Sunday, 6 June 2010

Space Crime Conspiracy

Title: Space Crime Conspiracy
Author: Gareth P. Jones
Series: -


Score: 9/10
How long I would stay up reading: Well past my bedtime.
How likely I am to read the next in the Series: If there is one, I would love to read it.


I always find that the hardest part of writing a review is starting it. So those who follow my blog will have noticed that I tend to begin with the cover of the book. Now this is a fickle place to start, as new editions are often released of books, but since this book is released in just over a months time, I imaginge that that will not happen for some time.

The cover makes the book obvious as marketed at children. It has a cartoon style drawing on the front, which contains the main character, and bright writing. As an adult I've found that this would make most others wary of approaching it, and they would be wrong to take this approach. As with other books aimed at children, this is an interesting story that both adults and children can enjoy.

Obviously, as a book aimed at children, the storyline is not deeply involved, and the more technical aspects of science fiction aren't quite as described as more traditional adult novels, but the storyline is well thought out, and the ending is a huge twist which works extremely well. Most of the secondary characters are not particularly fleshed out, but since it suits the style of the book, it didn't occur to me until I had actually begun writing the review. The only character I wished I could have known more about is the girl Jupp, who seemed to give a sense of importance to the plot at first, and then seemed to become a background character.

The idea of a talking mushroom seems at first rather silly, even in fiction, but he instantly becomes a character that the reader feels a stong sense of amiability to, and when the reasons for his ability to move and talk become clear, he doesn't seem out of place at all. Indeed, some of the technology in the book is incredibly well imagined, and suggests that more thought has gone into them than is revealed in the books. They are an example of something that an adult can take from the book that it's target audience may not.

The biggest problems that I found with the book is that it is divided into two periods that are interleaved throughout the book. The main parts, set in the past, are the interesting storyline, and often amusing. The other parts however, are the present sections, and interrupt the narrative at specific points which helps to increase the tension as I expect they were meant to. The problem I found is that those parts set in the present are actually written in the present tense. In my experience, the present tense doesn't usually work well as a narrative, especially third person, and I found that this case was no different. Fortunately however, these sections were few, although the conclusion of the book is one such part, the climax is in the past.

The very last event (which occurs in the present), is quite predictable, and I find myself wondering if it is meant to point the way to a sequel, which I would undoubtedly read if it was to be written. Perhaps not a book for the die-hard Sci-Fi fan, but for those that like to dabble (especially those who like mystery) I would definitely recommend it.

More Information

Main Protagonist(s): 1 Male and 1 Mushroom
Main Antagonist(s): Various
Main Relationships: None
Genre: Children's, Sci-Fi
Brief Synopsis: (from Publisher's Book Page)

Stanley has been arrested for the intergalactic crime of the century!
In prison, accused of murdering President Vorlunar, things are not looking good for Stanley. But when he is released, matters get even worse! He discovers that his assumed crime has given him not only notoriety, but value.

How can a boy who lives above a pub in south-east London cope with bounty hunters with beards on their foreheads, lawyers who specialise in Intergalactic Law, Pan-Dimensional Litigation and Criminal Prosecution, and the terrifying bird-headed space pirates, the Marauding Picaroons.

ISBN(13): 978-0-7475-9981-4
Website: Publisher's Page
Amazon Link: UK Site US Site
Pages: 311
Released: July 12th, 2010
Publisher: Bloomsbury

Note: -This amazon link is a test, and the first time I've used it. I feel I should stress that I earn comission if you use this link and buy something. If you have anything particularly against this, feel free to use the link above. - Adam

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