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Starship Grifters (Rex Nihilo Adventure) [Audiobook] [MP3 CD]

Robert Kroese , Kate Rudd
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
RRP: 7.07
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Kindle Edition 1.00  
Paperback 6.11  
MP3 CD, Audiobook 6.32  
Audio Download, Unabridged 4.45

Book Description

24 Jun 2014 Rex Nihilo Adventure (Book 1)

A space-faring ne’er-do-well with more bravado than brains, Rex Nihilo plies the known universe in a tireless quest for his own personal gain. But when he fleeces a wealthy weapons dealer in a high-stakes poker game, he ends up winning a worthless planet…and owing an outstanding debt more vast than space itself!

The only way for Rex to escape a lifetime of torture on the prison world Gulagatraz is to score a big payday by pulling off his biggest scam. But getting mixed up in the struggle between the tyrannical Malarchian Empire and the plucky rebels of the Revolting Front—and trying to double-cross them both—may be his biggest mistake. Luckily for Rex, his frustrated but faithful robot sidekick has the cyber-smarts to deal with buxom bounty hunters, pudgy princesses, overbearing overlords, and interstellar evangelists…while still keeping Rex’s martini glass filled.

--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

Product details

  • MP3 CD
  • Publisher: Brilliance Audio; MP3 Una edition (24 Jun 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1491525533
  • ISBN-13: 978-1491525531
  • Product Dimensions: 17 x 13.5 x 1.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 3,325,224 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Robert Kroese's sense of irony was honed growing up in Grand Rapids, Michigan - home of the Amway Corporation and the Gerald R. Ford Museum, and the first city in the United States to fluoridate its water supply. In second grade, he wrote his first novel, the saga of Captain Bill and his spaceship Thee Eagle. This turned out to be the high point of his academic career. After barely graduating from Calvin College in 1992 with a philosophy degree, he was fired from a variety of jobs before moving to California, where he stumbled into software development. As this job required neither punctuality nor a sense of direction, he excelled at it.

He continued to write in his spare time, and in 2007 he started his blog, www.mattresspolice.com, as an outlet for his absurdist wit. Around the same time, he was appointed to be a deacon in his church, and this juxtaposition of roles prompted him to create the character Mercury, the star of MERCURY FALLS and MERCURY RISES- an acerbic, anti-establishment angel who is well-meaning but not particularly well-behaved.

Kroese has also published THE FORCE IS MIDDLING IN THIS ONE, a collection of humorous essays. He is currently working on the the third installment in the MERCURY series.

Kroese lives in Ripon, California, with his wife and two children.

His website is http://robertkroese.com

Product Description

About the Author

Robert Kroese's sense of irony was honed growing up in Grand Rapids, Michigan—home of the Amway Corporation and the Gerald R. Ford Museum, and the first city in the United States to fluoridate its water supply. In second grade, he wrote his first novel, the saga of Captain Bill and his spaceship Thee Eagle. This turned out to be the high point of his academic career. After barely graduating from Calvin College in 1992 with a philosophy degree, he was fired from a variety of jobs before moving to California, where he stumbled into software development. As this job required neither punctuality nor a sense of direction, he excelled at it. In 2009, he called upon his extensive knowledge of useless information and love of explosions to write his first novel, Mercury Falls. Since then, he has written two sequels, Mercury Rises (2011) and Mercury Rests (2012), and a humorous epic fantasy, Disenchanted. You can find him at robertkroese.com, facebook.com/robkroese, and twitter.com/robkroese.

--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Format:Kindle Edition
A Star Wars spoof that takes its pointers from Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy and Month Python.

Rex Nihilo, a handsome space hustler thinks his luck is on the up when he wins a planet and a starship in a card game. Only when he arrives on his new planet, he finds it is just a featureless rock, and that he has inherited a huge debt of billions of space credits. Rex quickly devises a plan of action, avoid getting caught by bounty hunters, avoid getting locked up on the prison planet, Gulagataraz, scam money from the Rebel Frente by selling them a non-existent cloaking technology, whilst trying to trick the Heinous Vlaak of the Malarchian Empire to blow up his planet so that he can claim billions of credits back in Development Grants. Except nothing ever seems to go to plan, coupled with the fact the Rex is certifiably insane.

The story is told entirely from the perspective of Sasha, Rex’s sidekick robot/droid, who is limited by the fact that she has been factory fitted to switch for several minutes every time she is on the cusp of an original idea or achieving sentience. Whilst it may seem like a risky strategy to cast a non-organic life-form as the point-of-view character, Kroese manages to pull it off by giving Sasha a witty intelligence and a unique perspective of every situation. Had he chosen to tell the story from Rex’s point-of-view, it is quiet likely that the reader would have been driven mad.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Gripping story disguised as humour 22 May 2014
Format:Kindle Edition
I loved this book - a real page turner that I found hard to put down. The humour made me giggle and groan all the way through. The story was strong and gripping. The characters entertaining and believable, and the science good! Worth a read.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.5 out of 5 stars  63 reviews
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pulled the Long Con on Me 16 May 2014
By W. Swardstrom - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
After reading Robert Kroese's Starship Grifters, I came to one conclusion: everyone in the 31st century is an idiot. Rex Nihilo is either the smartest man alive, or a Forrest Gump of a con artist, lucky enough to stay alive in the face of ridiculously deadly circumstances. I'm still not sure -- I'll get back to you on that.
In fact, the only one in Rex's world that seems to have any brains is his robot, Sasha, who is programmed to turn herself off whenever she actually has an original thought. In a world like that, Rex seems to surround himself with the power players of the galaxy who all turn out to be bumbling morons.
I don't often laugh at the books I read, but I found myself chuckling, chortling, at times flat-out guffawing -- at times uncontrollably -- at Kroese's humor placed in the best places in the story.
At the end of the story, we do get answers to questions I wasn't sure we were asking, but it certainly paved the way for more Rex Nihilo books, which I will gladly shell out money for whenever Mr. Kroese decides to write them.
15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Trouble in space 6 May 2014
By DelusionalAngel - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition
Rex is something of a buffoon. He has troubles with money. Troubles with knowing when to quit. Troubles with the bad guys -- and the good ones for that matter. But he's also got Sasha. Sasha can't lie. She cannot think new thoughts or she'll reboot. Still, she's Rex's best hope for saving him from himself (and some others). Together they travel the galaxy in a constant state of trying to escape the last mess that Rex got them into. They'll travel everywhere, from a seemingly barren planet to a prison colony. They try to avoid just about everyone, including the ship-to-ship missionaries, and yet they still manage to pick up new friends and enemies both.

Fans of Kroese's Mercury series won't be disappointed but it's also a suitable read for those new to his work. The same style of wit is here. Instead of angels and demons his characters deal with other humans and aliens. My only concern with this book is that is runs the risk of becoming repetitive if the series goes on too long.

This book is best for people who like comedic sci-fi (Hitchhiker's, Red Dwarf, etc).

* Disclaimer: I received this book at no cost in order to review it. I offered no guarantee of a positive review, though I only accept books I think I'll like because why read a book you think you'll hate?
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Do you have a moment to talk about Space? 7 May 2014
By Lars D. Hedbor - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition
Rex Nihilo (indeed, the king of nothing) isn't like other heroes.

For one thing, he's in it only to save his own skin, especially after a winning hand of cards puts him so far in debt that his only hope for redemption is to arrange for the destruction of his planet.

For another, he has perhaps the only semi-sentient robot in the Galaxy, even if Sasha is obliged to reboot itself whenever a truly original thought arises. (One might think that Kroese had spent time around senior managers who shared this trait...)

But most importantly of all, he has his supreme self-confidence that everything is going to work out, even if all signs point to utter ruin. Another man might grow cocky when proven right; Rex just pours himself another drink.

Imagine Douglas and Scott Adams had been asked to collaborate on a Star Wars novelization, and were able to insist upon complete creative freedom... and you might come close to imagining the comedy of the absurd that Kroese has created here.

Buy it, read it, and wait breathlessly for the next installment in Rex's epic tale!
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Funny, engaging book 14 May 2014
By GAL - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition
Oh what fun this book is. I totally, totally needed to laugh--and the fact that this book did make me laugh given the month I'm having is astounding. And I laughed a lot, out loud, not just the "that's cute" inside laugh. This is the perfect mix of parody, silliness, and genuine love of the genre. If I had to compare it to something in terms of tone, it'd probably be Galaxy Quest or Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy but it is derivative of neither. Wonderful voice on the part of the narrator, Sasha, a robot who is the perfect vehicle for us to ride along in this crazy world that Kroese has created. The story develops at a wonderful speed--and maintains that pace. He had the same wit and pace in Mercury Falls and it's a gift. Not everyone can be funny, much less this funny, while still creating a story with characters you will care about (even if they exasperate you at times) that never bogs down. Truly a gifted writer.

Full disclosure: I received this book free because I'd really enjoyed the author's first book Mercury Falls; no review was expected.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An even better Star Wars parody than Episodes I-III 22 May 2014
By Justin G. - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition
After a detour into serious territory with Schrodinger’s Gat and Into the Dark, author Rob Kroese is back with another humorous novel, titled Starship Grifters. This sci-fi romp, starring the charming rogue Rex Nihilo (great name, by the way) and his long-suffering robot sidekick Sasha, is a gleeful parody of the classic Star Wars story. Picture Nihilo as Han Solo without the moral code, and Sasha as a sarcastic C-3PO who knows her boss is an idiot.

The story starts with Nihilo winning a planet in a card game, which soon puts him in the crosshairs of both the Malarchian Empire and the plucky Rebels who oppose them. Rex being Rex, quickly concocts a plan to sell both sides out and cash in big time. What could possibly go wrong, aside from EVERYTHING?

Fans of Kroese’s Mercury series will find a lot to love in Starship Grifters. Unlike that series though, which had a fairly serious story underneath the humor and glorious sarcasm, Starship Grifters is pretty light-hearted. The story is ridiculous, but that’s kind of the point. It’s a vehicle for tons of sci-fi in-jokes (like the Empire’s planet-killing Peace Fortress), and it’s laugh out loud funny. The supporting cast is a major highlight, especially given Rex’s (intentional) one-dimensionality, and let Kroese play around with some treasured Star Wars archetypes. It will be interesting to see where Kroese takes these characters. Starship Grifters is perfect as a stand-alone Star Wars parody, but the twist at the end makes additional adventures an intriguing possibility.

This is really fun, really funny stuff. Obviously fans of Kroese’s other humorous works are going to love it, but Starship Grifters should also appeal to anyone who enjoys Christopher Moore, Douglas Adams, Star Wars, MST3K and the ancient art of sarcasm.

Disclosure: I was give an electronic copy of this book by the author for review. Don't tell him, but I'd have bought it anyway.
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