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Book Review: Expert Assistance by Robert Collins

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Going from being broke and having no opportunity to redeem yourself to having two opposing gigs is something that can really throw you off stride. When one job entails protection of a seriously spoiled Diva, and the other entails helping a rebellion to succeed on a compromised planet, how do you choose the one most important. Or do you?

Jake Bonner is a down and out spaceship pilot. He is in hock and only has a ship because it was abandoned in space where he was able to connect to the ship’s computer, Odin. Without Odin, most of what Jake has accomplished would not have been possible. All the same, Jake is in trouble. He is unable to pay his debts so when Odin is able to secure him not just one job but two; he is ready to take charge.

Evvie Martini, a young pop star, is his initial workload. He is to chauffeur her and keep her safe during her tour. When her tour just happens to coincide with his second opportunity it seems like luck is smiling with him. Daniel and Clarissa Rosen need help overthrowing the dictatorial ruler of their planet. This is more to Jake’s liking and abilities, but the money is necessary from his chauffeuring gig. In between concerts and tours, Jake is hard at work helping the Rosens along the way on their rebellion.

Keeping the two jobs separate is really becoming an issue, and when Evvie finds out what he is up to there is no stopping her. She is now convinced that the publicity she would receive by being involved in helping in the rebellion will give her better standing with her fans, and when her parents and publicist agree, Jake is in for the time of his life.

Expert Assistance, by Robert Collins is a funny and perverse look at putting together a rebellion on a shoestring. Using his interesting team, which now consists of Odin, his computer, Evvie, and the Rosens he is in just a bit over his head. Can they come together in such a way as to help Antioch Two succeed from its leader, and free those living in oppression?

Collins has written a fun and somewhat absurd science fiction that tickles your senses. Evvie is the quintessential teen, full of drama and full of herself. She is amusing and like any other teenager works at breaking the rules. When she has an opportunity of a lifetime to become part of a rebellion she is in it up to her neck. She jumps in with both feet and her presence is part of what makes the whole situation possible. She is like many other teens you run across, and it was unexpected to find she is actually pretty sharp.

Jake Bonner is a self-starter, long on brains and abilities, but never quite up to snuff at staying ahead of the money game. His ship is really all he has and when he realizes the constraints his finances have landed him in, he is game to jump into the fray. He seems to have an innate sense of humor, and is able to roll with the punches. Oden, his shipboard computer rounds up his personality with witty and fun as well as challenging repartee. This dialogue keeps the humor and action going at a quick pace.

The Rosens are just a nice couple who want changes on their planet. They are looking to help free their people from oppression, and have many ideas but most of them are just quite absurd and they look to Jake for answers.

About Leslie Wright

Leslie Wright is an author and blogger in the Northwest.