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Ship's Boy (The David Birkenhead…
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Ship's Boy (The David Birkenhead Series)

by Phil Geusz

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I do have quite some difficulty rating this book. For starters it's really short. At only 80 pages I almost hesitate calling it a book. Also it's quite weird. Not the story itself . It's a good story, although clearly intended for the younger audiences, but what makes it so weird is that the main character is a genetically altered rabbit! That's really a weird choice and one that doesn't really sit too well with me. Some alien or even a genetically modified monkey would have been fine but a rabbit. That's just too weird and illogical.

If you can get over the choice of species for the main character it is a good classical story of a young kid who, due to unforeseen events, blasts off into the galaxy on a journey of adventure. His benefactor and protector ending up being nothing less than the royalty of the kingdom in which he lives.

To add to the weirdness of being a genetically modified rabbit he is, or rather was, also a slave as most of these rabbits apparently are. This, of course, gives the author an excellent opportunity to add some obstacles based on prejudice for our young hero as well as the opportunity to weave in some moral finger pointing into the story. In the short book that I've read and the first few pages of the next one the author manages to do this rather well without it becoming too intrusive.

The science in the book is more on the fictional side than on the science one but given the rabbit stuff that's rather expected I would say. It's still fairly okay and the book does not go too much into details about how things work which is probably a wise move in this case.

If it wouldn't have been for this rabbit business I would have rated this book higher but I have a hard time getting over that bit when reading it. Otherwise it is a good story, although clearly intended for the younger audience as I mentioned above, and I quite wanted to see where the story went so I have already started to read the next one in the series. It's not exactly a big commitment since, as I said, they are quite short. Even though the next one is twice as long it's still not more than 179 pages. ( )
  perjonsson | Oct 28, 2017 |
Arrr....

Suspend my disbelief...

Right, there will be space travel one day. We have it now of course, but travel between the stars will happen, even if it is only generational ships.

But very large, Alice in Wonderland Mad Hatter size bunnies, cognizant and able to act as a ship's Engineer?

No...

This is not a great tale. First because of the bunnie issue, which is a euphemism for race relations around the era of WWII in the US Navy. Blacks could only be stewards in the mess, and peel potatoes. They were not to be anywhere else.

Then we have the issue of death and how a son reacts to their father's demise. The hero of this story really does not react at all. He is on the hop, as it were all the time and so does not think of that, yet has a great deal of character development time to think of everything else, such as the issue of society and class.

And just to grease the wheels, the little bunny that could, saves the next King so he can become the richest bunny their ever was, and get all he wants as well. I said this was a fantasy, I mean Science Fiction... Amazon's recommendation system kept throwing this at me, since I buy and read many Sci-Fi's.

If the author had thought a little more about what he presented, for instance an older protagonist who would have enough knowledge to survive, instead of presenting one who had barely any training, as well as one who had the emotions of loss, it might be a compelling tale. As it is, I can't suspend my disbelief to read any more in the series. ( )
  DWWilkin | Jan 24, 2013 |
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