Friday 24 March 2023

The Wrath of Vajazzle - Barry J Hutchinson - Space Team Book 2

The Wrath of Vajazzle
Space Team 2
ISBN 9781912767373
eISBN 9781648819414

Nearly a year ago before reading this I encountered the works of J.D. Kirk I also discovered that Kirk publishes children’s books as Barry Hutchison, and other adult fiction as Barry J. Hutchison. I have read 19 stories published under the Kirk Name and I am now branching out to the ones under the Hutchinson names. This is the 11th I have read under one of the Hutchison names. He is coming up on 200 books across the three pen names, and books he has ghost written. If I had known that or I might not have picked up this first one. Friends call me a ‘completionist’ in that when I find an author I like, I try to read everything they have published. I have enjoyed all I have read from his pen and this one was no different. This is the second in the Space Team Series I have read, and I have read the first in the spin off Deadman Detective Series

The description of this novel is:

“Suicide Squad meets Galaxy Quest, in this fast-paced, laugh-out-loud novel from the author the Independent calls, "the new Terry Pratchett."

After saving an alien race and its god from a sentient zombie virus, Cal Carver and the crew of the Dread Ship Shatner are feeling pretty pleased with themselves.

Unfortunately, the creator of the zombie virus is out for revenge, and has recruited the galaxy's deadliest - and oldest - assassin, Lady Vajazzle, to hunt Space Team down. But when Vajazzle discovers the crew is under the protection of a wolf-like species known as the Greyx, she is forced to implement a Plan B so diabolical it threatens to plunge the entire star system into chaos.

With time running out, Cal must find a way to outmaneuver and outgun the galaxy's greatest killer before she murders his friends, butchers the Greyx, and buys the whole galaxy a one-way ticket to total annihilation.”

One online description also exclaims:

"Featuring murderous senior citizens, a moon of death, and a pointy stick that could change the fate of the universe, Space Team: The Wrath of Vajazzle is the second relentlessly funny science fiction book in the bestselling Space Team series by award-winning author, Barry J. Hutchison.”

This was another fun read. Again there is a lot of slap stick humour. Some over the top antics, and at times it is definitely laugh out loud funny. This book and the series reminds me of several series and authors, most of whom, I read when I was much younger. So in a way it was like a jump back in time for me. The first to come to mind was Harry Harrison’s Stainless Steal Rat series with his Bill the Galactic Hero series, the next was Robert Asprin’s Phule’s Company Series, it also brought to mind the works of Tom Holt and of course the comparison to Douglas Adam’s Hitchhiker Series are going to abound. But for all the sense of a mash up of these other series there is something different about this offering, and that is even more evident in this second offering in the series. The series now comprises 12 novels and 4 published short stories or novellas. Recently Hutchison in an article talked about how the first in this series was written to learn about self publishing so he could speak to school students about it. I for one am thankful he took the gig and started along this pat. And I think that has to do with Hutchinson’s characters and sense of humour. And the characters in this story are wild. Delenn in Babylon 5 states:

“Of course it is, for the simple reason that no one else would've ever built a place like this. Humans share one unique quality. They build communities. If the Narns or the Centauri or any other race built a station like this, it would be used only by their own people, but everywhere humans go, they create communities out of diverse and sometimes hostile populations. It is a great gift and a terrible responsibility, one that cannot be abandoned.”

Cal a low-level con man, who is scooped up from Earth by the Zertex corporation to help stop an intergalactic war, is that type of character. He builds community and he tags this odd assortment or military personnel, criminals, and a shape shifting blob and forges them into the Space Team. In this second story there is a lot of action, some body humour, and also some serious moments. 

I freely admit I have greatly enjoyed all the books by Hutchinson that I have read to date, no matter what name they are published under. This one is a fun read in an entertaining series, it is shaping up to be a terribly humorous series. It has more of a Young Adult feel to it than mainline adult fiction to me, but I am certain it will have fans in both categories. There are currently 12 novels, a collection of short stories and I believe some graphic novels or comics set in this universe, the short stories we also available as single eBooks. So if you enjoyed the first two there is a lot of reading ahead still. I look forward to some of the other stories set in this world and exploring Hutchinson’s many other works. A great second story in what should be a highly entertaining series to help hold me over till the next DCI Logan or his new DI Heather Filson series book comes out from Barry’s alter ego J.D. Kirk.   

Books by J.D. Kirk:

DCI Logan Series:

Robert Hoon Thrillers:

DI Heather Filson Series:

Contributed to:
Everyday Kindness: A Collection of Uplifting Tales to Brighten Your Day

Books as Barry J. Hutchison:
Dan Deadman Space Detective Series:

Space Team Series:
The Search for Splurt 
Song of the Space Siren 
The Guns of Nana Joan 
Return of the Dead Guy 
Planet of the Japes 
The Time Titan of Tomorrow 
The King of Space Must Die 
Sting of the Mustard Mines 
Sentienced to Death
The Hunt for Reduk Topa
Konto Garr: Bounty Hunter and Occasional Babysitter
A Lot of Weird Space Shizz: Collected Short Stories

Sidekicks Initiative Series:

The Bug Books Series:
Episode 1
Episode 2
Episode 3
Complete Season One

Other Books:

Children’s books as Barry Hutchison:
Invisible Fiends Series:
The Crowmaster 
Doc Mortis 
The Beast 
The Darkest Corners 

The Missing Remote of the Apocalypse
The Book of Doom 

Benjamin Blank Series:

Beaky Malone Series:

Generator Rex Series:

Living Ted Series:
Revenge of the Living Ted
Invasion of the Living Ted

Spectre Collectors Series:
Too Ghoul for School
A New York Nightmare!

Other works:

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