Times are tough, and nowadays even heroes of the universe can find themselves sitting on the street corner asking for a little spare change. Let’s toss some coins into the cap of Will Save the Galaxy For Food, by Yahtzee Croshaw.
A not-quite epic science fiction adventure about a down-on-his luck galactic pilot caught in a cross-galaxy struggle for survival! Space travel just isn’t what it used to be. With the invention of Quantum Teleportation, space heroes aren’t needed anymore. When one particularly unlucky ex-adventurer masquerades as famous pilot and hate figure Jacques McKeown, he’s sucked into an ever-deepening corporate and political intrigue. Between space pirates, adorable deadly creatures, and a missing fortune in royalties, saving the universe was never this difficult!
Will Save the Galaxy For Food is the third novel by Internet-famous video game reviewer Ben “Yahtzee” Croshaw of Zero Punctuation. I’m now sure I have a lot to say about this one, because it is in many ways very similar to hit previous two books. Yes, the setting this time is sci-fi rather than fantasy or modern apocalypse, but the main themes are largely the same: commentary on the nature of heroism and what it means to be an adult, delivered through the medium of humorous satire which nonetheless manages to have genuine drama and poignant emotional moments. Not that this is a bad thing, mind; I enjoyed Yahtzee’s previous books, and I enjoy this one as well. It just means I don’t have any real new, fresh, unique insights about it.
I guess I can talk about the characters. The nameless protagonist and Warden form your perfect odd-couple buddy-cop duo: the reckless loose-cannon rogue and the rigid, uptight control freak. I also eventually came to like Jemima, sympathizing with her frustration at everyone treating her like a quest object to be lugged around and handed over at the end of the mission. The only character I never warmed to was Danny, because he had no character development. He remaining a one-dimensional caricature from start to finish, doing nothing but serving as a millstone to the other characters and learning nothing at all. And his three jokes – he is embarrassed by his father, has a crush on Jemima which he can’t spit out, and thinks everything happening is a fun adventure rather than a serious life-or-death situation – were funny for about half a scene each and then got real old real fast. Honestly, I would have been perfectly happy to see him get eaten by Zoobs. Yeah, it wouldn’t fit the tone of the book, but it sure would’ve been satisfying.
…Huh. Ended up being kind of a short review; but I guess if you’re already a fan of Yahtzee, you don’t really need by recommendation to go out and read his latest book.
Final Rating: 4/5