Monday, November 10, 2008

Review: 3rd World Products, Book 1 by Ed Howdershelt

3rd World Products, Book 1 is a book by one of those indie-internet authors, and in spite of some somewhat pompous internet message board posts, one of the better ones. A multi-pack of all his books, at substantial discount, is available from the author's website, but if you are like me and you prefer the eReader format, you'll have to wait for a sale at Fictionwise if you want the whole kit.

I'm currently on the second one. The first one impressed me enough to seek out his other titles, even if it has to be one at a time and without the bundle discount. The plot concerns a man (also named Ed, like the author) who is a former 'intelligence agent.' He gets drawn back into his old life when a spaceship shows up.

From this basic premise, Howdershelt spins an entertaining yarn full of space aliens who are sexy, amusing and entrepreneurial. I coveted the Amaran spaceship gadget which has every movie or television show ever made, and while I am not sure I am in the market for a hovercraft, the talking on-board computer (who appears as a major character in at least one of the sequels) would be a handy thing indeed. Spy Ed is pretty unflappable, and his low-key reactions to what he sees keep the at times outlandish subject matter grounded for the reader. This is not 'eternal literature for the ages' but it *is* a light and entertaining read.

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