Category Archives: Reviews
So I just found this great post from Brent Nichols on his blog, Fantastic Adventures. He listed Jak Phoenix as a recommended read and I couldn’t be happier. His notes were spot on, understanding the fun of the Jak Phoenix story. Fantastic Adventures can be found here: http://brentnichols.blogspot.com/ Thanks again Brent!
Recommended Reading – Jak Phoenix
Their finances had dried up, Jak’s ship was falling apart and their weapons and tools should have been on display in a museum. They were facing the reality that they may have to quit and gain real, meaningful employment.
I’ll admit that the cheese factor is fairly high on this one, but this book is too much fun to pass up. Jak Phoenix is a down-at-the-heels would-be space pirate. No risk is too great, no hardship too onerous, if it will save him from the horrors of honest employment. With a dilapidated spaceship, an antiquated pistol, and an unshaven sidekick, he’s trekking across the galaxy in search of a dishonest buck. He is no Captain Kirk, but to his dismay Jak will find that the galaxy needs saving, and no one else is available.
Jak is the ultimate anti-hero, a blend of Han Solo and Spaceman Spiff with a bit of Three Stooges mixed in. It’s a light-hearted adventure that will make you laugh out loud. Don’t try to take it seriously. Just sit back and enjoy the ride. You won’t learn anything profound about the human condition, but you’ll have a lot of fun. Matt Williams has created an old-fashioned space opera that is preposterous, exciting, and thoroughly enjoyable.
Original post by Brent Nichols at his blog Fantastic Fiction http://brentnichols.blogspot.com/2011/06/recommended-reading-jak-phoenix.html
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The Misadventures Of The Quintessential Anti-Hero
Jak Phoenix and his partner, Baxter, are a couple of low-budget space pirates traversing the galaxy in a rundown ship in dire need of repair – when they undertake what appears to be a routine salvage mission that ultimately proves to be anything but…unbeknownst to the interstellar hijackers, an evil mastermind – who just happens to be an old enemy of theirs – has been surreptitiously amassing a secret army in a far corner of the galaxy, and a set of serendipitous circumstances soon shoulders Jak and Baxter with the task of saving not only an endangered race of aliens, but also the entire galaxy…quite a tall order for someone who’d normally rather kick back with a cold one than stick his neck out for anyone…
With unique, vivid characters and a compelling central plotline, Jak Phoenix is quite the entertaining read. In skillful fashion, author Matt Williams has crafted an enjoyable tale of interstellar adventure sure to please fans of well-told Sci-Fi/Fantasy yarns. While the essence of his narrative is hardly original, Williams does a commendable job of breathing fresh, creative new life into a rather familiar morality tale – particularly by featuring a protagonist who’s nothing if not the quintessential anti-hero. As such, readers are sure to find Jak Phoenix anything but dull, thanks in large part to Williams’ quite fertile imagination. A satisfying read.
The original review can be found on their press release page at http://www.prlog.org/11060684-apex-review-of-jak-phoenix-matt-williams.html
Thank you for your support!
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Jak Phoenix, the space adventure novel by Matt Williams, was recently reviewed positively by the good folks over at Feathered Quill Book Reviews. The review is reprinted below:
By: Matt Williams
Publisher: Azore’s Crown Publishing
Publication Date: April 2010
Reviewed by: Eloise Michael
Review Date: September 17, 2010
If you thought that Han Solo was the real hero of Star Wars, then Jak Phoenix, a novel by Matt Williams, is for you. Jak and his partner, Baxter, are space pirates traveling the Azore’s Crown Galaxy in an outdated ship called The Tempest. The ship constantly needs repairs on the fly, partly because it is old and pieced together from several different ships, and partly because of the scrapes that are common to the life of a space pirate.
Williams’ characters are familiar archetypes of science fiction. Jak is irreverent and prefers to work no harder than is necessary to feed himself and to stock the bar on The Tempest. His treatment of women is obnoxious. Then along comes a woman strong enough to turn Jack around. Jak’s friends are mechanics and engineers who get by on their intelligence and the ability to collect and make use of what others see as junk. There is, as well, the typical assortment of villains– from weak and servile to evil-cyborg-scientist to megalomaniac.
Williams breathes new life into these archetypes, thoroughly developing each character, not with lengthy descriptions, but through the characters’ actions and conversations. Readers will have no trouble keeping the characters straight; Williams creates lasting images of their physical appearances while at the same time revealing their motivations. As readers get to know the characters, they will find themselves liking and identifying with Jak and his friends.
Above all, what makes Jak Phoenix a good book is the pacing. Williams brilliantly balances action with plot and character development throughout the book. There is never a dull moment, whether Jak and his friends are outmaneuvering attackers in space, boarding an enemy ship, fighting robotic soldiers, or outwitting captors.
Though the action never lets up, the plot of Jak Phoenix always continues to move forward at an engaging pace. The details that Williams includes in the middle of all this action will create vivid pictures in his readers’ minds. Readers will get hooked early and want to stay with the book to find out what happens.
The plot is fairly simple; Jak must rescue a race of aliens– perhaps the whole galaxy– from an evil mastermind who has quietly been building armies in a corner of the galaxy. It is a tried-and-true plot line, and it’s simplicity works in Williams’ favor. Readers of science fiction want an alternate universe, which is believable, characters with whom they can identify (even if they happen to be aliens), and a story that will keep them turning the pages. Williams easily achieves all three within the context of a plot which, like his characters, is original enough to be memorable but sticks to a basic formula that works.
Williams’ grammar is not always perfect, and his sentences are occasionally awkward. This does not interfere with the story, however. If Williams’ style is a little rough around the edges, it complements Jak, himself, who chooses practicality over appearances. The narrator’s voice reads the way an average science fiction fan might talk, which many will find appealing. Readers will find this well-crafted novel diverting, will want to recommend it to a friend, and will look forward to Jak Phoenix’s next adventure.
Quill says: Perfectly paced to keep science fiction fans absorbed and engaged.
For more information on Jak Phoenix, please visit the book’s website at: www.jakphoenix.com
The original review can be found at http://www.featheredquill.com/reviews/sciencefiction/williams2.shtml
The book they reviewed is available on Amazon right here: http://www.amazon.com/dp/0986526614/?tag=azorscrowpubl-20
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