Thank you so much to Angry Robot for the free early read of Stringers by Chris Panatier! As always, all opinions are my own!
It took me a while to read this intergalactic sci-fi adventure – the tour has already kicked off! I am posting my review now and thrilled to share that Chris Panatier is kicking off the reboot of Sunday Brunch on 4/24 as a later part of the Stringers online tour!!
Bookish Quick Facts:
- Title: Stringers
- Series: N/A
- Author: Chris Panatier
- Publisher & Release: Angry Robot, 04/12/22
- Length: 400 pages
- Rate & Recommend: ⭐⭐⭐⚡ yes for fans of weird sci-fi!
Here’s the synopsis:
A genius is abducted by an alien bounty-hunter for the location of a powerful inter-dimensional object. Trouble is, he can’t remember a thing.
Ben isn’t exactly a genius, but he has an immense breadth of knowledge. Whether it’s natural science (specifically the intricacies of bug sex), or vintage timepieces, he can spout facts and information with the best of experts. He just can’t explain why he knows any of it. Another thing he knows is the location of the Chime. What it is or why it’s important, he can’t say.
But this knowledge is about to get him in a whole heap of trouble, as a trash-talking, flesh construct bounty hunter is on his tail and looking to sell him to the highest bidder. And being able to describe the mating habits of Brazilian bark lice won’t be enough to get him out of it.
***synopsis taken from Am*zon***
(((Dear Angry Robot – why is 400 the perfect page number??)))
Stringers features two friends, just regular guys on Earth that get abducted by an exceedingly snarky space bounty hunter. Ben knows every factoid ever about bug sex, Patton is a stoner, and the bounty hunter lures them into a trap to sell Ben to an inter-dimensional alien race
So…wow. I mean just wow. The book is dense on the science and puzzle content which slowed the reading down. Some of the really technical parts I was tempted to skim, but I stuck with it and felt rewarded.
There is also plenty of adventure, banter, brutality, and discovery to keep the plot moving. The bounty hunter, named Aptat, is a great example of a morally gray character that kinds of just ends up being self serving.
In not skimming, I learned that Stringers is actually a super smart book where the layers are revealed slowly and expanded on slowly as the characters learn their own mysteries. There are two points of view, Ben and Naecia, as well as interludes that make sense later on
Character wise – Ben is pretty funny and Patton is the loyal friend. If nothing else his friendship and loyalty make him a worthy character, always looking out for Ben whether or not he deserves it. I enjoy books where everyday beings are forced into heroics, or discover their capability for bravery and heroics. Naecia just wanted to help her family and probably got the shit end of the abduction spectrum, but none of the Stringers fared too well.
The only thing I didn’t love was a weird but blessedly brief episode of feeding and excrement tubes, it went wayyy beyond toilet humor into something a little gross.
One thing I did love? A jar of pickles that oddly enough became a character in itself for a bit. Also – mixing serious themes with humor is always good, if not mentally draining.
With new alien races, technology worthy of a sci-fi classic, and enough bug sex facts to keep it relatively light – even if I don’t want to know what the author’s search history looks like 😂 – this is also a surprisingly deep story of a galaxy in extreme danger
And.you definitely want to read the footnotes
File Under: Science Fiction -Bloom of God – Patton you on the back – Eels Aplenty – Some Aliens Just Suck [[Angry Robot]]