Stringers by Chris Panatier

My Five Word TL:DR Review : A Blast of a Book


Having read and loved The Phlebotomist by this author I was absolutely jumping for joy when I was granted a review copy of Stringers.  Three things must ye know of Stringers.

Firstly, it’s completely unlike Panatier’s debut novel – they stand at the furthest opposing points that I can think of to be honest and this being sci fi I did feel a little nervous about requesting a copy.

Secondly, and this could just be the mood I was in when I picked this up, but, this made me laugh out loud on so many occasions that it was practically addictive.  It was like that moment when you open a huge bag of crisps, sweets, popcorn (or whatever it is that takes your fancy) and before you know it you’ve eaten the entire (family size I might add) bag and you’re puzzled about where they’ve all gone.  Basically, this made me feel good, even down to the fact that I persisted with the ‘harder sci-fi’ elements and actually felt like I was on board, and when something makes you feel good you don’t want to stop. Hence I read this almost in a day.

Thirdly, I can safely say this was one of my most anticipated reads this year and we all know how damaging over hype can be to any book.  Seriously, my expectations were up there amongst the stars but I’m happy to report that on this occasion the anticipation and hype were rewarded with a fantastic read and then some.

The plot.  I can see where the comparisons to Hitchhiker’s Guide come from here.  You have your two witless humans, abducted by a space bounty hunter, you have a really amusing (although obviously humour is very subjective so whereas I found this pretty darn amusing others may not) cosmic space opera with a really unique concept. Now, I can’t tell you too much about the plot other than to say that one of the abductees has a wealth of information stored in his brain, something that certain other ‘aliens’ would pay handsomely for.  As you may imagine, our two humans are about to go on the ride of a lifetime, dangerous, life threatening and very strange.  I seriously don’t want to give away anything else because I had a lot of fun finding out in what direction this story was going in without any prior knowledge.

The characters.  We have Ben and his pal Patton.  Ben is a mind of useless information – well, probably not useless if you want to know in depth details about the sex life of insects or the inner workings of a wristwatch, but otherwise, yeah, not terribly helpful during your bog standard day.  He doesn’t know how he knows what he knows, he just knows it.  And, unfortunately it’s like a constant assault of information flooding his brain day in day out.  He’s desperate to find out what it’s all about.  Patton is a good friend and joins in for the ride not suspecting what he’s letting himself in for.  Naecia is another of the abductees, an alien, also with a wealth of strange information within her own brain.  Aptat is the bounty hunter.  He has a sharp tongue, is totally calculating and, I don’t know if I should confess to this, but I really enjoyed reading the chapters where he was involved.  Last but by no means least, we have Pickles.  I’ll leave you to discover that one for yourselves.

In terms of criticisms.  Well, I did have a slight slowing down period when I was getting on board with the science fiction elements – but, I’m happy to say that this was only temporary and even more happy to have actually felt like I understood all the explanations.  Also, I’m not going to lie, there is a certain ‘ick’ factor to some of the chapters that maybe could have been shortened a little for me.  But, overall nothing that actually made me want to give up or that spoiled the read.

In a nutshell, Stringers is a witty, madcap, cosmic adventure that was thrilling to read and made me laugh, cringe and (almost) cry and that kept me reading into the wee hours of the morning.  I’m absolutely fascinated to see what this author will spring on us next.

I received a copy through Netgalley, courtesy of the publisher, for which my thanks.  The above is my own opinion.

My rating 4.5 of 5 stars


11 Responses to “Stringers by Chris Panatier”

  1. Tammy

    I agree with everything you said! The Phlebotomist will always have a special place in my heart, but Stringers was pretty darn good😁

    • @lynnsbooks

      I really had a great time with it, ick moments aside.
      Lynn 😀

  2. aquavenatus

    Great review. This book sounds very intriguing. I just added it to my (Goodreads) TBR!

    • @lynnsbooks

      It was such a lot of fun and I couldn’t put it down.
      Lynn 😀

  3. Susy's Cozy World

    I wholeheartedly agree with all you wrote! I haven’t read the first book by Panatier, but I have it on my TBR and now I am even more curious because I had an amazing time with this book! And I wasn’t expecting to like Aptat but I did, and I have no regrets!! And I was a tad scared by all the hype, even more so because this was one of the highest anticipated reading of this year for me, but I really had a blast with it!

    • @lynnsbooks

      Yes, such a blast. I loved The Phlebotomist and if push came to shove I’d have to say it was my favourite so I hope you pick it up.
      Lynn 😀

  4. maddalena@spaceandsorcery

    Well, it’s good to know beforehand that this is quite different in mood from The Phlebotomist (which I loved), so that I can be prepared for what sounds like a fun journey through an entertaining story (the comparison with Hitchhikers’ Guide is quite promising). Thank you so much for sharing! 🙂

    • @lynnsbooks

      It’s not always a good thing to compare books to such greats but I can see where the comparison comes, particularly in that this is very amusing and there’s a little Hitchhiker reference in there too.
      Lynn 😀

  5. WordsAndPeace

    Ooh, sounds good!!

    • @lynnsbooks

      Yes, a lot of fun. A little bit of ick. Some totally crazy characters. And Pickles. I loved it.
      Lynn 😀

  6. bkfrgr

    Oh oh oh!!! Neeeed!! You’ve completely sold this to me Lynn! 🙌🔥

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