Looking for some light reading this weekend? I’ve got a great book suggestion for you.
I pay close attention to the “customers also bought” suggestions that Amazon makes on my own books, because I like to have an idea of what kind of readers my weirdo genre mash up series is appealing to (in hopes that it might unlock some secret that makes it easier for me to advertise them… )
So I have been noticing a series of books that readers of my own series seem to like. It’s a Humorous Sci-Fi series called Bob and Nikki, by Jerry Boyd, which is 21 books long and counting!
This series consistently ranks in the top 5000, and I’ve seen the latest book crack the top 500, in the entire Amazon store. This is the kind of series I dream of writing some day. Oh, to serve a hungry niche audience a steady diet of humorous sci-fi adventure stories! *sigh*
Well, clearly Mr. Boyd knows what he’s doing. So I decided to check out his work, and I downloaded Bob and Nikki #1 Bob’s Saucer Repair.
I also tracked the author down on social media and asked if I could pick his brain a little bit about what he thought made Bob and Nikki so successful. We had a fantastic conversation, and I may ask if I can interview him for a future blog article because what he had to say was very interesting.
But this is a book review post, so let’s review this book!
Bob and Nikki #1: Bob’s Saucer Repair
Bob thought he was doing fine on his own. Then the love of his life fell out of the sky. Can he get her back in the air with auto parts and a cutting torch? If he does, will she ever come back?
Nikki took a job before she saw the equipment. Can she keep her passengers alive on a strange planet?
Are the natives friendly?”
John is doing well with his underground medical practice, when his sometime partner Bob calls him with a job. A job that changes everything.
Bob’s Saucer Repair is a fun, wholesome take on the Men’s Adventure Fiction genre. The premise is simple.
What would you do if you came home from work and found an alien fixing her flying saucer in your garage?
Fortunately for Bob and Nikki, she is descended from a group of space faring humans likely responsible for populating earth with homo sapiens around the time that we broke from homo neanderthalensis (a classic sci-fi trope on its own!)
So, although there are some slight evolutionary and technological differences, the two hit it off. But Nikki has a job to do and Bob takes it upon himself to help her get her team off the planet.
Stylistically, Boyd favours dialogue over prose heavy exposition, and a lot of the plot is revealed through the fun and funny banter between Bob and Nikki, and some of the other friends they recruit along the way. There isn’t a ton of difference between the characters in voice or humour, but the resulting dialogue is very fast paced and readable. They riff well off each other, and the dialogue really does help to move the plot along.
Something I appreciate about this series, and one of the things that Boyd contributes to his success, is that it’s a very clean and wholesome compared to a lot of darker, grittier, and explicit books on the market. There is no “on page” sex, minimal violence, cursing is pretty PG. There’s a little flirting and innuendo, but it’s nothing you would be appalled to see a 12 year old kid pick up.
It’s a very light read, pure pleasure reading. I devoured it in a single sitting (partly because Boyd has chosen not to use chapter breaks, and I was driven to just keep going! tricky, tricky, Mr. Boyd). There are no major conflicts. The conflicts that do come up are debated, and skillfully handled. This is not high stakes action. It’s youthful adventurousness. Not, “OMG they’re all going to die.” But “I wonder what’s going to happen next!”
This will not be for everyone. It’s not even the kind of book I usually gravitate toward. I like my high-stakes action! But I would be lying if I said I didn’t enjoy the hell out of it. It was like popcorn. I started and I couldn’t stop. And I will go on to read the other books in the series when I need a nice light read because I’m tired, or need to recover from a more intense book.
It does surprise me a bit that readers of Bubbles in Space are also reading Bob and Nikki, because they are very different stylistically. I do have a lot of humour in my books, and I use the Humorous Sci-Fi category, too. My humour tends to be a bit darker, though, and of course there’s a lot more high-stakes action.
But I don’t swear or have “on page” sex, and although the world is dark and gritty, there is a lightness in the interactions between the characters. So maybe this is the connection? I’d love to hear from readers who enjoy both series’ to hear what the common denominator is!
Do you like light fluffy reads every once in a while? What’s your go to popcorn read?