Narrator: Liam Owen
Publisher: Steven Campbell (2014)
Length: 9 hours 20 minutes
Series: Book 1 Hard Luck Hank
Hank is a thug and a Level 4 mutant. He’s chosen to live on the out-of-the-way space station Belvaille because his skills are appreciated there. Those skills include being able to take a bullet to the face and keep right on talking. This skill set makes him perfect for playing negotiator between rival gangs. Then the mysterious Jian and her brother show up and have an unusual proposal for Hank. Coupled with the dredaled robots and the Colmarian navy, Hank is in for a tough time of it.
This was a very fun scifi comedy! Hank is this big, nearly indestructible thug that some mistake for simple or dumb. Hank’s motivations might be simple, but he does use his brain when his mere presence isn’t enough to change people’s intentions.
There’s a fun cast surrounding Hank. Gorm is a crooked cop, but a good person. She’s Hank’s voice of reason when he’s not thinking. Then there’s the mutant Jian (who is beautiful and may or may not be interested in Hank) and her brother (whose special abilities are fueled by drugs). Eldablo is a procurer of odd bits and he has one big secret that may or may not be possible to keep under wraps. Hank is definitely the star of the show but these other characters give Hank a great backdrop to do his thing.
The dredaled are independent robots that have their own society, etc. Also, they are deadly to most humans and extremely hard to destroy. Hank’s efforts to deal with these bots were heroic and monumental! Yet he alone is not enough! I came to have a great appreciation for the dredaled as they trashed the space station.
Meanwhile, the Colmarian navy is on it’s way to the Belvaille space station for an inspection. The residents have a few weeks to get the place cleaned up before they arrive. Obviously, the various crime lords aren’t happy about this as it means destroying some illegal things and putting nearly all criminal activities on suspension. There’s plenty of pressures on Hank to help keep the peace.
There’s humor everywhere in this book but I most appreciated Hank’s straight forward viewpoint on so many issues. He pretty much takes the simple approach to problems. Again and again, he has to point out the consequences of not complying to the station-wide clean up and I just had to grin as I imagined various crime lords working through their options and not coming up with much.
Crime lords, dredaled robots, the navy, and…. yes, there is yet one more adversary to toss into the mix. Hank has a lot of hurdles and stuff to fix in this book, all for a space station that may or may not be worthy of calling home. An excellent start to the series!
Narration: Liam Owen was great in his narration of this book. I loved his voice for Hank! He had distinct voices for all the characters and a variety of accents. He pulled off the humor quite well. I also liked his little touches here and there, like taking the time to mimic a bullhorn when the scene called for it.
What I Liked: The cover art; Hank’s straight forward nature; so many hurdles!; the dreaded dredaled!; Gorm and her crooked ways that maintain the peace; Eldablo and his secret; great narration.
What I Disliked: Nothing – this was a very fun story!
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