THE WISHBONE EXPRESS by Bruce Cook

THE WISHBONE EXPRESS

KIRKUS REVIEW

Daredevil interstellar couriers and Wishbone, their souped-up spaceship, see light years of danger when they agree to escort a witness in a criminal case through hostile hyperspace.

Imagine if, instead of Chewbacca, Han Solo had another partner: Han Solo. That’s the vibe between interstellar couriers Bill Jenkins and Randy Henson, two young, handsome, clever and daring pals self-employed in the galactic delivery business. They’re known for taking especially risky assignments just for the thrill of it. Their ace is a sleek “stellayacht” named Wishbone, tricked out with fancy hyperdrive engines and yottabytes of astronavigational data. But the Wishbone’s latest contract turns out to be more than they bargained for, as the boys must deliver a witness and a dossier of evidence about deep-space corporate violations to a tribunal on the corrupt world of Philcani-Tu. Their three shifty passengers are a wimpy human lawyer, a harsh femme fatale mercenary, and a strange otterlike animal, but a more pressing peril en route comes from outside: A squad of attack ships, also engineered for hyperspace, is light years away but determined to catch up with and destroy the Wishbone. In a narrative that is, essentially, one long space chase, the lead characters and relentless posse resemble the crux of Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. Such is the forward momentum that even the predictable bits breeze past enjoyably, and the tale still takes a few eventful turns after it appears the finish line has been crossed. Despite keeping the tone buoyant with some pulpy slang dialogue—e.g., “my old bucko,” “So who’s minding the store?” “where’s the whatchama-callit?”—and loving references to mid-20th-century movies and 1960 Corvettes, the story avoids careening into camp. In dealing with malicious faster-than-light missiles and other menaces, some of the dynamic duo’s problem-solving skills are worthy of Capt. Solo.

A quicksilver, retro-style space opera packed with zero-gravity thrills.

Pub Date: May 8th, 2013
ISBN: 978-1484922996
Page count: 428pp
Publisher: CreateSpace
Program: Kirkus Indie
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1st, 2014




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