Gary Cobalt is half unicorn. He’s been held prisoner, enslaved, and his horn has been constantly ground down because of its properties allowing for faster than light travel for spaceships. Gary makes his break from prison and all he needs is a ship, preferably his, but any will do, so that he can get cleanly away. But Gary’s luck is all bad. The only pilot with a ship is Captain Jenny Perata … the person who put him in prison in the first place.
Gary must work together with the worst possible person and he place a great deal of trust in her as she protects him from others on the ship as well as alien races looking to enslave the Bala (the race of unicorns).
This is a raucous, fast-past space opera/fantasy. There is plenty here that makes this a light, fun read. The whole concept of the half-unicorn, his horn that grows back and has ship-fueling properties. It’s a lot of fun.
On the other hand, however, there is more than little bit here that just falls flat as well. Primarily, I found the humor here forced and infantile. This passage, for instance, has nothing to do with the story and clearly author T. J. Berry includes it just because she thinks it’s funny:
“I thought they were just being festive,” stammered Cheryl Ann. “Lots of people like rainbows. I like rainbows. Leprechauns like rainbows.”
Jenny burst out laughing.
“Well, you know, that was in fact the name of the bar… Lesbians and Leprechauns: A Bar For Rainbow Lovers,” said Jenny. She couldn’t help the cheeky comment. Not after what had just happened.
“And for prisms,” said Cheryl Ann. “And weather forecasters.”
“Hey, since you mention weather forecasters, what do you call oral sex with a meteorologist who has a vagina?”
“What?” Cheryl Ann looked genuinely curious.
“Cumulolingus,” said Jenny.
They both laughed until their stomachs hurt and tears ran down their faces.
There are moments that catch the reader off-guard and are funny (“Jenny smelled the distinctive odor of elf semen.”) but for the most part the humor would have done better if it came out a little more naturally.
There is also a strong sense to this reader that the book is padded to make a specific length. There isn’t a lot that happens after the initial confrontation. We get a lot of repeat ‘Gary’s in danger Jenny needs to help’ action and it gets a bit boring and confusing.
While I will certainly read the next book in the series (I already have it on my Kindle) I can’t give this a very strong recommendation.
Looking for a good book? Space Unicorn Blues by T. J. Berry is a space opera/fantasy/farce that relies a little too heavily on juvenile humor to keep what could otherwise be a fun fantasy really interesting.
I received a digital copy of this book from the publisher, through Netgalley, in exchange for an honest review.
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Space Unicorn Blues
author: T. J. Berry
series: Reason #1
publisher: Angry Robot
paperback, 400 pages