Book Review: Space Academy Dropouts by CT Phipps and Michael Suttkus

I am a person who runs on snark. Okay, occasionally, I use proper and polite language, but in many of the books that I read, I usually appreciate the character with the most snark. Which means that I fully expected CT Phipps and Michael Suttkus’ Space Academy Dropouts to be a highly entertaining smorgasbord of snark, because it’s written by the Snark Masters themselves. And you know what? I was right.

1. Thoughts on the plot

This book follows Vance Turbo, a dropout of Space Fleet, who gets recruited for a black ops mission that is so secret it’s populated entirely with the rejects of Space Fleet and related arms of the Community. Which is the first clue to Vance that things are about to go terribly wrong. Now second in command of a sentient ship with a crew who barely tolerates him, he must go save the galaxy before war can break out. 

The plot of this book sounds, at face value, like any other Star Trek-esque “go save the galaxy” adventure, with little more than a ship, plucky joie de vivre, and duct tape. And you’d be right. Only, the characters aren’t what you’d expect, the solution to the problem isn’t what you’d expect and things are, really, about to get much worse. A thoroughly entertaining plot.

2. Thoughts on the characters

As much as I like snark, I also appreciate the underdog who knows full well that they’re the underdog, and yet somehow manages to succeed anyways. Vance Turbo is exactly that sort of character, and I really appreciated his attitude towards things, as well as the marginally relevant internal monologues that he had. The other characters were equally entertaining, but they definitely served to highlight his struggles. Perfectly acceptable in a first-person narrated story, and in this case, absolutely wonderful to read.

3. Favourite part

The ending. It goes against everything those standard “save the galaxy” stories are meant to do at the end, and I couldn’t help but snort-laugh at the various reactions. 

4. Critique

Frankly, I haven’t got one. This book was far to entertaining to get caught up in critique.

Overall, I’d say that Space Academy Dropout is a great foray into the world of space opera and space comedy, with a bit of action and adventure thrown in. If you’re having a bad day, or even a really good one, this is a book that will make things better.