Terminal Alliance by Jim C. Hines @jimchines @dawbooks @AudiobookMel

Posted September 16, 2022 by Melanie in Book Review / 6 Comments

Terminal Alliance by Jim C. Hines @jimchines @dawbooks @AudiobookMelTerminal Alliance by Jim C. Hines
Series: Janitors of the Post-Apocalypse #1
Published by DAW Books on November 7, 2017
Genres: Space Opera
Pages: 366
Format: eBook
Source: Library
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One StarOne StarOne StarOne StarHalf a Star

In his hilarious new sci-fi series, Jim C. Hines introduces the unlikely heroes that may just save the galaxy: a crew of space janitors.

The Krakau came to Earth to invite humanity into a growing alliance of sentient species. However, they happened to arrive after a mutated plague wiped out half the planet, turned the rest into shambling, near-unstoppable animals, and basically destroyed human civilization. You know—your standard apocalypse.

The Krakau’s first impulse was to turn around and go home. (After all, it’s hard to have diplomatic relations with mindless savages who eat your diplomats.) Their second impulse was to try to fix us. Now, a century later, human beings might not be what they once were, but at least they’re no longer trying to eat everyone. Mostly.

Marion “Mops” Adamopoulos is surprisingly bright (for a human). As a Lieutenant on the Earth Mercenary Corps Ship Pufferfish, she’s in charge of the Shipboard Hygiene and Sanitation team. When a bioweapon attack wipes out the Krakau command crew and reverts the rest of the humans to their feral state, only Mops and her team are left with their minds intact.

Escaping the attacking aliens—not to mention her shambling crewmates—is only the beginning. Sure, Mops and her team of space janitors and plumbers can clean the ship as well as anyone, but flying the damn thing is another matter.

As they struggle to keep the Pufferfish functioning and find a cure for their crew, they stumble onto a conspiracy that could threaten the entire alliance… a conspiracy born from the truth of what happened on Earth all those years ago.

Jim C. Hines has proven himself a master of humorous fantasy with his Jig the Goblin novels, and has turned the usual fantasy tropes sideways and upside down with his Princess and his Magic Ex Libris series. With Terminal Alliance, the debut novel in his humorous military science fiction series, Jim takes us into a brand-new universe of entertainment certain to appeal to fans of both Douglas Adams and Terry Pratchett.


I dived into this book without much knowledge about the series. I had read this author before with the Jig the Goblin series. I had a really great time with that series and when I needed something to read on vacation, I grabbed this one, I’m really glad I did. I had a great time with this book.

In this series, many decades ago, humans were turned feral by a virus. They are very zombie-like, but still able to reproduce and keep the human species alive. An alien race finds a cure, but it is a slow process and only some humans have been cured. And they have been kept as slaves.

Humans also lost all language and culture, so the alien race, the Krakau, created a “human” language instead of trying to reteach all of the languages that humans had in the past. They also have to teach about science, history, math and everything else that we learn as we grow. The Krakau had a group that read a lot of what they found in the libraries and used it to try to bring at least some of the culture back. I found these little tidbits hilarious.

  • “Reviewed complete works of Dr. Seuss. These books are not, as first assumed, a guide to obscure Earth creatures. I suspect Seuss lied about being a doctor. Conclusion: total gibberish, completely untranslatable.”
  • “Have reviewed the history and causes of Earth conflicts through the ages. Recommendation: do not translate or republish human religious texts.”
  • “Works tagged ‘fantasy’ should be ignored. Based on early estimations of restored human intellectual capacity, these stories would only confuse them.”
  • “William Shakespeare’s works are full of violence and vulgarity. These could be useful in priming humans for the realities of battle.”
  • “Have begun reviewing works tagged ‘erotica.’ What is this obsession humans had with procreation, and why did they have so many bizarre synonyms for their genitalia? They’re almost as bad as Nusurans. I hate my life. . . .”

I had a great time with this series. If you know me, you know how much I love good characters, and this series has a lot of them. My favorite is our lead character, Marion “Mops” Adamopoulos. She is a Lieutenant on the EMCS Pufferfish, she’s in charge of the Shipboard Hygiene and Sanitation team. I love Mops so much. She didn’t care what the Krakau thought of human intelligence. She also proved to them how adaptable and innovative humans can be, especially in a life or death emergency.

I won’t go into the plot very much, you can read that in the blurb. What you need to know is that it is a fun story with a lot of action and humor. The wide array of characters that are a lot of fun too. If you’ve never tried Jim C Hines and you like books with action and humor. And don’t just take my word for it, take Ilona Andrews.

“The book is damn hilarious. It’s less Tanya Huff and more Phule’s Company in the best possible way. It’s witty and sharp, it sneaks in some social commentary, and it skates just on the right side of the line between clever absurdity and complete chaos.” —Ilona Andrews

I read this while I was on vacation at the cabin, so no audiobook. I don’t know who the narrator is, but I’ll be looking into that before starting the next book in the Janitors of the Post-Apocalypse series.  And yes, I will be picking up the next book. Whether it is an audiobook or an ebook is still up in the air.

There were a huge number of highlights I flagged while reading. Little pieces that made me laugh. I can’t share them all because there were too many, but here’s a couple more, just for fun.

Mops stood. “Battle Captain Cervantes was good at giving speeches, reminding his team how important their work was. But he’s not here, so I’m going to cut to the chase.” She looked around the bridge. Her bridge. “Don’t fuck this up.”

“The EMC does not now, nor will we ever, work on a ‘dibs’ system.”

“Don’t worry,” Mops said dryly. “I have the utmost confidence in your ability to break things.”

About Jim C. Hines

Author: Jim C Hines

Jim C. Hines’ first novel was Goblin Quest, the tale of a nearsighted goblin runt and his pet fire-spider. Actor and author Wil Wheaton described the book as “too f***ing cool for words,” which is pretty much the Best Blurb Ever. After completing the goblin trilogy, Jim went on to write the princess series, four books often described as a blend of Grimm’s Fairy Tales with Charlie’s Angels. He’s also the author of the Magic ex Libris books, which follow the adventures of a magic-wielding librarian from northern Michigan, as well as the Fable: Legends tie-in Blood of Heroes. He’s currently writing his first science fiction trilogy, the humorous Janitors of the Post-Apocalypse.

Jim has written more than fifty published short stories. His first professional story sale was the award-winning “Blade of the Bunny,” published way back in 1999.

Jim is an active blogger about topics ranging from sexism and harassment to zombie-themed Christmas carols, and won the Hugo Award for Best Fan Writer in 2012.

He has an undergraduate degree in psychology and a Masters in English. He lives with his wife and two children, who have always shown remarkable tolerance for his bizarre and obsessive writing habits. (The cats, on the other hand, have no tolerance whatsoever, and routinely walk across his desk when he’s trying to work.)

Rating Breakdown
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Posted September 16, 2022 by Melanie in Book Review / 6 Comments

6 responses to “Terminal Alliance by Jim C. Hines

  1. Jen

    I am so glad you are reading this one. I listened to all three books (narrator is Rebecca Mitchell) and enjoyed them so much – the third and final just came out this year. I remember you reviewing the Jig series – I will need to add that to my never-ending wish list.