Jim C. Hines

I'd never read Jim Hines before but I was in a mood for something light, so I picked this up expecting some kind of zany, "Guardians of the Galaxy" witty space romp.

 

What I got was a five star SF read. This is a funny, fast-paced, witty and original novel that also has a clever and quite serious plot.

 

The story takes place in a universe where most humans have been turned feral by a zombie plague from which 10,000 or so have been rescued by an alien race who now use them as a military force. The post-plague humans are hard to kill, aggressive and loyal. For the aliens, it's a great deal.

 

The janitors of the title humans who keep the warship clean and plumbing functioning, albeit that their leader, nicknamed mops, is occasionally consulted by the humans in battle command because she has good strategic insights and keeps a cool head.

 

When the warship gets caught in a trap that kills the alien officers and turns most of the humans feral again, it's left to Mops and her crew to find out what happened and save the universe, or at least humanity.

 

The pace is fast. The humour is irresistible. Yet this is not a shallow book. The universe-building is robust and complex. The characters, including the alien characters, are believable and engaging. The plot stands up against more mainstream SF and contains a big, skillfully revealed, secret.  Best of all, Mops turns out to be a giant amongst humans: a natural leader, a shrewd tactician, an insatiable reader (Jane Austin's and Mary Shelley's works have survived the holocaust), quietly brave and always witty.

 

What more could I want?

 

The book works as a standalone novel but sets up the sequel, "Terminal Uprising" beautifully. It comes out in February 2019 and I'd have already pre-ordered it except Amazon want to gouge me for a you-cannot-be-serious $18.42 for the privilege. I figure time is on my side.

 

Amazon pricing policy to one side, I highly recommend this book to anyone with who loves SF and has a sense of humour.

 

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review 2017-12-27 19:28
Snakes are mentioned
Terminal Alliance (Janitors of the Post-Apocalypse) - Jim C. Hines

I am the type of person who wonders where the bath rooms are on the Enterprise and the Death Star.  Sure, the Falcon has neat hiding holes, but how are the toilet systems?  Does the head have a seat beat?  And how did Luke go to the bathroom on his way to Cloud City or wherever?  Does the transporter take care of bodily functions? 

 

                IN part this is curiosity, in part this is because I would be the one losing her lunch in the bathroom, so I really want to know.

 

                Hines’ latest book is about those on such famous ships who rarely get mention and never get thought about – the janitors.  In other words, Finn before he got sent to a planet where he didn’t like killing people unless they were people he knew.

 

                (Sorry, I like Finn.  In many ways, his reactions later in the movie are the most realistic, but that beginning sequence does Finn’s character a disservice.  He is cheering killing people he knows).

 

                Mops is a human in charge of a cleaning crew on the Pufferfish (the ships in this novel are named after the deadliest animals in human history).  The human race has go through a collapse, not so much destroying everyone, but turning everyone feral (like zombies but not dead).  The Krakau have developed a cure for this temperament, and humans who are cured work as mercs.  The species has a reputation for stupidity, toughness, and blood thirstiness.  Unfortunately for Pufferfish, on a recent assignment, the majority of the human crew has gone feral.  The only ones who haven’t are Mops and her crew: Kumar, Monroe, and Mozart.  There is also Puffy, who is more of hinderance, and Grom who is like centipede.  Mops is determined to find out what happen and to cure her crewmates, leading to the adventure story that is the book.

 

                Being a Hines book, there is much laughter.  Part of it comes from the use of names, cured humans take names of famous people.  So, Monroe, for instance, is named for Marylin.  There are also the various reactions to human things, such as a dig at erotica.  For the reader, there is the added bonus of reading being forefront in the story.  

 

                Truthfully, at the start the book is a bit slow and one of the big reveals, isn’t really a surprise for the careful reader (and Hines doesn’t treat it as such, to be fair).  Yet, this book is also one of those books that illustrates the strengths of sci-fi, in particular humorous sci-fi.

 

                The treatment of humans in the novel by other alien species is basically any ism that is in society today or in the past.  Some of the comments, for instance, you have seen in the descriptions of Africans by Europeans or white slave owners.  Hines is also getting the reader to think about how knowledge is transmitted or not transmitted; in fact, he tackles several big questions in this book.  By doing so, quite frankly, he cements his place as America’s Terry Pratchett, who also dealt with big questions in funny ways. 

               

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