Friday, February 3, 2012

America’s Galactic Foreign Legion Book 1: Feeling Lucky / Walter Knight

Reviewed by: BigAl

Genre: Science Fiction

Approximate word count: 50-55,000 words

Kindle US:
YES UK: YES Nook: NO Smashwords: NO Paper: YES
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After a stint in the army and attending three colleges, culminating in a law degree, Walter Knight presumably spent time as a lawyer. Maybe he still does, but if so it is from rural Washington, where he likes the privacy and quiet. In addition to the fourteen books in this series, Knight also has a novella available called Vampire in the Outfield. For more, visit Walter’s website.


One more roll of the dice and habitual gambler Joey Czerinski can leave with his winnings, fleeing Old Earth and Bubba Jones, the loan shark who would be happy to see Joey dead – as soon as he collects on his debt. A bad roll, a couple of tricky ATMs, and Joey is wearing the uniform of the America Galactic Foreign Legion. For a nonconformist like Joey, could it get any worse?

This is the first book of the series.


In this futuristic military science fiction story, the biggest thing that stuck out for me was that some things never change; at least as author Walter Knight sees the future, human nature, the military, and politics haven’t changed. The first example was early in the book, when Joey Czerinski, the protagonist, is gambling, and falls for several fallacies that have plagued gamblers since time began. The laws of probability and statistics are the same, and gamblers still don’t understand them. However, the largest thing I saw was the illogic and ridiculousness of war.

The description of Feeling Lucky references Joseph Heller’s classic book, Catch 22. I’m hesitant to take this comparison too far, because, for me, Feeling Lucky lacks the immediacy of Heller’s book. The distance provided by the setting in the future blunts the terror. (I find it harder to feel the same about a killing in the distant future. They don’t seem as real as it would if in contemporary times.) However, the satirical humor that springs from shining a light on the idiocy of war, politics, and the politics of war comes through, and the laughter comes much easier.


Some adult language.

Format/Typo Issues:

A small number of typos and other proofing errors. My review copy was a MS Word document, so I was unable to evaluate eBook formatting.

Rating: **** Four stars


Walter Knight said...

Thank you Big Al for the review. AGFL-15, about a time traveling Christopher Columbus, who of course joins the Foreign Legion, will be out soon.

America's Galactic Foreign Legion has been a fun ride, and I am glad you enjoyed the first book. I write parody, and can't help poking fun at all around me. The world is a terrifying funny place.

Penumbra Publishing said...

Thanks for the review Big Al, very appreciated!

Lyn Horner said...

Congrats, Walter. Your book sounds intriguing. Humor is always good!

Unknown said...

Thanks for another great review, Big Al.

I might have to buy a copy of the book :)


BooksAndPals said...

Thanks, Emanuel.