A lighthearted space-opera adventure by Cuban author Yoss (A Planet for Rent, 2015, etc.).
At 7 feet and 11 inches tall, Dr. Jan Amos Sangan Dongo is a very large man. He’s not handicapped by his size, though. In fact, he’s made it his livelihood, using it to become the “Veterinarian to the Giants.” Dr. Sangan treats enormous animals throughout the galaxy, whether he’s operating on 20-meter-wide cave-dwelling crustaceans called Grendels or walking around inside a 3-kilometer-long sea worm known as a Tsunami. So, when an amoeba that’s 200 kilometers wide swallows two ambassadors, he’s the only man who can save them. The ambassadors are the key to preserving a fragile peace in part of the galaxy—and they also both happen to be Dr. Sangan’s love interests. This novel’s madcap tone is very similar to Douglas Adams’—so much so that it’s almost impossible to avoid drawing such comparisons (although Adams didn’t joke about oral sex with aliens, as Yoss does here). As in Adams’ works, the galaxy’s species are terrifically alien, sporting six breasts and no teeth or breathing methane instead of oxygen. There are also lots of fun references and wordplay throughout the book: the giant amoebas, for example, live on planet Brobdingnag, which orbits a star called Swift-3, while Jan Amos Sangan Dongo is a riff on sangandongo, Cuban slang for “really big.” But possibly the most enjoyable aspect of this strange world is that it takes place in a future in which an Ecuadorean Jesuit priest discovers faster-than-light travel, and the first space flight proving his theory is announced by unfurling a banner on Mars that reads “Suck on this, dumb-ass gringos!” Also, the lingua franca of this future is Spanglish, and all the dialogue appealingly follows suit: “el amor—don't we know it bien!—goes beyond lo físico, even lo químico. Far beyond.”
An exceptionally enjoyable comic tale set in a fully realized, firmly science-fictional universe.