Book Review: “Starship Grifters” by Robert Kroese

Starship GriftersTitle: Starship Grifters

Author: Robert Kroese

Publisher: 47North

Publication Date: May 6, 2014

Length: 251 pages

Obtained: I received a copy from the author in return for an honest review when I was finished.

The Plot: Rex Nihilo is a bit of a wild card. Well, wild card is probably putting it lightly. His only concerns in life are remaining alive and gathering as much money as he can. As a result, he is often on the run from the authorities, but lucky for him, he has Sasha, his trusty, long-suffering, robot sidekick who tries very hard to keep Rex alive, despite the difficulty of the task. After winning a spaceship and ownership of a planet Rex quickly discovers he owes 1.6 billion credits in past-due debt and there are collection agents swarming to find him. Rex doesn’t have that kind of money so he undertakes what appears to be a three, possibly four-way con to trick a rebel group, the ruling government, a rich engineer, and maybe even himself into giving him the money he needs to pay off the debt and continue on with his haphazard adventures in peace.

Along the way Rex meets up with a ragtag group of helpers, a bounty hunter who aids him somewhat begrudgingly, and some space missionaries who are not quite what they seem at first glance. Throughout this adventure Rex proves himself… incapable time and time again. Sasha is forced to put things right over and over and when all is said and done, things turn out… not quite as planned. Starship Grifters is packed full of silly one-liners, absurd antics, and general fun times. It knows exactly what it wants to be as a book and hits those marks just right.

Best Character Moment: There are a lot of great character moments in Starship Grifters, but I think the best one is when Rex tries to delay General Issimo from undertaking his mission to overthrow the ruling government. He comes up with the most absurd, most selfish ways to waste time. Every single one of them is hilarious though.

Needs More: Pepper. The buxom bounty hunter has a lot of snark and she lit up the pages in the limited screen time she got to have. I really liked her as a character and I think if Robert Kroese ever writes another Rex Nihilo adventure he should feature her prominently if he can. I think there is a lot of potential for her and Rex as a duo undertaking cons and scams across the galaxy.

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