Martin Lock a.k.a Custer1 has been a reader of mine and a helpful critic of my work for several years. Mr. Lock is a credible critic of science-fiction having been an author and also a publisher of science-fiction. Mr. Lock is also a legend in the British comic book scene having been a founder of Harrier Comics a.k.a Harrier Publishing. He’s read all four of my books. For more information on Mr. Lock visit this page devoted to him on comicdb and also his own page. Here are his thoughts on Jade’s Dish.
An Exciting Adventure
“I have read and enjoyed Brandon’s previous books, so bought this one as soon as it appeared – and I wasn’t disappointed, as this was his best novel yet.
Rod Veska is a private investigator, and, as Brandon has actually done this job in the past, his life, if not exactly mundane, is pretty methodical. His latest case is to check if someone claiming for a medical disability is actually trying to defraud the insurance company… and it looks as if the alien Sleyth’rai is indeed doing that. Rod follows him, taking video of him doing ordinary things he claimed not to be able to accomplish, and during his time in this particular city encounters the chef Jade Novorisk, who runs a food tram. They immediately hit it off, so, when Rod is instructed to follow Sleyth’rai and his wife to a camp site on a terraformed moon, he asks her to go with him, so that they too can seem to be normal holiday-makers.
It would be wrong to give too much detail of what happens later, but Rod’s investigations do uncover a sinister conspiracy, with the murderously fanatical alien race the Dar-Shawn seeking plans which would allow them to win their war with humanity. With help later on from Lieutenant Martin Thuringer, the hero of a previous book, Rod and Jade are in for the battle of their lives in an old abandoned spaceport station teeming with Dar-Shawn warriors.
I do like the way that Brandon conveys Rod’s thoughts and outlook to us as the story progresses. Jade’s cooking creations sound very appetising, and the places we visit are nicely realised. The only reason not to give this book the full five stars is a technical one; perhaps I’m over-sensitive, and this may well be smoothed out in later editions, but at times we do seem to be in a first draft rather than a fully-polished commercial novel. Punctuation can be a little random at times, and it can be off-putting if a word is missing, or wrong – my favourite was (page 286) “I was going to do my dimmest not to get spotted.”
Anyway, this is an engrossing science fiction adventure. The back cover mentions Robert A. Heinlein, and I was at times during the action reminded of him at his vintage best, which can’t be a bad thing, right?”
My Thoughts: I appreciate Mr. Lock’s point-of-view always. I’m proud and happy for him to enjoy the book, and this is inspiring me more to continue honing my craft and be a better proofreader.