Tritium Gambit by Erik Hyrkas
trade Paperback, 230 pages
trade Paperback, 230 pages
The best agents examine their briefs before a harrowing mission. Max waits until his briefs need to be washed.
He wakes up this morning hungry for bacon and eggs. Instead, he’s served an aromatic pile of opportunity. The prestigious record he set this year might be the culprit: he's lost the most partners to intergalactic predators. His new partner, Miranda, is considering a career change, which may help her live longer.
Sometimes your greatest enemy isn't the forty foot alien chewing your arm, but you have to start somewhere.
Tritium Gambit by Erik Hyrkas is a science fiction tale featuring Intergalactic secret service agents Max and Miranda. The Intergalactic Secret Service is here to protect the unknowing and unaware humans from aliens. Each having lost or incapacitated their previous partners, Max and Miranda are thrown together and ordered up to Minnesota to investigate a ping - a potential problem with aliens. The chapters alternate between each character's point of view.
Tritium Gambit could be described as: part irreverent sci-fi spoof; part tribute to sci fi novels, TV shows, and movies; part Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (Max carries his towel); and part innuendo and bad puns. It really was all non-stop fun and action. Even as I chuckled and groaned over their dialogue and continuous escapes from danger during their adventures, I was compulsively reading to see what happened next. It was sort of like being the insider to a great spoof or perhaps watching a bad movie with a funny friend, you know, the one who can quote dialogue from other movies as the action rolls along.
This isn't doing the book justice because it really became funnier as it went along, especially if you caught the many hints and references to other pop culture or sci fi materials. I about died laughing from one scene toward the end of the book featuring Max wearing a too-small T-shirt with a pop-culture "team" saying on it.
The best recommendation could be this: I picked up the book last night and am reviewing it the next day. It was pure enjoyable escapism and a light and entertaining read. Hopefully this is the first book in a Max and Miranda series. I can definitely see the series continuing and Hyrkas getting better with each book. Highly recommended
We have been forced to turn on our own children for sustenance. I wish it had not come to this, but I cannot contest the will of my people. Still, I have a son that I have been secretly harboring against their hunger, but my ability to protect him wanes with each day as he grows too large to hide. I have seen the suns rise on my planet two hundred thousand times, and I'm the oldest of my kind. opening
"I'd like to strip you of your credentials and send you off to that piss-water planet you came from, but we have an agent in sudden need of a partner. Unfortunately, I can't find anybody better than you." He smirked, obviously privy to some information he had yet to reveal about my new partner. "Maybe you'll get each other killed and save me the paperwork of transferring the two of you." pg. 7
As I turned and began walking to the door, I heard him mumble too low for most people to hear, but my hearing wasn't human. "Seriously, feel free to get each other killed." pg. 7
"Listen, Agent Maximus. We exist to squash problems before they squash the pitiful little humans going about their ordinary lives unaware of the aliens on their planet. If humans knew how precarious their situation is from day to day, how near doom they are each and every day, they sure as hell wouldn't worry about whether their neighbor had a nicer Audi or whether their next TV should be plasma or LCD...." pg. 11-12
"There's been a ping in northern Minnesota near the town of Ely. There is an old iron mine there, and we think the source of the ping might be near the mine or perhaps from inside it." pg. 14
"...Each assignment offered a new way to get killed, a way that had never occurred to me even in my nightmares, but I only saw these dangers as a way to display my skills. Nobody's watching, though. After awhile you realize that you're just doing it for yourself, and then you realize that eventually you're going to die doing this nonsense, serving as you call it." pg. 21
Disclosure: I received a copy of this book from the author for review purposes.