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  • Writer's pictureTina S Beier

A Game of Battleships (Book Review)

By Toby Frost

(Space Captain Smith #4)

5 Stars - Science Fiction Comedy

The only thing I hate about these novels is that I read them so fast. It’s not because they’re too short or too simplistic, but because I can’t put them down!

This iteration follows Smith and his crew on a mission to determine the origin of a dimension-jumping ship and assist in building diplomatic treaties with the alien races to help in the war against the Ghasts, Yullians, and Edenites.

I’m tempted to say that this one is my favourite. I’ve probably said this about almost every one, but this one has all the aspects I’ve come to love about the series, as well as some development on the part of the characters. While the “plot” of this novel took a little longer to get going, I liked the slower pace - it let the crew interact in downtime, rather than jumping from action scene to action scene. And the space battle at the end made up for it.

This isn’t going to be a huge review, as this is part 4 of a series that is very consistent, so a lot of what I would say would be repeating my previous reviews. But, where the previous book had a major focus on Suruk (AKA: my space boyfriend), this one gave Polly some screen time (a surprising turn of events - I expected Smith would be afforded the opportunity). That particular battle took on a subtly different style than the rest of Space Captain Smith, reminding me more of Frost’s serious fantasy Up to the Throne in its detail and tension. This wasn’t jarring or took away from the comedic aspect of the rest of the story, but it was nice to get a “real” action scene.

I loved the inclusion of the usual jokes and references, new character Captain Fitzroy, and I liked that 462 was present but not the main villain yet again.

Anyway, if you haven’t read the previous novels in the series, I highly recommend starting with Space Captain Smith. It’s a fun ride and while I can’t wait to read the next one, I’m going to hold off as long as possible to draw it out!

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