THE INCREDIBLE ADVENTURES OF JAKE ASTRO
By Ashley Sherer
One of the first rules of good genre writing is; never attempt to re-invent the wheel. And by that we mean; each and every genre of fiction has its set of rules which you should never tamper with. That is never more crucial then when writing space operas. Space operas are those fun, action packed tales nowhere near the boundaries of hard sci-fi that is all about extrapolating current science know-how. Space operas are Flash Gordon, Buck Rogers, Star Wars, and yes, Star Trek. They are about larger than life heroes having over-the-top outer space adventures.
So buckle up and get ready to blast off with the latest bonafide entry in this club; space pilot and adventurer, Jake Astor, as created by writer Ashley Sherer. Jake is a loveable rogue in the Hans Solo mold and his own alien sidekick/co-pilot is a paranoid, conspiracy addicted green lizard-man named Mikja. This first volume of their exploits contains five stories; the first three being connected. Each is tons of fun and had this reviewer chuckling all the way through them.
Jake is a classic space-opera hero who, no matter how simple the job, is always going to end up in trouble thus having to depend on his wits and tenacity to survive. No matter how much he considers himself a hustler, in the end he always does the right thing. The adventures in this collection range from Jake and Mikja exploring jungle planets to uncover ancient treasures to battling space ghosts on a frontier mining colony. Like we said at the offset, standard fare for this genre, but done with a real panache that proves irresistible. The best space-opera every penned? Hardly. But without reservations you will have fun spending a few hours with Jake Astro. He’s one cool dude.