Review – Willful Child

Cover of Willful Child by Steven EriksonWillful Child, Steven Erikson
Received to review via Netgalley

This is… nothing like the Malazan series, if that’s what attracted you to the idea of reading this book. It’s a parody/homage of Star Trek, mostly Captain Kirk era, with references to Kirk’s tendency to fist fight, get his uniform ripped, venture into dangerous situations the captain of a ship should probably avoid… And various other staples of the Star Trek series, like his way with women and his bullheadedness, etc, etc.

I thought this would appeal because a) the Malazan books are well thought out, very intelligent and carefully constructed, so I expected similar even in a spoofy story, and b) I grew up on Star Trek, among various other series. I have no problem with laughing at Star Trek, particularly the Kirk era. Buuut, as I’ve acknowledged on my blog before, I do not have the greatest sense of humour. I never quite know how to take a lot of jokes, particularly when the humour is fairly silly, and that happens a lot here. Along with the main character picking his crew for the way they look, making sexual suggestions to them all the time, getting assaulted by a female alien, and a whole dodgy bit where it somewhat implies he may have raped an officer he dislikes. Most of the humour revolved around ‘lol sex’, usually in a laddish way that just doesn’t appeal to me.

I feel like I can’t say much about the plot/writing/etc, because all of it just deflates for me under the influence of that horrible main character. He’s a caricature, and it influences the whole book. Not a fan. I much preferred John Scalzi’s Redshirts, which had somewhat more intelligent humour.

Rating: 1/5


4 thoughts on “Review – Willful Child

  1. I wonder if publishers have seen an “opportunity” for heaps of Star Trek spoofs in the success of Redshirts, which will lead to almost every struggling SF writer being told to put one out? I hope not…

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