“Shakedowners” by Justin Woolley- An SPSFC2 Semifinalist Review

I’ll be reading and reviewing every semifinalist for the Self-Published Science Fiction Contest! Check out my list with blurbs, covers, links, and first impressions for all the semifinalists here. Please let me know what you think of any/all of these books! I love comments, and love talking about books.

Shakedowners by Justin Woolley

Captain Iridius B. Franklin seems to have astronomically bad luck as a starship captain. No matter what he does, something always goes terribly wrong. That’s why he’s relegated to hauling land whale dung and mining waste around rather than flying a more glamorous ship. But it’s also why he gets selected to do a shakedown cruise to test out the Gallaway, a top-of-the-line ship that they want to be sure has all the kinks worked out. Well, Franklin of course runs into trouble, and the barebones crew of hard-on-their-luck people he selected for the shakedown journey has to help him solve a galaxy-threatening problem.

What you see is what you get in this novel. The description above tells you most of what you’re going to get. While there are twists–I was a big fan of what happened with the primary threat in the novel–the core of it is a silly adventure in space with stakes that are comedically high for the crew we’ve got. Mileage on this one will vary wildly with how much readers enjoy that kind of fun romp. For me it was a good read and an excellent listen. The narrator for the audiobook is top notch and makes the novel even more enjoyable than it otherwise would have been.

I appreciated the thoughtfulness of the main threat, too. I can’t say much more than that without seriously spoiling some of the best parts of the story, so I want to just say that if the idea of a fun afternoon read with a pretty compelling main villain is what you’d like, you should check the book out.

Shakedowners is an enjoyable romp that doesn’t take itself too seriously. It will appeal to fans of the speculative fiction/humor mashup.


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