Author: Alan Felyk
Title: Damaged And No Longer Under Warranty
Genre: Science Fiction / Humor
This irreverent story continues the tale of how Paul Tomenko and his capable friends try to rescue the universe and all the souls in it from the shortsighted schemes of aliens who resemble oversized mosquitos.
As the ruling god, Paul is supposed to figure out how to keep things running after the former god is infected with a virus. If he masters his new title and conquers the problems besetting his creation, he will likely have to leave behind the two women he loves for the lonely job of ruling the universe…provided aliens don’t invade his world first.
The plot nicely combines some classic elements of science fiction, like alien abductions, alternate universes, and time disparities, with some humorous and unexpected problems. The range offers a fun mix that should leave readers guessing what the next difficulty will be while reassuring them that the team will tackle everything with the same tongue-in-cheek seriousness that appears to be their trademark.
The narration is in first person, offering an unfiltered look at how Paul views his world and how he tries to encourage his friends to help him fix the problems that he and the other gods before him created. As such, the focus can be very internal at times, to where details of what Paul or others are literally experiencing are sacrificed in favor of what Paul is emotionally feeling and thinking about.
There are many moments where Paul has to update the rest of the team about the situation, and while the author uses a scientific technique to speed these up, it still provides plenty of backstory, to where new readers can easily jump into this story and understand what happened in the first book. Those who already read the first volume might find the exposition redundant and wish for a bit more action, yet these conversations lend a realistic flavor to Paul’s working with his team, the many meetings resembling human life in a typical corporate or team setting.
The author also gives the main characters time to explore their thoughts and feelings away from the others, particularly focusing on Paul and his two lovers. While the times spent alone can feel out of keeping with the urgency of the situation, they again allow this story to maintain a realistic feel, where the stakes are high and yet the humans involved have to eat, sleep, and live while they wait for the next breakthrough or development to occur.
The story feels like a satire of religion, science, and society at times, yet it offers a unique perspective on human life and the purpose of the universe while simultaneously giving readers a fun, lighthearted story. Damaged And No Longer Under Warranty is full of innuendos and sexual jokes that contrast effectively with the serious nature of some of the problems the characters are facing, both emotionally and physically. This novel is perfect for those who prefer a thoughtful story where brainstorming and discussing problems occupy as much page time as exploring the universe and directly dealing with dilemmas.
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