End of Empires by Toby Frost

Vertigo

Mad Mountain Man
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How can you not like a book that has the British Empire in space fuelled by tea; a war dinosaur instead of an elephant with a castle on its back instead of a howdah, a spaceship that’s seen far better days captained by Smith - personification of the idiotic British colonial officer – and crewed by his dreadlocked hippy girlfriend, his best friend comrade in arms – who is essentially Predator – and a pony loving pilot android who only shows bravery in defence of her blue pony friends? This is a rip-roaring comedic romp that parodies more films than I’d care to count (most notably a wonderful caricature of Apocalypse Now).

Just because this is comedy don’t make the mistake of thinking it won’t be well written. It has a wonderfully comic plot and what is, for a relatively short book, a fairly large cast, each of whom has their own character and distinctive voice. You really can’t help but like them all; even the psychotic lemming man antagonist.

I’ve enjoyed all of Frost’s wonderfully irreverent Space Captain Smith books but I think this one has nudged out in front of the others. Huge fun that had me chuckling throughout and occasionally laughing out loud.

4/5 stars
 
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