3 out of 4 stars
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Fair warning right off the bat: If you are not into pop culture, this book will not be the right fit for you. It's not just a matter of taste; you will miss out on the humor behind more than half the dialogue the main characters are involved in.
Keith Mackie's The Geeks Conquer the Universe is an ode to every single geek reference you can think of: From Star Trek to Star Wars and everything in between, as long as it's connected to the sci-fi and fantasy genres, you will most likely find an allusion to it.
This book is heavily inspired by Douglas Adam's The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, and not merely as the starting point from which Mackie began writing this fantastical story. The book's protagonists continuously reference it, and plenty of passages are linked directly to Douglas' creations.
The story centers around three geeks who enjoy having drinks at a local pub and discuss their favorite tv shows over and over again. The main character is Kevin, an author who published his space opera novel online. His two best friends, Alan and Craig, are the stereotypical nerds and though they can be insufferable at first, I must admit I grew fond of them as the plot unraveled.
The real problem begins when Kevin, Alan, and Craig are kidnapped and interrogated regarding Kevin's book by a group of lizard-like aliens. Why? Somehow, Alan's imagination managed to reproduce perfectly the ins and outs of an intergalactic empire, down to its last details.
From this point on, their lives will change radically, and the trio will engage in incredibly and ridiculous adventures, learning to adapt to the strange universe they must travel through.
Keith Mackie's main flaw as an author is that he tends to focus on unnecessary details and inane dialogue too often, and I had to resist the urge to skip a few pages every once in a while to get onto more exciting bits.
That being said, The Geeks Conquer the Universe is earnestly funny, and it doesn't take itself too seriously, which is certainly refreshing. I found myself chuckling at certain scenes, so I greatly enjoyed reading this novel.
I don't believe the book was professionally edited, as I noticed a few errors here and there, but these weren't frequent enough to interrupt the flow of the story. The story would benefit significantly from the author seeking help in re-editing The Geeks Conquer the Universe.
For all the reasons detailed above, I rate The Geeks Conquer the Universe 3 out of 4 stars. I could have overlooked the author's tendency to provide the reader with irrelevant details, but having encountered several grammar mistakes, I don't feel it's fair to give it a perfect rating.
I'd recommend this book to all the geeks out there who enjoy zany, nonsensical humor. People who are not familiar with sci-fi tv shows and movies should avoid The Geeks Conquer the Universe, as they will constantly miss out on the jokes and meaning of countless references all through the book.
The Geeks Conquer the Universe
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