Published by Text Publishing Company on May 30th 2016
Genres: Action & Adventure, Fiction, Science Fiction, Young Adult
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For fans of Terry Pratchett and Douglas Adams comes a hilarious new space and time adventure. The year is 2509 and Earth is a rather polluted blue dot that suffers from global warming, overpopulation and not enough people using deodorant. Blake Carter, star agent with the Planetary Bureau of Investigation, isn’t having a good day. First he’s beaten up by a bunch of religious zealots, and then he’s assigned a robot—sorry, cyborg—as his new partner, right before his ex-wife calls to tell him his daughter has gone missing. His car keeps criticising his driving, and finally, to top things off, the world is held to ransom by his nemesis, evil genius Bartholomew Badde. Can things get any worse? Yes!
It started out like a typical day for Blake Carter. That was until he got attacked by a musical instrument, met Agent Nikki Steel (his new cyborg partner) and had his daughter Lisa kidnapped by criminal mastermind and infamous villain, Bartholomew Badde. With things going from Badde to worse, Blake, Nikki and Blake’s ex-wife Astrid team up to rescue Lisa before it’s too late even if it means breaking all the rules (including rules of physics).
Don’t let the title fool you: This book contains no martian kitchen appliances. What A Toaster on Mars does have is an exciting story full of interesting characters which feels like it comes straight out of the Douglas Adams’ Hitchhiker’s Guide universe.
And I think that may have been why I enjoyed it so much.
This book has a very similar vibe to Adams’ cult classic series. With the ‘editor’ inserting tidbits along the way of just how life works in the year 2509, the somewhat ridiculous situations the cast get into along the way and the banter between characters – I would not have been surprised if Arthur Dent or Zaphod Beeblebrox popped up.
That’s not to say there is not a lot of originality in A Toaster on Mars. It is such a fun read. This is a book which made me laugh out loud on more than one occasion. It’s a little bit silly at times but in a way which works for the universe in which it is set as well as for the characters who live there. And for all the ridiculousness, there is also moments of relatability. Blake is a man who loves his daughter and would do whatever it takes to keep her safe – even if that means taking on an evil mastermind who uses 1960’s TV shows as torture.
A Toaster on Mars is not a very long book but it is one where there is quite a bit of character growth. These people are not the same ones who began the story and their experiences have taught them a lot about life and themselves. Some of the situations border on ludicrous but it is written in such a way where as a reader I was looking forward to the next impossible thing to happen to Blake and co. By the time I finished reading I was disappointed to see that this book is a standalone. It works perfectly by itself but I enjoyed the journey so much I wanted to see more of the characters and the world they live in.
As a fan of Darrell Pitt’s Jack Mason Adventures series set in the Victorian era Steampunk style, it was interesting to see how he told a futuristic story. His writing style works in both settings and I enjoyed his take on the year 2509.
A Toaster on Mars is a fun, exciting and at times ridiculous story. Set in the 26th century, this imaginative novel is shows a fun take on the future complete with cyborgs, evil villains and cars with personality.
A Toaster on Mars in ten words or less: Excitingly zany take on futuristic life appropriate for all ages.