When I received Michael Pickard's novel, billed as "space satire," my ears perked up a bit. The first chapter made me chuckle, so I threw caution to the wind and decided to dive in.
Mr. Pickard's experience as a previously published author made this book's quality a definite cut above most self-published books.
- The text had good flow and a defined voice.
- Language use by the Frobs were consistent and had voice.
- It was filled with clever puns that made me chuckle.
- There were parts that reminded me of Monty Python, which always brightens my day, even if it doesn't involve fish slapping, silly walks, or shrubberies.
- It was easy to visualize the action.
- The plot was multi-layered and complex enough to be interesting, but not so complicated and spread out that it felt like reading Game of Thrones.
- The middle sagged, lacking enough action to compel the reader to need to turn the page.
- Occasionally he spent too much time inside the characters' heads.
- I see what he was going for when he wrote the ending, but I found it a bit unsatisfying.
- The title doesn't flow as well as I'd like.
- The cover art. Eeeep.
The quality is a far cut above most self-published works. As space satire goes, the closest analog I could think of was Space Balls, but the humor reminded me more of British understatement than Brooksian absurdity. Overall, it was worth the read.