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REVIEW: Any Job Will Do – John Wilker

Any Job Will Do - John Wilker

Genre: Sci-Fi, Space Opera

Reviewer: Scott

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About The Book

Jackson ”Jax” Caruso inherited a ship from his parents.

They’re dead, they don’t need it.

The unification wars happened a while ago, Jax’s parent’s fought for the losing side. Now he takes the jobs he can get; smuggling, bounty hunting, hauling cargo. If it pays, he’ll do it.

When Jax is approached with a job that seems too good to be true, he should have known better, he should have walked.

He didn’t.

Now he and a few friends are in it deep; Imperial entanglements are the least of their concerns with organized crime on their tails.

Will Jax and his friends finish the job without getting caught, or killed? Only one way to find out!

The Review

Take a space station at the edge of the explored galaxy, throw in a dash of Star Wars and a splash of Firefly, and make the lead character unapologetically bi, and you get Any Job Will Do.

Jackson Caruso (aka Jax) has a problem. A few problems. He’s being stalked by a mysterious woman he accidentally rescued on his last run. To make things worse, Kori Lightning, an old rival who is better at darts than he is, has come back to the station. And Steve Delphino, the guy he had a recent fling-gone-bad with, is still pining for him. Or wants to kill him.

Jax takes on a big job, stealing back a small company’s ore on a backwater planet, and recruits his friends and enemies to help. With his trusty droid crew, his interceptor ship the Osprey, and his rag-tag band of rogues, Jax sets off on his new mission.

It’s all going well, until it goes horribly wrong. And Jax has to figure out a way to pick up the pieces.

Book one of the Grand Human Empire series, Any Job Will Do, is fast and spare. While the world-building/scenery’s a little light for my taste, it aids the story by keeping it moving along at a good pace, not bogged down by details.

I loved that Jax was unabashedly bisexual. There are no hang-ups here about it, at least not on Jax’s part, and he flirts with men as comfortably as he flirts with women. His sexuality is just a stated fact, and mostly in the background during the course of the story.

I also loved the “raiding the train” scene – what space western is complete without a nod to the spaghetti westerns of the past? A bank must be knocked over or a train hijacked, and it doesn’t hurt if you throw in a bar fight for good measure.

Any Job Will Do is a fun romp through the new Wild West, filled with cool whiz-bang tech and fun callbacks to the genre’s western roots. If you like this one, there’s already a book two – Side Hustle Tango, and I have it on good authority that book three is in the works!

The Reviewer

Scott is the founder of Queer Sci Fi, and a fantasy and sci fi writer in his own right, with more than 30 published short stories, novellas and novels to his credit, including two trilogies.

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