The Signal Out of Space (This Fine Crew Book 1)
by Mike Jack Stoumbos
Welcome to the Initiative!
A declawed reptilian engineer.
A furry medic concealing her noble heritage.
An insectoid programmed to adore humans.
An overeager human pilot named Lidstrom.
Everyone already knows that the reptiles adapt, the brutes endure, the bugs explore, and the humans… make war. Together, they aim for a fresh start with a brave new venture: the Interstellar Initiative, the galaxy’s best hope for peace, cooperation, and rewriting some nasty first impressions.
Unfortunately, this human-led venture is off to a rocky start. Tensions run high, and the species enrolled in the Initiative’s Academy are only a few mistranslations from tearing each other apart. They’ll have to learn to work together quickly, though, or an uninvited guest will destroy them all first.
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Review by Melissa Dalton Martinez
The journey starts at the beginning of the Interstellar Initiative, a space exploration and research mission with the goal of peace and species cooperation. Several races from different parts of the galaxy are attempting to work together on this endeavor, including big furry warriors, cold-blooded reptilians, hive-mind insects, and humans. With these four unique species having to join forces in the Initiative to maintain peace in the galaxy, will they cooperate, or will their rocky pasts keep them from a peaceful future?
The Signal out of Space is the first of three books in the series, This Fine Crew. Here, we get a solid introduction to the crew that make up the four points of view that the book masterfully switches between throughout.
Each of these narrators is a different alien race. Although the POV changes almost every chapter, it doesn’t feel jarring for the reader because each character’s voice is distinct and well-developed, and each character has his or her own specific strengths and weaknesses. Although only one of the perspectives is human, there is something relatable about each of the characters that compels you to root for them.
I also loved how there was a sense of humor throughout. For example, the insect species, called the Teek, tend to choose their names from past famous human writers or actors. So, the main Teek perspective’s name is Paul Newman, which I loved!
Mike Jack Stoumbos is a phenomenal writer, and fans of Star Trek and Star Wars in particular will love this adventure in space. There are mysteries, puzzles, and exciting twists and turns that will keep you turning page after page! This is a series anyone who reads science fiction and/or space opera will want to check this out.