The Maiden Voyage, written by Marcus Alexander Hart and narrated by TJ Clark, was one of those books I’d never heard of until I saw someone mention it in my Twitter feed. Humour sci-fi in space? I’m there any day of the week. This wasn’t as laugh-out-loud as I went in expecting, but it was enjoyable, if a little slow, with plenty of amusing moments.
Thousands of years ago, humanity abandoned Earth to find somewhere else to live among the stars. After overshooting their destination (by about 4,000 years), they find themselves misunderstood by the heaving masses of various lifeforms of the galaxy.
Due to some corrupted data in the shipboard computer, the aliens have only the barest understanding of humans or Americans as they think we’re all called. The hapless hero of the novel, Leo MacGavin, is stuck right in the middle of all this, working as a karaoke DJ who suddenly finds himself Captain of a brand new intergalactic cruise liner with the fate of the human’s new homeworld at stake. Failure means the human world becomes the sewerage dumping ground for the rest of the aliens.
What follows is an amusing tale of fighting against the odds. Everything goes wrong, of course, not just for Leo but for the whole cruise adventure. From uppity aliens to malfunctioning engine cores, whatever could go wrong, does go wrong.
The story is a little slow, even with the characters bouncing from one problem to the next. Hard to put my finger on exactly, but I feel as if the story could be a little tighter. No bad, as I did enjoy it, just a bit slower than I’d hoped.
TJ Clark did a great job with the narration, good pacing and variation in voices. The production was clean and professional, with no background noises, repetition or any other issues of note.
Was this a book I’ll rush off to get the next one? I’d think about it if it were on sale. I don’t think I was enraptured enough that I had to get the next one, but I certainly wouldn’t rule it out as an impossibility.