With an intriguing premise and an unusual mashup mix, ‘Space Taxis’ was one that I simply had to read.
The world-building is solid, aided by the planet Vost’s similarities to our own Earth, and the characterisation is well-rounded, overall – particularly with regards to their ‘voices’. The alien races are nicely put together, too.
This was an ARC (advance reader copy), so I shan’t go too much into the level of writing (which was pretty decent overall, to be fair); however, I felt some of the word choices were interesting, and it was a bit overwritten and obvious in places, which didn’t help the novel’s aim of containing mystery elements.
I’m afraid I did have a bit of an issue with many of the female characters’ appearances and attire being described in great detail, while we barely know what the protagonist looks like (he wears a cap…) – it’s almost as if women are judged solely on looks but for men, it doesn’t matter (character is more important)… The two female colleagues at the cab firm are particularly sexualised and slutty, which unfortunately gives their interactions more of an outdated 60s Star Trek ‘show-me-more-of-this-Earth-thing-called-kissing’ vibe than I had hoped for. The authors compare the novel to the awesome (in my opinion) ‘Red Dwarf’, so they’ll get that reference; however, they also compare it to ‘Slaughterhouse 5’, ‘The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy’, and ‘Dune’. Now, while I can see some similarities between this and ‘Hitchhiker’s Guide…’, the resemblance really starts to stretch at ‘Slaughterhouse 5’.
I also absolutely love ‘Dune’ (see my review here) and would be all too pleased to read a comparable novel; I’ve no idea who is comparing ‘Space Taxis’ with ‘Dune’, but I’m sorry to say that this is nowhere near it.
All that aside, the different timelines, sub-plots, twists and surprises were well handled, and it was an entertaining read. The cover’s great, too. There are plenty of 5* reviews of ‘Space Taxis’ out there, so maybe I’m just missing something – feel free to let me know what you think.
He’s abducted by aliens to the planet Vost.
He’s saving up for his fare home.
But he’s got the small matter of a planetary apocalypse to deal with first…
In 1977 a New York Cab driver Mike Redolfo is abducted by aliens after being mistaken for a renegade scientist. Meanwhile, back in 1944 a mysterious man and his Jewish fiancée are fleeing across Nazi-occupied Europe.
Redolfo tries to keep a low profile on his new world whilst earning his fare home, but unwittingly gets involved with a shady gang of alien criminals, inadvertently bringing the planet to the brink of catastrophe.
As the link between the timelines becomes clear, Redolfo must discover secrets from the past that may hold the key to saving the planet.
If you like The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, Kurt Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse 5, and Frank Herbert’s Dune, you’ll love this gripping and entertaining sci-fi mystery thriller.