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I did enjoy this book. Enough that I read it in the bath, stayed up until 2am to continue it, read it on the bus in spite of a driver who thought he was Lewis Hamilton 2 laps from the chequered flag. Then continued over breakfast in Starbucks, finally finishing it while waiting for the bus home. There were plenty of laugh-out-loud moments, which is fine in the bath, but not so good in Starbucks. Lots of grin-out-loud bits too which doesn't get so much attention.

I bought this on the basis of a conversation with the author on the Amazon forums (Hi Darren!), so it was taking a bit of a chance. Not too much though, as I read one page of the sample and straight away decided to buy it. My sense of humour was tickled by the first few lines and the early promise was definitely fulfilled.

The story itself is nothing new, but it was very well and wittily done. Man escapes from space prison and collects ship and companions, they have various adventures and come out smelling of roses (which is a relief after the pig manure bits!) What lifts this out of the mundane into the hilarious is the surreal details and the zest of the writing. I definitely engaged with the characters, and I would love to hear more of their adventures.

I was also entertained by trying to pick out the influences that showed here and there. Nothing too obvious, just a flavour here and there. Distinct seasoning of Hitchhiker's Guide, a taste of Spaceballs, a sprinkling of Firefly and a subtle aroma of Asimov. All mixed together into a truly delicious stew.

I did have a few minor irrations with the formatting. I got the PDF version as I don't have a kindle, so this may not apply to the Amazon version. I found that the text was quite small so I had to go for medium size, and that meant that each page ran just over onto the next screen, and the following one was blank. Also some of the lines were not wrapping properly. Something that wasn't due to the format was that there was no clear indication where there was a change of scene. Several times I had to go back and re-read the last few paragraphs to figure out where the change from one group to another had happened. I noticed a couple of small typos too. None of which was enough to spoil the story for me.
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on 5 September 2012
I thoroughly enjoyed this book.I have tried to remember the name of the film and series this reminds me of but I just can't.It's irrelevant anyway.This book is so very funny I laughed so hard at some of the scenes it really cheered me up.This is not a serious book but it's such fun to read and that's all that really matters.I get so bored at times with the misery I read ,sometimes entertainment is all that matters and that's what this book did.
I am hoping the rest of this authors books are as funny.
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on 7 February 2012
I'd been hearing good things about Darren Humphries' work for some time now and, on that basis, decided to give one of his books a spin. I've always been a science fiction fan, as my groaning bookshelves will attest, so this title came as the ideal starting point.

Mr Humphries has written this book with a Douglas Adams / Terry Pratchett voice. In that respect it has succeeded very well. The interplay between the characters is sharp and entertaining at every point. The story moves along well and there is plenty of enjoyable dialogue.

For the most part I really enjoyed this book, but, and there is a but, something happened to the end. Everything was going wonderfully until it got to 97%. I think the problem with this book is that the enemy is too good. There is a fine line between the hero being cornered and being able to fight his way out and the same hero being painted into a corner. I felt this was the case with this book, where the author had succeeded with the painting, thrown away the brush and decided to have the wall demolished from the other side by the next door neighbour.

I know this is going to sound odd, but don't let the ending stop you reading this book, it really is a treat. There were times when I cursed the end of my lunch break as I was enjoying myself so much. On a number of occasions, I was howling out loud with laughter and annoying my colleagues by insisting on reading out sections of dialogue.

On that basis, I'm going to have to knock off a star for the ending, otherwise it would have got a perfect score. If you are a Douglas Adams or Terry Pratchett fan, you'll feel very at home with this Darren Humphries book and enjoy it immensely.
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on 24 May 2013
If Douglas Adams were still alive I would have no doubt he would be sending for his lawyers. On second thoughts this novel is so lacking in any redeeming qualities that he might choose to ignore it instead. It hardly represents a threat to his genre.

The story is supposed to be humerous but lacks any real jokes. Marvin the Paranoid Android is replaced by a know-it-all and sulky computer given to poor practical jokes. Ford Prefect is a small time (or maybe big time, I never did work it out) con man by the name of Kaymer Haynes. The Vogons are giant ants in search of sugar and there is no Arthur Dent character. Instead the protagonist (I won't call him hero as he isn't one) has two female assistants (A greedy Dr Who then), one of whom is telepathic but doesn't seem to be able to use her powers to warn Haynes of any danger, and the other just seems to be there to add to the word count. Neither female has any back story or character development, which sums up Ford Prefect - sorry, Kaymer Haynes, as well.

The plot is a mismash caper. Haynes escapes from a high security prison (we aren't told why he's there), is pursued by a grim bounty hunter (again no back story or character), finds a super-duper spaceship hidden in a cave on a planet that is about as technologically developed as the moon, then goes to retrieve money that he might be owed by another petty crook/conman but we don't know why, but which was probably stolen by Haynes in the first place. The Vogons, sorry Helreptors, turn up and by a sequence of unlikely coincidences, none of which make sense, the day is eventually saved.

There are loads of plot points I could reveal as spoliers, but as they are the only thing in the book that are interesting I won't spoil it for you. I'll let Humphries do that for himself.

Hopefully Kaymer Haynes will retire to a distant planet and spend his time counting his money. If he should reappear I will do my best to ignore him.
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on 10 August 2011
The plot moves along at a good pace with lots of adventurous action. I liked the unexpected changes of direction and the way the plot developed. I was a little disappointed by the twist at the end. Twists that reframe the whole situation can strain credibility, particularly when you're deeply involved in the story.

Kaymer Haynes is an interesting character, a con man with a sense of humour. I found him very engaging, with a sense that there was always a lot more going on than he was letting on. Other characters are lightly but effectively drawn. I loved the stroppy computer and the bonkers Dennis Crump.

There is an error in the book description; "ever copy" instead of "every copy". There are similar grammar/punctuation errors in the book (I noted 13), such as "Huge blocks of plas-wrapped cargo was floating free". If small errors of this kind irritate you when reading then you may find that detracts from your enjoyment of the story.

I was intrigued by the title of this story and slightly puzzled by the end of the book because it wasn't clear why it was called that other than as a jokey take on "To Infinity and beyond". I enjoyed the humour and adventure in the story, and I liked the characters, too. The first couple of chapters are brilliant and it is a very entertaining read. If it hadn't been for the imperfect proofreading and the credibility-straining twist at the end, I would have given this 5*.
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on 29 April 2013
It's been a while since I read this so I won't be able to go into much detail.

I love Sci-fi films but can't usually read Sci-fi books, just fantasy. I got this based on how good (most of) U.N.D.E.A.D. 1 was, and I was blown away. OK so it's probably more like space fantasy than "real" Sci-fi but it just worked so well. There were some silly bits but generally speaking I was hooked and just couldn't put the book down.

The characters got a bit silly sometimes but were very engaging, and I was genuinely invested in their stories. Even if you don't usually read this genre, have a punt for a couple of quid, you won't regret it!
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on 8 November 2017
Really enjoyed this book, has some very funny characters and was a nice change from his UNDEAD books. I hope he writes some more adventures.
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on 26 September 2016
Funny, exciting, a bit predictable and read like one of those "...suddenly, then..." stories you made up as a kid.
Still worth a bedtime read and I'd certainly like more of it.
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on 6 October 2011
I enjoyed this - a lot! It's one of those stories that begs to be read in a sitting once you've been sucked in, and it's an antidote to many of those po-faced sci-fi books.
Our hero, Kaymer Haynes, is suitably disreputable, and established as a Man To Be Reckoned With during the first few pages as he escapes an inescapable prison.
A story that romps along, good characters and plenty of humour make for a really good read. I shall read more by Darren Humphries.
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on 13 August 2014
Another good read from Mr H. Not too taxing, and a quick read. The end seemed to be a bit more rushed compared to the pace of the rest of the book, but otherwise not too bad.

Definitely helps to have some sci-fi awareness, but its not overtly geeky.
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