Starship Grifters (A Rex Nihilo Adventure) by Robert Kroese
Almost everything about this book amused me. From the title to the cover to the contents. The idea of it was so promising and thankfully it delivered.
It is hard not to think about the “Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy” when reading this book. Although there are few real parallels other than that they are both really funny and take place in space.
The story is told from the view of Sasha, the Self-Arresting near-Sentient Heuristic Android. While not a copy of Marvin, the Paranoid Android, there is a good amount of humor at his expense. His master Rex Nihilo is a traveling conman who is always barely a step ahead of the law and financial ruin.
The running jokes in this book often involve Star Wars tropes and other Star Wars intersections as Rex Nihilo accidentally becomes involved with the rebels. The crazy adventures that result because of his working with/against the rebels is quite fun and I enjoyed the sheer ridiculousness of most of it.
There is also a certain amount of playfulness with people’s names and semi-hidden pop references. One inference close to the start of the book involving both Dune and Gone With the Wind certainly had me chuckling. Really I read most of this book maintaining a grin.
By the way this book is titled as a Rex Nihilo Adventure it looks like a beginning to a new series. Some of the plot reveals at the end put a different light on what was really going on and I would like to see this developed.