Genre: Sci-Fi, Humor.
Year Of Publication: 30th June 2017
Publisher: Mongrel Books
Pages: 276 (Paperback)
My rating: 5/5
“Zaaro Nian was pale blue with watery blue tiny round eyes.He had thin blue lips,a bulbous nose and ears,which fit neatly on to a large head,shiny,round and bald.Yet it wasn’t his physical appearance that was odd.It was everything else.I could not quite decide whether he was an advanced life form who functioned entirely without emotion, or just incredibly naive.”
The story begins when our protagonist – Zaaro the Zaaronian crashes into an IPF Rebel Ship on his way to work.
As a weapons developer.
Being in danger doesn’t concern him as much as getting fired from his jobs does.
Not to mention he’s a “jumper” with the ability to manipulate time AND space – the stuff of myths and legends.
Considered to be extinct.
Is this chance encounter merely a coincidence? Or is the Zaaronian a double agent working alongside the IPF and aiding their plans for universal domination?
Plagued by the motive of their unannounced visitor the rebel crew decide to make him a part of their resistance movement, just so they can keep an eye on him; while planning to keep him in the dark regarding their actual plans.
That’s easily accomplished, considering Zaaro expects everyone to live by the same morals as himself and his people – who regard politeness and abiding by the rules one of their many virtues.
“Zaaronian lifespans,one thousand years to be precise.Each one of them was born with an identical lifespan,which could be shortened only by random acts of love or violence; it was yet unclear which of the two they loathed more……..As a race their collective aim was to live uneventful lives and they were for the most part spectacularly successful. May your days be as boring as they are long, was the salutary greeting heard most often among them”
Things don’t look so good for Zaaro, seeing as he can easily be subdued by simply shouting.
“Shouting was another method of torture used against us in the early space wars.We are a very polite,quiet folk.Any form of verbal abuse is anathema to us”
How will our unlikely hero fare in this ship full of strangers?
Will he be a cog in the machine for change or will his follies be their doom?
“Ship Rules ref.5.67:One meltdown at a time.Two hysterical members if found together,will be court-martialled.”
This book was such a pleasant surprise. The blurb belies its AWESOMENESS!!!
Trust me when I say that once you start reading it you won’t want to put it down until you reach the very end.
Rarely do I come across authors that are able to write multiple POVs while giving each character a personality that is uniquely theirs.
That was no small feat; considering this book is host to a myriad of characters that range from ones that are effortlessly brilliant (*and slightly loony) to those who lust after power.
“Seeing Madam behaving in schoolgirl fashion was far from endearing.The poor dear had completely lost her marbles and apparently also her dignity while I was away. I wondered how long it would be before she also lost her position on the ship.”
I particularly liked reading about the Puranas and how they established their reign.
I hope to read more about them in the second installment!
(*because YES! there’s going to be sequel!)
I’ll finally have answers to that cliffhanger ……
(*that was such a great ending! I have so many questions I want answered!)
“Sleep little Zaaro because the Puranas roam,
They will eat your happiness and eat your home,
They will eat your clothes and eat your shoes,
They will eat your friends and then eat you.”
Kudos to Sidra F. Sheikh for writing this book full of wit,mirth and clever dialogues- there was never a dull moment!
I’d also like to point out that we rarely come across Pakistani authors who dabble in genres other than literary fiction, and I think that those who do need to be encouraged.
I’m so proud of Mongrel Books for breaking traditional stereotypes and publishing diverse works – we definitely need more of this!
“The Light Blue Jumper” is one book that you should be reading this year!
(*it has become a fast favourite of mine!)
Go support your local publishing industry and grab yourselves a copy A.S.A.P. !
Mongrel Books is an independent publisher based in Karachi, Pakistan- established in 2016 to rejuvenate the local fiction publishing scene and promote original voices and compelling stories.
If you’d like to order a copy of “The Light Blue Jumper” click HERE.
*I was sent this book by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.