A space-faring ne'er-do-well with more bravado than brains, Rex Nihilo plies the known universe in a tireless quest for his own personal gain. But when he fleeces a wealthy weapons dealer in a high-stakes poker game, he ends up winning a worthless planet - and owing an outstanding debt more vast than space itself!
The only way for Rex to escape a lifetime of torture on the prison world Gulagatraz is to score a big payday by pulling off his biggest scam. But getting mixed up in the struggle between the tyrannical Malarchian Empire and the plucky rebels of the Revolting Front - and trying to double-cross them both - may be his biggest mistake. Luckily for Rex, his frustrated but faithful robot sidekick has the cyber-smarts to deal with buxom bounty hunters, pudgy princesses, overbearing overlords, and interstellar evangelists - while still keeping Rex’s martini glass filled.
©2014 Robert Kroese (P)2014 Brilliance Audio, all rights reserved.
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"Sometimes you just gotta give a book a chance!"
I would definitely recommend this book to a friend. Most of my friends enjoy comedy and sci fi and this book is a great combination of the two. There are many subtle word play jokes that are hidden pop culture references. ("I sense a disturbance in the floors.") If you are a fan of Christopher Moore Novels or Mel Brooks films this is a book for you!
I really enjoyed the nihilistic attitude of the two main characters Rex & Sasha. Sasha has more of a conscious than most but still has no qualms about vaporizing a guy if it helps out their interests. Rex on the other hand takes down right glee in exploiting others and feeds off of absolute chaos.
Kate Rudd delivers a good performance and delivers Sasha's lines in great dead pan fashion and does a good job at making her voice robotic but not too much that it is boring with no inflection so she found a good middle ground.
I wouldn't say moved per se... but it had me legitimately belly laughing quite a few times.
I gave this book 5 stars for the many times that this book made me laugh. I really hope that there are more of this series to hit audible.
Rex Nihilo is like an alterverse version of Zapp Brannigan from Futurama but more violent and slightly smarter. If you enjoy a good funny man/ straight man act then this book is for you.
"Star Wars meets Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy"
The voices she used were spot on for each character.
A little shorter. Some of the scenes after the silly or the action part kinda dragged on.
Star Wars meets Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
If you want to read/listen to a cross between Star Wars, Hitchhiker's Guide, and Spaceballs this is the book for you.
"A funny tale"
This story is a what if. What if there was a law against AI computers? What if there was a weird way for starships to travel faster then light? What if those door to door religious folk can travel in space? What if these religious folk can knock on the door of your space ship? What if there is a scam artist who lives only for the next deal? What if this same scam artist can somehow convince logical people into illogical ideas and behaviors? Well add all this up and you have this book. The story is told from the view point of Sasha, a robot with a female personality. Not the sexy, know it all type of robot. A robot who starts to tell the tale with a discussion on why robots are not allowed to be smarter then humans. Robots are not allowed to have independent thought. If any occurs the robot has a built in reboot. The story is predictable. The question is not what is going to happen. The question is how it is going to happen. That is what makes this tale so entertaining. I enjoyed this tale a lot. I especially liked the Sp'ossels. Space apostles whose religion centers on outer space. This is an enjoyable listen with a different type of ending.
Where do you start with the sci-fi references? The title is the first clue, substituting grifters for troopers. Then there is the dedication to Harry Harrison, whose characters are direct ancestors to Rex Nihilo. The style is a dead giveaway, a direct descendant of the great Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. (No surprise then that in an interview, the three authors Robert Kroese mentions are Robert Heinlein, Douglas Adams and Harrison.) And in case you miss the Stars Wars parallels, there's the joke about something causing a commotion in the floor beneath their feet -- yes folks, they feel a "disturbance in the floors".
And so Kroese wisecracks his way through outer space with dimwitted forked-tongue con man Rex Nihilo, his robot sidekick Sasha, and an odd assortment of spaced-out characters as they navigate a suitably improbable series of humorous escapades. Basically, it's what the Han Solo story might have been like before Luke and Old Ben showed up at the cantina, told in the cadence of Douglas Adams (though it is really more like an update of Harrison's Stainless Steel Rat).
I've panned similarly derivative efforts in the past, especially in the sci-fi genre, even when it was the usually innovative Hugh Howey writing. Why re-do what has already been done so well? My one caveat: unless you come up with some good new jokes or characters. Kroese does that well enough to earn 3 1/2 stars, as reflected in the average of the overall and story ratings, the weakness lying in the plot, the strength in the humor and characters.
Well, one of the characters in particular -- Sasha, the android, the first person narrator who cannot lie (although she can selectively choose her truths) and who is programmed to black out whenever she has an original thought. She is a pleasure to listen to, especially as vocalized by Kate Rudd. This is the best thing audio can bring to a book -- the narrator creating a better voice than the one in your own head. In this case, it is Kate Rudd as the charming, charismatic, deadpan Sasha.
"reminded me of the stainless steel rat"
loved this book. reminded me of old school pulp sci-fi. I if you like the old pulp stuff check it out.
"Woderful, fun ride."
Kroese answers the the delicious question of " What if ... Douglas Adams had rewritten Asimov's Foundation, after binge watching the original Star Wars trilogy"?
No Memory Repression required after reading, and it most certainly won't hurt.
"Star Wars meets Hitchikers Guide"
Probably not, but I enjoyed the lighthearted trip the first time.
Either Rex, our anti hero, or Sasha his robotic side kick
Lots of clever scenes and I carefully avoid spoilers, but when Rex shoots one of his troops with his laser gun to teach him a lesson (saying to his side kick, its ok, I have it on "stun") and the mans head explodes, his sidekick informs him that his gun doesnt have a "stun" option.
Not really, mostly just a fun romp
"Hits its target"
If you think the idea of a prison planet named Gulagatraz is funny, this book is for you. I enjoyed it. It's not subtle, but it made me laugh.
"So very much fun"
This is one of those audiobooks where everything comes together to make a HUGELY enjoyable book.
First is the story itself. It's a very original, hugely hilarious, and overall entirely entertaining bunch of fiction. Interspersed into the original story are a bunch of references to Star Wars and Hitchhikers' Guide to the Galaxy that, from time to time, had me laughing out loud. And not all of the references are easily seen, making discovery a lot of fun.
Pretty much everything in the story is strangely twisted, from the oddly acting characters, to the incredibly witty dialogue, to the space missionaries.
Then there's the performance of Kate Rudd. She's perfect for the story! Her attitude is perfect as the narrating robot, Sasha. And her representation of all of the characters just adds more to the fun.
Overall, this audiobook is a blast in every way.
I bought this book as a buffer book. Sort of a palate cleanser to help bridge genres. This book floored me with how much I enjoyed it. looks like I found a new author to add to my favorites list.
"Good old fashioned schlock"
The narration was spot on - bearing in mind that the narrator is both a robot and a great deal smarter than the 'lead' character.
The denouement. It was quite unexpected and I just hope the author hasn't made it impossible to write any follow-ups.
There are too many excellent scenes in a book of this length to easily pick one, but any scene with Rex so drunk or incompetent his loyal robot has to do his thinking for him will do.
It's not an especially moving book, although it does have its moments.
This is a good long audio book and if you like old-school sci-first done with a good dollop of humour it's well worth checking out. It will never win awards, but it kept me amused for quite a few hours of DIY and I resorted to it again when painting and decorating was needed. That's surely a book which has earned its keep!
I can't honestly think of anyone. The narration was terrible and the 20 minutes I endured made me come to the conclusion I would even want to read it.
Saying this I do enjoy reading SF and I love listening to Audio Books so I feel it is a shame.
SF no ..Everything by Robert Kroese and Kate Rudd yes!
Only if it was mime..
Sadly not.. It is a poor imitation of Rex Branagan off of Futurama and Futurama does it better.
"Hysterically screeching reader"
I bought this because I've enjoyed all the other books by Robert Kroese.
Unfortunately, I was unable to finish it when the female reader suddenly decided that, in order to impersonate the voice of one of the male characters, she needed to raise her own voice by an octave and start screeching and wailing.
There seems to be an increasing trend among readers to imagine they are voicing a cartoon show, which is a shame when it spoils the hard work that an author has put into developing a plot and characters.
As a fan of Robert Kroese, I'm hoping that at some point, this will be re-released, voiced by someone with a better understanding of the requirements of an audio book reader.
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