Book Review – Space Team by Barry Hutchison

Space Team: Galactic Shenanigans with a Side of Sarcasm

My First Impressions

Space Team by Barry Hutchison – A book that, let’s be real, takes you on a ride through the absurdly ridiculous universe. It’s like someone crammed Hitchhiker’s Guide, Guardians of the Galaxy, and Monty Python into a blender and hit purée. Is it easy to read? Pffft, hell no. It’s like the author had a bet with himself on how many random, wacky ideas he could cram into 300 pages. I kept this book shelved multiple times, probably as a way to let my brain recover from the sheer overload of nonsense. But hey, Hutchison writes with such unrestrained enthusiasm, it’s hard not to get sucked into the madness once you get past the initial shock.

Let’s talk about Cal Carver, our not-so-heroic protagonist who basically stumbles his way through the universe. This guy’s a walking disaster, a man so profoundly unqualified for heroism it’s a miracle he can put on his pants in the morning. But that’s the charm, right? Watching Cal bumble his way from one screw-up to the next, all while somehow not getting vaporized or eaten by space monsters. You get the feeling Hutchison delights in pushing Cal to the brink of utter failure, only to yank him back at the last second. Keeps things interesting, if not a bit predictable after the fourth or fifth “oh no, we’re doomed, wait no we’re not” scenario.

Then there’s the Space Team. A ragtag bunch of misfits who make the Guardians of the Galaxy look like a well-oiled machine. You’ve got Mech, a robot with the personality of a grumpy old man and the body of a tank. He’s basically the voice of reason, which isn’t saying much considering the rest of the crew. Then there’s Miz, a blue-skinned warrior princess who could slice you in half with her eyebrow raises alone. Add in the token quirky alien and a couple of other walking punchlines, and you’ve got a team dynamic that’s more chaotic than a cat in a room full of laser pointers.

Seriously, their interactions are like watching a dysfunctional family reunion, but with more explosions and weird alien goo. The banter is top-notch, though. Hutchison clearly enjoys writing dialogue that zings and pings like a pinball machine. It’s all very snappy and witty, even if sometimes it feels like the characters are just there to set up the next punchline.

Plot – Or Something Like It

Now, the plot. If you can call it that. Basically, Cal gets kidnapped by aliens, gets thrown into space jail, and then ends up being part of a team tasked with saving the universe. Or something like that. Honestly, I can’t really remember. The plot takes so many left turns, you might need a map and a compass just to keep up. One minute they’re battling space pirates, the next they’re dealing with sentient mold (yeah, you read that right). It’s like Hutchison wrote down every sci-fi trope he could think of, tossed them in a hat, and drew them out at random.

Is it coherent? No. Is it fun? Hell YES. There’s a kind of manic energy that drives the story forward, making you want to see what ridiculous situation the team will find themselves in next. You don’t read Space Team for the plot; you read it for the wild ride. It’s like a rollercoaster that’s been duct-taped together by a madman – thrilling, unpredictable, and just a little bit terrifying.

Humor – Hits and Misses

Humor is a big part of Space Team, and it’s very hit or miss. When it hits, it HITS. There are moments where I genuinely laughed out loud, mostly at Cal’s sheer incompetence and the way the universe seems to conspire against him. Hutchison has a knack for slapstick and situational comedy, and he’s not afraid to throw in some dark humor for good measure.

But when it misses – it miss. There are jokes that fall flat, gags that feel forced, and times when the humor feels like it’s trying way too hard. It’s like Hutchison is so desperate to make you laugh, he forgets to let the humor flow naturally. But hey, comedy is subjective, right? What didn’t work for me might be hilarious to you.

World-Building – WTF is Going On?

The world-building is… well, it’s there. Kinda. Hutchison throws so many weird and wonderful concepts at you, it’s hard to keep track of what’s what. There are space stations, alien planets, bizarre creatures, and technology that makes absolutely no sense. It’s a mishmash of every sci-fi element you can think of, with no real logic or consistency.

But that’s part of the charm, I guess. The universe of Space Team is so chaotic and unpredictable, it keeps you on your toes. You never know what’s going to happen next, which makes for an exciting read, even if it doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. It’s like Hutchison decided to throw the rulebook out the window and just have fun with it, and you can’t help but get swept up in the madness.

Character Development – Or Lack Thereof

Character development? Yeah, good luck with that. Cal is basically the same hapless goofball from start to finish, and the rest of the team doesn’t fare much better. There are hints of backstory and moments where you think, “Hey, maybe we’re going to learn something deep and meaningful about this character.” And then it’s back to the slapstick and shenanigans.

But honestly, who needs character development when you’ve got aliens, explosions, and more plot twists than you can shake a stick at? Space Team isn’t about deep, complex characters. It’s about having fun and going on a wild adventure through the galaxy. And in that sense, it delivers in spades. Besides, maybe the rest of the series has some character development – just don’t go expecting it in book #1.

Final Thoughts – What Did I Just Read?

So, what’s the verdict? Space Team is a fun-fun-fun ride. It’s not perfect. It doesn’t try to be. But it’s fun. If you’re looking for serious sci-fi with deep themes and intricate plots, look elsewhere. But if you want a book that’s laugh-out-loud funny, action-packed, and completely bonkers, then Space Team is worth a read. Just be prepared to suspend your disbelief, roll with the punches, and embrace the it-may-not-make-sense-but-its-so-much-fun side of your brain. It’s a story set in a universe where anything can happen and usually does. And while it might leave you scratching your head and wondering what the hell you just read, it’s a hell of a lot of fun along the way.

So should you read it? I think so – as long as you know what you’re getting into. Or, in the immortal words of Cal Carver, “I have no idea what I’m doing, but let’s do it anyway.”

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