This is not the genre I usually read. I have never read any Star Wars books, and although I have seen the movies, I have watched only a handful of the Star Trek series and none of its spin-offs. In addition, and I am a little embarrassed to admit this, I am not a supporter of the space program. The reason for my sharing these fascinating tidbits of my life with you is to demonstrate that I was not expecting to enjoy this book, so it came as quite a surprise when I found myself laughing out loud as I read and shared snippets with my husband.
Rich with a marvelous sense of both imagination and creativity, this story takes you on the ride of your life without drugs. Set in a future where dogs, orangutans, and octopi can communicate with and work alongside humans and space travel is an everyday affair, the reader finds it easy to buy into the life while space traveling with animals. The novel is full of details that any self-respecting engineer or scientist would enjoy but nothing the average person cannot understand. Although I really liked the characters, it was a surprise to me that the least developed character was the main human, with the dog and orangutans being the most developed. The poker-playing orangutan, Tang, thinks of himself as suave and sleek. Jack, the dog, considers himself ever so bright and the First Mate, a rather snooty Octopus that communicates with colors, helps make the crew on the ship fascinating.
The story is fun, lighthearted, and totally worth reading. To be able to pull together all the different details of this story in a way that provides the reader with a connection so far outside the realm of reality is very impressive. This may be a futuristic space travel version of what Lewis Carroll would have written had he lived today. Bravo Bob Freeman!