“A Jack for All Seasons” by Lesley L. Smith

We have here a full-blown Space Opera of the humorous variety. In books such as this, everything is tongue in cheek: Characters are overly weird, plotlines are purposely shaky, and creativity and invention is the order of the day.

This novel does not disappoint in any of these areas. The aliens are improbable, their names are unpronounceable and their abilities seem to appear when they’re most needed. The characters are larger than life stereotypes, although they have purposefully incongruous qualities that make you wonder if that’s the author chuckling in the background.

The main character, Jack, is apparently the clone of the original character from an earlier book in the series, although that doesn’t matter much until it becomes functional in one of the many plot twists.

Cell phone calls across the universe, magic superpowers, and the ability to fly pretty much any ship in the human sphere; you name it. Oh, yes, and dragons. This Sci-Fi is Heavy on the Fiction, soft on the Science.

The plotline consists of a series of improbable problems, for which Jack comes up with a series of creative and logical solutions. But each solution takes the hero farther off course from his original mission, and further complicates the situation. After a while, the reader just forgets about logic and goes with the flow.

Best of all, this author has the sense that so few comedy/adventure writers have. He knows when to cut the comedy and ratchet up the suspense. He knows when it’s time for Jack to drop his egotistic and careless guise (which gets old really fast) and reveal that he really cares.

Recommended for fans of the softer-science, more humorous type of Space Opera

4 out of 5 stars (4 / 5)

 

This review was originally posted on Reedsy Discovery

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